Posted by Vince Lynch, Brenda Snider and Nadine Langlois on Nov 25, 2019
A little history about Paul Harris.  He was born 1868 in Wisconsin, but when his parents fell on hard times, he was shipped off to Vermont, where his grandparents, Howard and Pamela Harris, raised him.   Paul was not a model child, in fact he was classified as a “Prankster” at his secondary school, so much so that his behaviour got him expelled from the University of Vermont in 1886. He then attended Princeton University for one year, but dropped out on the death of his grandfather in 1888.  He worked in a law firm in Des Moines, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law in 1891 and 5 years later he moved to Chicago where he set up his own law firm.  In 1905, he along with business associates Silvester Schiele, Gustavis Loehr and Hiram Shorey established what is known as the first Rotary Club, formed on the basis of fellowship and friendship. The membership grew and in 1907 they initiated their first public service project which was the installation of public toilets in the City of Chicago. By 1910, there were 15 Rotary Clubs across the U.S. and they were engaged in many public service projects.  That same year of 1910 Paul Harris married Jean Thompson who supported him in his business and especially in his Rotary activities. They did not have any children.
The Paul Harris Fellow Recognition acknowledges individuals who have contributed, or have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 U.S. to the Rotary Foundation. Rotary established the PHF recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share Rotary’s vision of a better world.
Recognition levels are given for each $1,000 U.S. given to the Rotary Foundation, on behalf of an individual. Credits to an individual can be achieved through a personal contribution to the foundation or through a contribution to the Foundation, on behalf of the individual, from a Rotary Club, District or another individual. There are ten levels of recognition as follows:
  • $1k             PHF              Original PH pin
  • $2K             PHF+1          One sapphire
  • $3K             PHF+2          Two Sapphires
  • $4K             PHF+3          Three Sapphires
  • $5K             PHF+4          Four Sapphires
  • $6K             PHF+5          Five Sapphires
  • $7K             PHF+6          One Ruby
  • $8K             PHF+7          Two Rubies
  • $9K             PHF+8          Three Rubies
  • $10K          Major Donor Pin     
The Rotary Club of Belleville has 58 active members with Paul Harris Fellow pins - 18 PHF, 19 PHF+1, 12 PHF+2, 5 PHF+3, 1 PHF+4, 2 PHF+6 and 1 Major Donor.
Rosters for our club were first published in the 1960’s.  Along with pictures and personal information, those members having a Paul Harris Pin were recognized.The Roster format shows the total number of pins awarded as it seemed to more clearly identify things:
  • Rotary International data base “PHF+2”
  • Roster format “Paul Harris -3”
Over the years discrepancies in numbers have crept in. In September, we identified over 40 discrepancies in the Rotary International, Club Runner and Roster Paul Harris numbers. We are currently in the process of reconciling the data bases with the expectation that the 2020 Roster will be in synch with the RI data base, and presented in the same format. Members with discrepancies will be contacted and corrections made to the data bases. When Paul Harris numbers are reconciled, pins will be presented to members as required. Our club will continue to provide Paul Harris recognition to members who have completed 10 years of active service in our club.
Club members are encouraged to contribute to the Rotary Foundation. Rotary International encourages participation with “Every Rotarian, Every Year”. This program promotes members to contribute $100 to Rotary Foundation every year. An easy way to do this, is through your membership fees. Your contribution will receive a tax receipt from Rotary International and your contribution will accumulate toward a Paul Harris recognition when you have reached $1,000 US.