Our Founder

Born in Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.A on 19 April 1868 pal was the second of six children to George N.Harris and Cornelia Bryan Harris. At age three he moved to Wallingford. Vermont where he grew up in the care of his paternal grandparents. Married to jean Thomson harris (1881-1963), they had no children. He recieved an honorary L.L.B from the University of Vermont.

Paul Harris worked as a newspaper reporter, a business teacher, stock company actor,cowboy, and travelled extensively in the U.S.A and Europe selling marble and granite. In 1886, he went to Chicago to practice law. One evening paul went with a professional friend to his suburban home. After dineer, as they strolled through the neighbourhood, Paul’s friend introduced him to various tradesmen in their stores. This reminded Paul of his Hew England village and it occured to him “why not have a fellowship composed of businessmen from different occupations, without restrictions of politics or religions? On 23 February, 1905 Paul Harris formed the first club with three other businessmen: Silverster Schiele, a coal merchant: Gustavus loehr, a mining engineer: and Hiram shorey, a merchant tailor. Paul Harris named the new club “Rotary” because members met in rotaran at their various places of business. Club membership grew rapidly. Many members were from small towns and in the Rotary club they found an opportunity for camaraderie. When Pau Harris became president of the club in its third year, he was convinced that the Rotary club could be developed into an important service movement and strove and extends Rotary to other cities.

The second Rotary club was founded in San Francisco in 1980. In August, 1910, when there were 16 clubs, the National Association of Rotary Clubs was organized. When clubs were formed in canda and Great Britain, the name was changed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912. Paul Harris was the first president of the National Association and the international Association.

When president emeritus Paul Harris passed away on 27 January 1947, his dream had grown from an informal meeting of four to some 6000 clubs brought together through the service and fellowship of Rotary. Today there are more than 30000 clubs in 174 countries and geographical regions Worldwide; Rotarians lend their time, expertise and resources to a number of vocational programs, and community and international service projects. Today, The Rotary Foundation scholarships program is the world’s largest privately-funded programs is the largest privately International Scholarship Program. RI has raised US$ 462 million to purchase vaccine for all the world’s children and hopes to work towards a polio-free world in the near future. Paul was also prominent in other civic and professional work. He saved as the first Chairman of the Board of the National Easter Seal Society of Crippled Children and Adults in the U.S.A and of the International Society for crippled children. He was a member of the boards of managers of the Chicago Bar Association and its representative at the international Congress of Law at the Hague, and a committee member of the America for distinguished service to youth and was decorated by the Governments of Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France and peru.

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