Rotary International marks 110th anniversary, pledges service to humanity


ROTARY International turned 110 years,   today and in Nigeria, members yesterday rolled out the drums to celebrate the feats achieved by the global service organisation since inception in 1905. 

  It is also an occasion to celebrate the founder of Rotary International, Chicago born Attorney, Paul Harris who today is on record and recognised to have formed one of the world’s first service organisations, Rotary Club of Chicago on February 23, 1905. It was founded as a club where professionals with diverse backgrounds exchanged ideas and formed meaningful, enduring friendships.

  However, like a mustard seed, Rotary International, the major fighter of polio in the world, in addition to other commitment to make the world a better place for humanity has spread to every nook and cranny of the globe.

  Speaking yesterday, District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110, comprising Lagos and Ogun States, Dr. Dele Balogun described the organisation as one to be reckoned with over 1.2 million members world wide.

  Balogun spoke during the Blood Donation Camp organised by the Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, in collaboration with Bhojpuri Pariwar, Nigeria and Oriya Samaj of Nigeria (OSAN) to commemorate the 110 anniversary of Rotary International where anaemia, diabetic and haemoglobin tests were held

 He added: “Rotary International started with the first Rotary Club in Chicago, United States by four friends, invited by the founder, Rotary Paul Percy Harris.

  “The club held its first meeting February 23, 1905.  The ideas and ideals of Rotary were well accepted and this encouraged its spread from USA to other parts of the world.  

  “The spread got to Nigeria formally in 1961 when the first Rotary club in Nigeria was chartered in Kano April 28, 1961 in the 56th year of Rotary, followed by Rotary club of Lagos, chartered May 30, 1961 while that of Rotary Club of Ibadan was chartered November 24, 1961,” he said.

  Balogun further stressed: “Rotary is truly international” with 34,000 clubs and 532 Districts all over the world, working together from around the globe both digitally and in-person to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

  “Our commitment to service is on-going.  We began the fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunise six million children in the Philippines.  Today, polio remains in only three countries namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria and we are close to eradicate polio in Nigeria,” he said. 

  He added that Rotary International is also committed to other areas that include promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.  

  According to the President, Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, Ramesh Biswal, the club expects no fewer than 110 blood donors to commemorate the 110 anniversary of Rotary International.

  At the occasion were past District Governors, including Dr. Kamoru Omotosho, Gbenga Olowu as well as former Presidents of Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, namely: Naranbhai Patel, Dr. Alex Thomopulos, Mukesh Bhatt and Suman Ramesh.

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