Happy New Year – A Time for Reflection

I hope your family gatherings have been precious. It’s always fun to reminisce about great celebrations of the past and the same is true with our Rotary family. We have had many great accomplishments together and I look forward to many more.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY THE ROTARY YEAR BEGINS 1 JULY

Rotary’s first fiscal year began the day after the first convention ended. The convention of the Rotary Clubs of America was held in Rotary’s birthplace, Chicago, in 1910.

Ever wonder why the Rotary year begins 1 July? The international convention initially played a key role in determining the start date of our fiscal and administrative year.

Rotary’s first fiscal year began the day after the first convention ended, on 18 August 1910. The 1911-12 fiscal year also related to the convention, beginning with the first day of the 1911 convention on 21 August.

At its August 1912 meeting, the Board of Directors ordered an audit of the International Association of Rotary Clubs’ finances. The auditors recommended that the organization end its fiscal year on 30 June to give the secretary and treasurer time to prepare a financial statement for the convention and board, and determine the proper number of club delegates to the convention.

The executive committee concurred, and at its April 1913 meeting, designated 30 June as the end of the fiscal year. This also allowed for changes to the schedule for reporting club membership and payments. Even The Rotarian changed its volume numbering system to correspond to the fiscal year (beginning with vol. 5, July 1914).

Rotary continued to hold its annual conventions in July or August until 1917. Delegates to the 1916 event in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, approved a resolution to hold future conventions in June, mainly because of the heat in cities where most of them occurred. The next one was held 17-21 June in Atlanta, Georgia.

The term “Rotary year” has been used to signify Rotary’s annual administrative period since at least 1913. An article in The Rotarian that July noted, “The Rotary year that is rapidly drawing to a close has been signalized by several highly successful joint meetings of Clubs that are so situated as to assemble together easily and conveniently.”
Since the executive committee’s decision in 1913, the end of the Rotary year has remained 30 June.

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Author: Aaron Fritz

Joined Rotary in 1999. Past President of the Highlands Ranch Rotary Club, Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, Past President of the Rotary eClub of Arizona, and current Assistant Governor for District 5490. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. 2nd Generation Rotarian.