RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

If you asked a Rotarian if he or she belonged to Rotary International, the individual probably would look puzzled and answer, "Of course I'm a member of Rotary International." But in this instance, the confident Rotarian would be technically wrong. No Rotarian can be a member of Rotary International!

 

The explanation of this apparent contradiction is simple. The constitutional documents of RI state that membership in Rotary International is limited to Rotary clubs. Over 27,000 Rotary clubs belong to the organization we call Rotary International.

A Rotary club is composed of persons with the appropriate qualifications of good character and reputation, a business or professional classification and who serve in an executive or managerial capacity. The Rotarian belongs to a club-the club belongs to Rotary International. This technical distinction is not obvious or even known to most Rotarians and seldom does it create any problems or complications. It does explain, however, why the Rotary International Board of Directors places expectations upon and extends privileges to Rotary clubs, rather than to individual Rotarians.

If someone asks if you belong to Rotary International, your most accurate answer would be, "No, I belong to a Rotary club." But I doubt if anyone would understand the difference, or, in fact, would really care.


 
 
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