Mr. Speaker, 2005 marks 100 years since a lawyer named Paul Harris and a small group of businessmen got together and started an organization that has become known as Rotary International. From that humble beginning, Rotary has grown into a service organization with 1.2 million members.
Rotary is the world's largest privately funded source of international scholarships, exchange programs and humanitarian grants.
Rotary's international project to eradicate polio by funding the immunization of every child in the world has resulted in the reduction of the incidence of polio by 99% and approaches total eradication.
Rotarians are also very active in their local communities and any community fortunate enough to have a Rotary Club has become the beneficiary of that Rotarian commitment of service to its communities. In my riding we are fortunate enough to have 11 active Rotary Clubs that provide their services, both locally and internationally.
I am sure all hon. members will join with me in thanking Rotarians for their great contributions and congratulate them on reaching this major milestone of 100 years of service above self.