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Rotary International Information

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Annual Themes


In 1955, RI President A.Z. Baker announced a theme, "Develop Our Resources," to serve as Rotary's program of emphasis. Since that time, each president has issued a theme for his Rotary year. The shortest theme was in 1961-62 when Joseph Abey selected "Act." Other one-word themes were chosen in 1958-1959 by Charles Tennent ("Serve") and 1968 - 1969 by Kiyoshi Togasaki ("Participate").

Carl Miller, in 1963 - 1964, had a theme for the times when he proposed "Guidelines for Rotary in the Space Age." Other "timely" themes were in 1980-81 when Rolf Klärich created "Take Time to Serve" and William

Carter in 1973 - 1974 used "Time for Action." Two themes have a similarity to commercial advertising: "A Better World Through Rotary" (Richard Evans, 1966 - 67) and "Reach Out" (Clem Renouf, 1978 - 1979). Bridges have been a striking metaphor. Harold Thomas, 1959 - 60, urged Rotarians to "Build Bridges of Friendship"; William Walk, 1970 - 71, created "Bridge the Gap"; and Hiroji Mukasa, 1982 - 1983, declared "Mankind is One-Build Bridges of Friendship Throughout the World."

A worldwide focus was given by Stan McCaffrey in 1981 - 1982 with the message, "World Understanding and Peace Through Rotary," and again in 1984-85 by Carlos Canseco who urged Rotarians to "Discover a New World of Service." In other years, the individual was emphasized, as "You Are Rotary" (Edd McLaughlin, 1960 - 61), "Goodwill Begins With You" (Ernst Breitholtz, 1971 - 1972) and "You Are the Key" (Ed Cadman, 1985 - 1986).

Frequently the theme urges Rotarians to become more involved in their club, such as "Share Rotary-Serve People" (Bill Skelton, 1983 - 84) or "Make Your Rotary Membership Effective" (Luther Hodges, 1967 - 1968). But whether you "Review and Renew," "Take a New Look," "Let Service Light the Way" or "Dignify the Human Being," it is clear that the RI president provides Rotarians with an important annual program of emphasis. In 1986-87, President M.A.T. Caparas selected the inspiring message that "Rotary Brings Hope."

Charles Keller in 1987 - 1988 saw "Rotarians-United in Service, Dedicated to Peace," while Royce Abbey asked his fellow members in 1988 - 1989 to "Put Life into Rotary-Your Life." Hugh Archer (1989 - 1990) urged us to "Enjoy Rotary!" and Paulo Costa (1990 - 1991) asked that we "Honor Rotary with Faith and Enthusiasm." My predecessor Raja Saboo (1991 - 1992) exhorted every Rotarian to "Look Beyond Yourself." In 1992 - 1993, I reminded Rotarians, "Real Happiness Is Helping Others," and in 1993 - 1994, Bob Barth counseled Rotarians, "Believe In What You Do and Do What You Believe In." In 1994 - 1995, Bill Huntley encouraged Rotarians to "Be A Friend" to their communities.

See List of Historical Rotary Theme's
View This Year's Theme

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