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Seattle Leads to Thoughts of Service

Rotary Secretary and Rotarian magazine Editor/Publisher Ches Perry, in the October 1913 issue of The Rotarian, devoted the cover story and much of the inside content to club number four, the Rotary Club of Seattle. Within, there are 5 articles on Seattle:  "Seattle Leads to Thoughts of Service"; "Seattle, The City Of Achievement"; "Seattle, The Seaport Of Success"; "Seattle, A Mecca For Tourists"; and "A Triple Standard that must be Abolished - An Address by Joseph Jacobs read at the Seattle Rotary Club".

 

The following article, written by Ches Perry, appeared on page 5 of that issue.

 

Doug Rudman

 

In this "Seattle number" of our magazine, the Rotary Club of Seattle has given us something a little different from any other issue. The Rotarian Seattlites have told their story in photographs instead of words. Something original was to be expected from the Seattlites. When Rotary first struck Seattle, Denny and Skeel and others embraced the idea as a good one but soon they and Pinkham and Shorrock and other philosophers began to study the whys and wherefores of this new sort of club. When the Portland convention was called to order, these Seattlites had a platform for Rotary and it was adopted and it is the platform of Rotary today. In this platform was emphasized the education and development of Rotarians through study of lines other than each one's own, the establishment of ethical standards in the conduct of business and the recognition of the equal worthiness of all legitimate occupations.

 

“When to this platform was added the influence if that remarkable "credo" from Arthur Frederick Sheldon with its motif "he profits most who serves best," Rotary had a raison d'etre with which to challenge the admiration of the world.

 

“Service is the watchword of Rotary today and forever more. In service is truth, for how can one serve well if not truly. In service is efficiency, for how may one expect his service to be of value unless it be efficient. And when one feels the impulse of service, how great and how numerous are the opportunities. For countless ages, men seem to have thought they had to have some special commission  in order to be able to do something worth while-some office, some rank, that they had to be anointed as of the priesthood before any opportunity for service was open to them.

 

“The chronicles of yesterday and of today have some glorious exceptions. Surely Michelangelo never painted that he might receive a gold or bronze medal. Luther Burbank does not produce a thornless cactus that men should tell him what a great man he is. Captain Scott would have sought the pole if there had not been a newspaper or magazine in the world to publish his picture. These men have served for the joy of doing something worth while. The true reward of Service in not in honors, not in office-holding but in the consciousness of work well done-work which your fellow-men would call well-done-if they knew of it. It is not necessary that they always should know of it. They have a legion of honor among the policemen in New Your. The numbers of the legion are policemen who have saved lives or done other heroic deeds for which they are given decorations. One of their number is president of the legion. A reporter asked him to tell what he did that gave him his decoration. This he quietly but firmly refused to do. It was his secret, one not to be cheapened by publication-at least until the books of the recording angel are opened.

 

“In Rotary there are opportunities to serve one's local club or some other club or the Association in general. Shall anyone hesitate to serve because he has not an official position? He will not if he has caught the true message of Rotarianism. Shall any one holding an office neglect his opportunities for service? He will not if he is a true Rotarian. Shall any one strive for an office or campaign for it or trade for it? He will not if he wishes to keep Rotary unique and different from all other organizations.

 

“There is no greater service to be rendered to Rotary than for all Rotarians to stand together on the platform that officers of the local clubs and of the Association shall be chosen according to the method by which each club now selects its members-that of picking the best man in his line. This means that those worthy impulses of admiration of and loyalty to a personal friend must be wisely held in restraint at times. It is so when the club selects its members.

 

“And this plea is written in all sincerity with absolutely no reference to anything that has happened. It is a plea for the future. Rotary is unique, different from every other kind of organization. It we will, we can make it more so.”

 
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