The Object of Rotary can be considered the foundation stone on which the Rotary house is built. This brief statement, 106 words in its current form, is a key element of the Rotary International Constitution. It states the essential purpose of the organization -- "to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise" -- and then lists four areas by which this "ideal of service" can be fostered. They are: through the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; the promotion of high ethical standards in business and professions; through service in one's personal, business and community life; and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace. This articulation of Rotary ideals began with the first constitution of 1906 which had three objects: promotion of business interests, promotion of good fellowship and the advancement of the best interests of the community. By 1910 there were five objects in the statement and by 1915, six. The document went through several further revisions until a final revision in 1951 which made it a single "Object" which is manifested in four separate ways. The "ideal of service" is the key phrase, expressing an attitude of being a thoughtful and helpful person in all of one's endeavors.
Following is the complete text of the Object: The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
First. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
Second. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
Third. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
Fourth. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
This information was taken from the Rotary International Page. All Rights Reserved.