National 41 Club was formed in 1945 to provide a way for members of Round Table to continue their friendships after retirement from Round Table at the then obligatory age of 40.
The full name is “The Association of Ex-Round Tablers’ Clubs” and it forms part of “The Round Table Family”.
Round Table was founded in March 1927 by Louis Marchesi. Marchesi was a young Rotarian in Norwich who became aware of the lack of opportunities for the young businessmen of the day to meet and prepare themselves for their responsibilities as senior businessmen in later years. He found himself surrounded by older men, so he started a club for younger men with a maximum age of 40 to give them the right environment to develop their professional and civic skills while assisting the local community, the nation and later the world as a whole.
Round Table was formed after being inspired by a speech by the then Prince of Wales who said “The young business and professional men of this country must get together round the table, adopt methods that have proved so sound in the past, adapt them to the changing needs of the times and, wherever possible, improve them.” Since that time Round Table has used the motto “Adopt – Adapt – Improve”.
Originally once a Round Tabler reached 40 years of age he would retire from Round Table and would then become eligible to join 41 Club. In 1998 Round Table changed their retirement age to 45.
41 Club specialises in continuing the friendships made in Round Table. The philosophy of the club is very similar to that of Round Table, but it is often less ‘active’ and in many cases clubs meet less often. The Club’s main purpose is to support Round Table and, if possible, participate in local community service initiatives or charity work. However the ‘continued friendship’ and ‘fellowship’ aspect is of great importance.