Finnish Rotarians

Finnish Rotarians – a profile

The average age among Rotarians in Finland is similar to that of Rotary in other countries (60,2 yrs). Most members are in their senior years and have deep roots in the Finnish establishment. Approaching local decision makers and bodies is usually well facilitated by local rotary clubs, themselves well representative of local decision-making structures. Finnish Rotarians are open minded, always ready to  share their opinions and insights with visiting guests. Like Finns in general Rotarians are genuine people who believe in the power of a handshake and a promise.

Women play an increasingly important role in their capacity as respected professionals and members of rotary clubs in Finland and have done so for many years. There are still clubs in Finland that believe their function to be “ Gentlemen´s Clubs” only and true to the individualistic traditions of the country they are allowed to stay that way. This does not prevent them from greeting visiting female Rotarians with cordiality and respect.


Classifications and celebrities

Classifications in Finnish clubs have the same broad range as in rotary clubs everywhere. You will find engineers, architects, lawyers, business leaders, doctors, military personalities, politicians and civil servants in most every club.

Rotary in Finland has counted many celebrities in its ranks. Field Marshal Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, Presidents Pehr Evind Svinhufvud and Risto Ryti and composer Jean Sibelius were all associated in their time with the Helsinki RC. In 1980-81 Rolf Klärich served as President of Rotary International, the first Finn in that capacity. Seven Finns have served on the Board of Rotary International. President Mauno Koivisto was a member of Kallio RC in Helsinki.

From 1926 to eRotary

Bridging the span from 1926 to 2004 and typical of the high-tech orientation of Finland a cyber club was chartered in Helsinki June 22, 2004. This club is part of the Rotary International pilot project established to search the opportunities available through Rotary action and Clubs on the Web. The Finnish club, eVerkkoklubi, is the first cyber club in Europe, and one of the pioneers now accessible on the information highway.

A special relationship

Rotarians in the Nordic region have a special relationship. Due to the similar structure of their Nordic welfare societies and the commonly shared beliefs in fundamental issues such as legislation, morality, democracy and equality Nordic clubs have found it easy to cooperate and exchange views and programs. The joint Nordic rotary magazine, Rotary Norden, serves Nordic Rotarians since 1936 and is being home delivered to all 70,000 Rotarians in the Nordic countries to the enjoyment of Rotarians as well as their families. 

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                  Scandinavia, and Finland, is a Nordic Rotary stronghold