Rotary Club of Calgary

Avenues of Service

Based on the Object of Rotary, the Avenues of Service are Rotary’s philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:

- Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.

- Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.

- Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.

- International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.

The Four-Way Test
The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

1.  Is it the TRUTH?
2.  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4.  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Diversity and Rotary
Rotary International recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs. Rotary encourages clubs to assess those in their communities who are eligible for membership, under existing membership guidelines, and to endeavor to include the appropriate range of individuals in their clubs. A club that reflects its community with regard to professional and business classification, gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.


Moving toward the future
In 2001-02, Rotary International began developing a strategic plan to guide the organization as it entered its second century of service. In June 2007, the Board of Directors approved the RI Strategic Plan 2007-10, which identifies seven priorities:

1)  Eradicate polio.

2)  Advance the internal and external recognition and public image of Rotary.

3)  Increase Rotary’s capacity to provide service to others.

4)  Expand membership globally in both numbers and quality.

5)  Emphasize Rotary’s unique vocational service commitment.

6)  Optimize the use and development of leadership talents within RI.

7)  Fully implement the strategic planning process to ensure continuity and consistency throughout the organization.




The Rotary Club of Calgary

Suite 300, 1202 Centre Street S

Calgary AB T2G 5A5

Telephone:  403 398 9969

Fax: 403 264 2393




The Rotary Club of Calgary is an organization of business, professional, and community leaders who come together through commitment and fellowship to create opportunities and a better future for generations who follow.



 It is our mission to embrace the ideals of Rotary International , contributing to a better Calgary and a better world through significant service while providing extraordinary opportunities for networking, fellowship, friendship and personal growth.



Which is "an organization of business, professional and community leaders, united world wide,providing humanitarian service to others, helping build good will and peace in the World".





This prediction of the future was included in a supportive letter to Bill Ardern in 1913 from Bill Pease, who was then the President of the Rotary Club of Toronto. Not long thereafter in 1914 some sixty prominent Calgary citizens were brought together to become the seventh chartered Rotary Club in Canada, just nine short years after the creation of Rotary itself; one hundred years ago in 1905.


At the organization meeting held in the Elizabethan Room in the Hudson's Bay store, Jim Ryan became the first President of the Rotary Club of Calgary and Doug Howland the first Secretary-Treasurer. Many of the other charter members went on to play prominent roles in the development of the Club and the town of Calgary.


As predicted, Rotary has made a significant contribution to making Calgary a real town. It recognized the need to help the young boys whose fathers had gone off to war by creating the Boys Club. Picnics were held for soldiers' families and hospital services were set up to care for the returning wounded. To help the battle weary, shipments of food and clothing were sent overseas. The battle cry of Rotary, "Service Above Self" has been evident in the years of community service undertaken by the Club. Through Rotary's urging, many early community organizations combined their fund raising "Tag Days" into one major fund raising effort and called it the "Community Chest" which still supports the principle under the name United Way. Rotary itself gave up tag days and created many other ways to finance projects while enjoying community fellowship. One of the earliest fellowship activities has been the barbeques during Stampede and the summer period, which over the years has grown to a major annual community function and fund raiser. In 2009 over $200,000 was raised providing food and entertainment at two major BBQ's at Fort Calgary.


Currently The Rotary Club of Calgary provides countless volunteer hours and over a million dollars a year to its local and international service programs. At present the club's major local program is The Rotary / Flames Gift to the Community - a ten million dollar community investment over the next 5 years! This partnership is building the Rotary / Flames House, the first pediatric hospice in Alberta, scheduled to open in the Fall of 2009, and the Rotary / Flames Park at the new Ronald McDonald House adjacent to the Alberta Children's Hospital. This Rotary Flames partnership, which includes the Calgary South Rotary Club, is also supporting the Reach! initiative which includes Project NeuroArm, the world's first image-guided surgical robot, and numerous other innovative medical initiatives like the world class Southern Alberta Urology Centre.

Internationally the club is currently completing three Signature Legacy Water projects providing clean water, health education and in country training for sustainable and self expanding clean water programs in Cambodia, Indonesia and Uganda with its partner CAWST - The Calgary based Centre for Affordable Water & Sanitation Technology. The club is busy preparing even bigger clean water programs for coming years.


In addition every year the club provides numerous other programs for children, seniors and the disadvantaged in Calgary and impoverished countries internationally.


Years ago under the Chairmanship of Club member, Hayden Smith, Rotarians and others were instrumental in expanding the base of the Calgary Foundation by creating a million dollar dinner that launched the Foundation into prominence and its position as a strong community advantage. Just a few of the other programs of The Rotary Club of Calgary have been a swimming pool at The Children's Hospital, clean water and ambulances overseas, Stay In School, parks, eyesight saving programs, needy educational facilities, and a commitment to various youth and Group Study exchange programs that will assure the presence of future leaders in many centers around the world, have all been programs of the Rotary Club. The Rotary Club of Calgary has given especially strong support to Rotary's world wide Polio Plus eradication program. To assure continued support for many projects, the Club along with other Calgary Rotary clubs, established the multiple Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation; a trust to which the member Clubs contribute and in turn receive investment income for their on going projects.


Rotarians established a formal presence in the development of the city itself. Rotarian Gordon Townsend is synonymous with the Children's Hospital. Four Rotarian members have served as Mayor of the City and others as Aldermen. The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede has had many Presidents from Rotary and many volunteers. Dr. George Kerby, the founder and head of Mount Royal College with his colleagues from the Institute of Technology and a strong representation from The University of Calgary and the Faculty of Medicine have developed health and educational opportunity for all.


Past R.I. Vice President Curly Galbraith, affectionately known as "Mr. Rotary", and other Club members have served on the Board of Directors or as Officers of Rotary International, including Bill Gant, Jeffrey Lydiatt, Glen Peacock, and the dynamic Jim Davidson and Doug Howland R.I. Ambassadors spreading the principles of fellowship and service throughout much of the world. The Club members have not been the only ones contributing to the community's well-being. The men and women partners of members have been strong supporters of every project especially at the BBQ's, and, the Rotary Shows that have been an integral part of the Club since the first Minstrel show at the Grande Theatre in 1919. In addition to the dedicated work of the Executive Secretaries down through the years, the participation of the member's partners helped make the 1996 International Convention a moment in Rotary history that will long be remembered.


One of the most significant partnerships of long standing that has benefited both partners, the community, and history, has been the relationship between The Rotary Club of Calgary and the Palliser Hotel. With the exception of the first few Club organizational meetings in 1913 and 1914 held in Cronn's Restaurant and the Elizabethan Room of the Hudson's Bay Store, the Club chose the prestigious Palliser Hotel for its regular Tuesday noon luncheon meetings and has continued to meet in the Palliser Hotel, now the Fairmont Palliser. Through Rotary International's "Official Directory" the world has learned that the Palliser is where Rotary meets and where to stay when visiting Calgary. In return the Club has been provided outstanding serving staff, understanding scheduling cooperation, office space and above all, formal table service.


Throughout the years many individual members and partners have earned special mention for living by the decree of "SERVICE ABOVE SELF"; the prime Object of Rotary. Over 90 years the names of all those members and partners have become far too long to include in one short document. Instead, think of the past and view the present to know who they are.