Passing the Bell
Jun 28, 2021 6:00 PM
Demotion Dinner, No Lunch Meeting
Passing the Bell

Tonight, the Bell is Handed Over to President-Elect, Jan LeRoy - Handle end first!

The History of the Rotary Bell begins in 1922 when the U.S. Rotarians organized an attendance contest.  The challenge was that the losing clubs would join in giving the winning club a prize.  The Rotary Club of New York City was declared the winner and was awarded a bell from a popular patrol boat, which was placed on wood that came from the HMS Victory.  Admiral Nelson's vessel at the battle of Trafalgar.
Since then, as on the ships, the bell used in Rotary meetings started to represent order, discipline and the time to guide us through the weekly hour and a half meeting. With its sound, the bell rang at the  beginning of the Rotary meeting, at which time people should stand in order to salute the US Flag and the Rotary flag. The bell was sounded once again at the end to adjourn the meeting. 
The gavel symbolizes the authority invested in the Rotarian elected to the highest position in Rotary, and through him/her, reminds those present of his/her authority. When presidents transmit their positions to their successors at the end of their mandate, they give the bell their last hit, turning the gavel over to their successors, symbolizing the transfer of authority.