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Chartered 1923

Somerville Rotary is part of a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 31,000 Rotary clubs located in 166 countries. The world's first service organization, Rotary International has a long history of helping those in need. Somerville Rotary provides support to projects that benefit the community through financial support and through club volunteer projects.

The main objective of Rotary is service - in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.

Membership: Somerville Rotarians are part of a diverse group of professionals who work or live in the area. We address various community service needs. To learn more about our organization, contact us, or stop by for lunch. You can read about our membership requirements to learn more about the advantages and service opportunities.

As a Rotarian, you are invited to visit other clubs in the area. For a list of locations and meetings times, click here.


The original Rotary Club was started in the city of Chicago on the twenty third of February, 1905, by a lawyer, Mr. Paul P. Harris, who found himself a stranger in a large city. Mr. Harris decided to found a club wherein the members might not only become acquainted with one another, but also devise means of making themselves proficient of thoughtfulness of, and helpfulness to each other.

Mr. Harris surrounded himself, at that time, with professionals, each one engaged in a different form of service to the public. This basis of membership still exists in Rotary.

The members of the new club at first did not meet at luncheon, but met in rotation at the offices or places of business of the various members. This method of meeting suggested the name Rotary Club.

Today, Rotary is a word that stands for better business practices and loftier ideals in business and professional intercourse, for service to one’s city, state or province, and nation, and to society in general; and for the development of international understanding and peace.

A little more than three years after the organization of the first Rotary Club in Chicago, the second Rotary Club came into existence in San Francisco, and very shortly after the organization of the second club, other clubs came into existence, first on the Pacific coast, and then in New York, Boston, and other cities in the United States, and then in Canada, England, Ireland, and many other countries.

In 1910, the association of Rotary clubs now known as Rotary International was formed. Since then, the annual convention of the associated clubs has been held in countries all over the world.