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Southport Rotary Club
Years of
Early History

Rotary Ethics

What it means to be a Rotarian


The first Rotary Code of Ethics was adopted at the sixth Rotary annual Convention in San Francisco, in July 1915, and evolved through a number of revisions until, finally, in 1943, the code was supplemented by a simple self-assessment: the ‘Four Way Test’ against which Rotarians may judge their actions or intentions.


By 1980, it was considered that, as Rotary has no national, religious, or political affiliations, a rigid framework was inappropriate. The Four Way Test relies on the integrity and good intentions of the Rotarian concerned - but as Service Above Self is the motivation behind every Rotarian it is the minimum expected!

The Four Way Test

Do Our Actions Meet The Test?


1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?


Seems easy? Consider your actions for a day, and see how many achieve the ideal and how many fall short. For most of us, the old school report cliché is true ‘could do better.’

Not to worry, there is always tomorrow to try harder!

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