Rotary International bills itself as an organization dedicated “to bring[ing] together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.” The service organization was founded by Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905. Though I had thought the name had something to do with the motor industry, the name came about simply because club meetings “rotated” between members’ offices before the club got larger and expanded to other cities, and meetings were held in rented offices in each city. After the organization formed clubs in Ireland and Canada, its name became the International Association of Rotary Clubs, and then to Rotary International in 1922. By the mid-2000s, Rotary International numbered over a million members in 200 countries. Rotary did not become “co-ed” until the 1980s.
The sign advertising local Rotary Club meetings can be found in the western median of Woodhaven Boulevard at Jamaica Avenue, facing north. The local club meets at Prima Pasta & Cafe, 162-45 Cross Bay Boulevard, several miles to the south.
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