Rotary Club of Lilongwe observes 111th anniversary

Rotary Club of Lilongwe (RCL) on Tuesday joined Rotary clubs across the globe in commemorating the 111th anniversary of Rotary International, whose history dates back to February 23, 1905 when the first Rotary club meeting was held in Chicago.

Kapenda, Lungu cut an anniversary cake.
Kapenda, Lungu cut an anniversary cake.
The Rotarians conduct a toss for Rotary International
The Rotarians conduct a toss for Rotary International

According to, American lawyer Paul Harris mooted the idea of Rotary in 1905, when he wanted to create a professional grouping with the same friendly spirit he felt in the small towns where grew up.

On February 23, 1905, Harris and his three colleagues- Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey reportedly gathered at Loeher’s office. This was the first Rotary Club meeting.

The new club was called Rotary after the practice of rotating meeting locations.

Within five years, Rotary clubs had been formed across America resulting in the formation of National Association of Rotary Clubs. Other countries embraced the idea and the name was changed to International Association of Rotary Clubs, which later became Rotary International in 1922.

Currently, Rotary is one of the largest service organisations with over 30,000 clubs in over 160 countries.

In commemorating the 111th anniversary, RCL members gathered at Bingu International Conference Centre to reflect on the activities of the club and map the way forward.

Club president Chris Kapenda, thanked the Rotarians for their dedication to mankind, which has seen the club fulfilling a number of humanitarian projects.

“Since RCL was chartered in 1970, we have undertaken projects such as tree planting, drilling of bore holes, holding medical camps, career talks for students, donation of desks to schools, building school blocks, feeding orphans and many other projects aimed at alleviating the plight of the less privileged members of society.

“As we are celebrating the 111th anniversary and the success story of Rotary, we are inviting more members to join the grouping so that we serve more people,” said Kapinda.

Governor of Rotary District 9210, which covers Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and part of Mozambique Rotarian Dean Lungu commended RCL for taking a leading role in the activities of Rotary in the District.

RCL is the largest Rotary Club by membership in District 9210. The club, which gave birth to Bwaila Rotary Club is in the process of chartering another new club, Rotary Club of Kanengo, which will carter for members within the Kanengo industrial area.

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