In some areas of the world weekly Rotary club meetings begin with all members standing and reciting the Object of Rotary. This statement, which comes from the Constitution of Rotary, is frequently seen on a wall plaque in Rotarians' offices or places of business.
The Object of Rotary is "to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise." The statement then lists four areas by which this "ideal of service" is fostered: through the development of acquaintance as the opportunity for service; the promotion of high ethical standards in business and professions; through service in one's personal, business and community life; and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.
The Object of Rotary has not always been expressed in this manner. The original Constitution of 1906 had three objects: promotion of business interests, promotion of good fellowship and the advancement of the best interests of the community. By 1910 Rotary had five Objects, as increased emphasis was given to expanding Rotary. By 1915 there were six Objects. In 1918 the Objects were rewritten again and reduced to four. Four
years later they had again grown to six and were revised again in 1927.
Finally, at the 1935 Mexico City Convention the six Objects were restated and reduced to four. The last major change came in 1951 when the Objects were streamlined and changed to a single Object, which has four parts. The "ideal of service" is the key phrase in the Object of Rotary. This ideal is an attitude of being a thoughtful and helpful person in all of one's endeavours. That's what the Object truly means.