History of Rotary and Our Club's Beginnings

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Rotary ‘s History and The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood Members

The Rotary Club of Oshawa Parkwood was sponsored by The Rotary Club of Oshawa and officially chartered by Rotary International in October 1976. Meetings were originally held in The Genosha Hotel and later moved on to The Holiday Inn, and various other local restaurants and for the past 15 years, has been at The Oshawa Golf Club.


The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, in order to distinguish itself from the original Rotary Club of Oshawa, named itself The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, in honour of Oshawa’s greatest citizen and philanthropist, , Colonel R.S. (Sam) Mclaughlin , the founder of General Motors of Canada whose estate in the centre of Oshawa, called Parkwood, remains as one of the City’s major tourist attractions.

The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on February 23, 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.

Rotary's popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.

By 1925, Rotary had grown to 200 clubs with more than 20,000 members. And today, there are more than 1.2 million members in over 200 countries. The organization's distinguished reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other luminaries to its ranks — among them author Thomas Mann, diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, and composer Jean Sibelius.

For more information about Rotary, be sure to visit the website: www.rotary.org and learn all about how you can make a real difference to so many people in your community and throughout the world.