Quotes of Past Presidents

The following quotes reflect the diversity of presidents who have led Rotary International and its Foundation since the organization’s beginning in 1905. Taken from Rotary resources, the quotes are a selective sampling and by no means exhaustive.

“Man has affinity for his fellowman, regardless of race, creed, or politics, and the greater the variety, the more the zest. All friendliness needs is a sporting chance; it will take care of itself in any company.”

— A Road I Have Travelled, THE ROTARIAN, February 1934

“Friendship is a natural and willing servant....There is no reason...why the great power of friendship should not be harnessed to do its part in the world’s work.”

— Report of the President, 1912 Rotary Convention, Duluth, Minnesota, USA

“The best antidote for international fear is international understanding; the best way to cultivate international understanding is through business and social intercourse.”

— Message to 1928 Pacific Rotary Conference, Tokyo, Japan


“It is easier to interest men in war than in peace; it therefore requires more moral courage to talk peace than war.”

— Rotary Just at the Threshold, THE ROTARIAN, February 1917

“Friendship was the foundation rock on which Rotary was built and tolerance is

the element which holds it together.”

My Road to Rotary

“Is everything all right in Rotary? If so, God pity us. We are coming to the end of our day.”

—The Best Is Yet to Be, THE ROTARIAN, February 1945

“If this Rotary of ours is destined to be more than a mere passing thing, it will be because you and I have learned the importance of bearing with each other’s infirmities, the value of toleration.”

— Rational Rotarianism, The National Rotarian, January 1911 

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