09/01/04 — Rotary rings in 100 years

View Archive

Rotary rings in 100 years

By Don McLoud
Published in News on September 1, 2004 1:57 PM

One of several gold bells making their way around the world came to Goldsboro on Tuesday.

The bell signifies the ringing in of Rotary International's 100th year of service.

One of the bells is currently on a tour of eastern North Carolina and was brought to the Goldsboro Rotary Club meeting. The Goldsboro club is one of the oldest Rotary clubs in the district and is the oldest in Wayne County.

The bell was presented by Bill Rogister, district governor. Rogister was accompanied by Richard Hunt, assistant district governor and member of the Three Eagles Rotary Club in Goldsboro.

Rogister called on the Goldsboro club members to continue to build on Rotary's "firm foundation for the next 100 years."

Rogister noted that Rotary International has 30,000 clubs, 1.2 million members and is in 165 countries.

"What a wonderful system that we have to put our motto -- Service above Self -- into action," he said.

He also pointed to the organization's providing 34,000 scholarships for students to study in foreign countries, and 43,000 young professionals have benefited from its group-study exchange program.

He then presented a certificate to John Peacock, Goldsboro club president, signifying that the centennial bell had come to the club.

During the meeting, the club's longest-serving members -- those with over 30 years of service -- were called up to ring the bell. Bill Griffin, the club's longest-serving member, with 50 years of service, was the first to strike the bell with the gavel.

This bell and four others are going to clubs in every Rotary country to symbolize the organization's international reach. The bells' travels began in June 2003 in Australia.

The journeys will end in Chicago in June 2005, when they ring in the start of the centennial Rotary International Convention. The world's first service club was the Rotary Club of Chicago.

The club was formed Feb. 23, 1905, by lawyer Paul P. Harris and three friends of different vocations -- merchant, coal dealer and mining engineer. The mission quickly became service -- in the community, in the workplace and around the world -- and the organization grew to its current 1.2 million members.