The Acorn and Oak of Rotary

Posted in: Club Newsletter, Featured, In The News, Reflections Articles

The Acorn and Oak of Rotary
Jim Priest 

As Autumn arrives we look amazed at the trees and the change in Fall foliage.  Among those trees are oaks, each of which started as a tiny acorn.

Season, after season,
the growing tree stands tall.
A brand new life, from an acorn grew,
that mighty oak won’t fall.


The same is true of Rotary.  The tiny acorn of Rotary’s first 1905 meeting in Chicago has grown into a grand tree with branches reaching across the world.  Our Rotary International website tells us:

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

From that acorn grew a  global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers. Rotarians believe we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. Our 46,000+ clubs work together to:

  • Promote peace
  • Fight disease
  • Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Save mothers and children
  • Support education
  • Grow local economies
  • Protect the environment

I was not aware, until recently, we can take a virtual tour of the Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois simply by clicking on this link.

By the wonder of technology you and I can be transported to a building containing a wealth of Rotary information and inspiration.  We can view a recreation of the office where the first Rotary gathering occurred.  We can meet Paul Harris in statue and photographic form and see what Paul’s tiny acorn has grown into across the world.  Paul’s acorn is now a tree of united action solving persistent problems.  It’s well worth the virtual visit and I’m sure even more impressive in person.

 Our Mission, both internationally and locally, is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Our Vision, as Rotarians, is to see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

 This Fall, as you watch the leaves around us change, look for the oaks and let them remind you we are part of a growing tree started as a tiny acorn.  And never discount what your small actions—acorns– in our Rotary might accomplish


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