Questions & Answers


1.  What is Rotary International?

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.  There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary's main objective is service - in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

Rotary International (RI) is administered from offices in Evanston, Illinois, close to Chicago, where Rotary was founded. Rotary clubs pay annual dues to support RI's programs.

An elected Board of Directors representing all regions of the world oversees administration, helped by a secretariat with a staff of more than 500. Every three years, a Council on Legislation, with a representative from each Rotary district, meets to consider resolutions to modify or change, the constitution and by-laws governing Rotary. At the International Convention, delegates present reports and discuss resolutions.

The Rotary world is divided into districts, each with a District Governor serving for one year.  Our Club is in District 7080 which comprises a total of 51 clubs.  Each Rotary club is autonomous, having its own constitution and by-laws within the framework of Rotary.

For more information, please go to the home page of our club website at and click on the Rotary Link for Rotary International.

2.  What is the Rotary Foundation?

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. 

The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.  It provides humanitarian grants that improve the quality of life throughout the world; sponsors educational awards to university students and teachers; and sponsors international exchanges of business and professional people. These programs are all directed towards furthering understanding and friendly relations among the world's people.  

For more information, please go to the home page of our club website at and click on the Rotary Link for Rotary Foundation.

3.  What are the obligations of a Rotarian?

A Rotary club has two main functions: to promote fellowship among its members; and to provide service to the community and to the world.

When you become a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Cambridge North, you will be expected to attend club meetings regularly, only missing a meeting when it is unavoidable.

Because the club meets weekly, members get to know one another very well, learn about other businesses and professions, and form strong and close relationships. Also, it helps to get jobs done when members can be counted on to be there. If it is necessary for you to miss a meeting, you will be encouraged to "make up" at another club. (See "What is a make-up".)

The Rotary Club of Cambridge North functions through committees, each under the umbrella of a Director and a Chair. Everyone is expected to take a share of committee work, and be available to assist in fund-raising and service projects.

Rotarians are also expected to carry the ideals of Rotary outside the club into their own fields of endeavour. You can do this by wearing your Rotary pin proudly, by displaying The Four-Way Test in your place of business and by exemplifying its principles in your everyday business dealings.

When you accept the privileges and responsibilities of being a Rotarian, you can help the club grow by encouraging colleagues and acquaintances to come to a meeting, and perhaps become Rotarians themselves.

4.  What happens at a Rotary meeting?

Every Rotary club has its own character, but there are some common elements that make Rotarians feel at home at any club worldwide.

The Rotary Club of Cambridge North meetings are built around a weekly lunch meal and lasts for about an hour and a half.  Members and guests start to gather about 15 minutes before the meeting for social talk and fellowship. We begin the meeting by singing our national anthem, toasting Rotary & Canada and saying a non-denominational invocation.

Following the meal, there is a guest speaker and time to conduct some club business - giving reports, making plans and solving problems. Members often bring guests, such as spouses, prospective members or just people who are interested in the guest speaker.

There may be Rotarians visiting from other clubs in the area, or even from around the world.  There is usually also our Exchange Student(s) attending each meeting.

The meeting is usually chaired and run by the President whose job it is to maintain an orderly, dignified and effective meeting.

Members and guests can pay "happy twoonies" for the privilege of giving good news, or bragging about achievements. It is a "fun-raising" time.

5.  What does Rotary cost?

Every Rotarian pays annual dues to Rotary International and to their Rotary Club. As well there is the cost of the weekly meals. These fees may be combined into one over all package and may be paid in full annually or in convenient, quarterly or semi annual Installments. Our club fees are indicated on the main site page entitled "About the Cambridge North Rotary Club".

Additional costs may include such things as attendance at the annual District Conference and other Rotary fun and fund raising functions and special club events. These events are optional but members and their spouses are encouraged to attend.

6.  What is a make-up?

One of the obligations of Rotary membership is regular attendance at meetings. When attendance is not possible, Rotarians are encouraged to "make-up" at another club or to complete an electronic "make-up". This make-up may be done up to 14 days before or 14 days after the missed meeting. The club secretary will give a make-up card to any visiting Rotarian and this is brought back to the home club.

As there are over 28,000 Rotary clubs in the world, including Antarctica it is usually possible to find one wherever you are. The club secretary has a directory listing these clubs with their meeting day and location. This information is also available on the Rotary Web Site at under "Where clubs meet." One of the side-benefits of making up is the pleasure of visiting other clubs, meeting local people, and seeing what other clubs do, how they raise money and how they run their meetings.  Alternatively, you can complete an electronic make-up by visiting 

7.  What do Rotarians say about Rotary Membership?

"As a Rotarian, I am constantly offered opportunities to serve locally, nationally and internationally. It is a unique experience."

"It is very rewarding to see the excitement on the face of a student chosen for International Youth Exchange, to hear the gratitude of seniors, to know that together we are making a difference in our own community and around the world."

"As I am self employed and work alone much of the time, my Rotary club gives me a professional group I can interact with. I have learned so much about my community through Rotary."

"Being a Rotarian makes me a true world-citizen."

"When I travel, I am an ambassador of my club, my district and my country and am welcomed as a brother wherever I go. I can be at home with friends anywhere worldwide at a Rotary club meeting."

"If Rotary ran the world there would be no war and no poverty."