During the early part of the 20th Century, Portadown became a major railway junction between Dublin and Belfast with other lines extending to Enniskillen and even to Strabane and Donegal. With the advent of the railway, business and trade boomed and manufacturers and businesses started springing up as a result of this including the Linen industry and weaving factories.
It was also in this hustle and bustle that a number of business men decided to gather together and join the growing Rotary International Club. The club was set up only thirty-one years after the great Chicago Lawyer, Paul P. Harris started the first rotary club in 1905. The Portadown branch of the Rotary Club joined the other Rotary clubs in Ireland and became the sixth club in the District. Portadown Rotary has the honour of having four of its members hold the top posts in the district since its beginning. Two district governors and two chairmen have been elected out of the Portadown Rotary Club.
Rotary is an organization which works for the benefit of the community and asks no favours in return. It is a selfless organization!
From its humble beginnings, Rotary has grown to become a worldwide organization. Similarly, Portadown has also grown and has accomplished much since 1936. What started out as a small Club, has now grown into a pillar of the community establishing much of what its great founder sought back in 1905.
Rotary Club Today:
Portadown Rotary Club takes its strength from the four step code that Rotarians have adopted as their code of ethics. This code was created by an enterprising and successful Rotarian and business man Herbert J. Taylor in 1932. In twenty-four words he summed up the aim of Rotary:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?