Round Table (club)

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Round Table
Formation14 March 1927
  • United Kingdom
PublicationTabler Magazine

Round Table Great Britain and Ireland (RTBI) is non-political and non-religious organisation for young men founded in Norwich, England, in 1927 by Louis Marchesi. Round Table members believe in bringing about change and excellence in themselves and their local communities and comprise community leaders, professionals and driven individuals. The Round Table members are known as Tablers and are active in more than 65 countries with 30 000 members.[1]


Membership to Round Table (RTBI) is open to all men between 18 and 45. It provides its members with a selection of social and community service related opportunities.

During our meetings and other engagements, members have the opportunity to challenge, inspire and learn from each other. Round Table members share ideas openly with trust, and empower each individual to make a positive impact at home, work and in his community. We plan and organise meetings and events for ourselves and others that focus on personal development, fun & fellowship and community service.

Name and Motto[edit]

The name “Round Table” is not drawn from Arthurian Legend, as is its common misinterpretation; instead, it has taken both its title and its maxim comes from a speech made to the British Industries Fair in 1927 by the then Prince Edward, Prince of Wales:

“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.”

The motto of Round Table is Adopt, Adapt, Improve.

Adopt: Tablers adopt to any given situation and methods that have proved so sound in the past.

Adapt: Tablers adapt to any situation and tackle any problem with grace. Every Tabler is a great personality having extensive knowledge and intelligence to overcome any problem.

Improve: Improve our reach, output, and the intensity of social causes across the globe through various tables by additional sponsorships and CSR funds.

RTBI Aims and Objectives[edit]

  1. To develop the acquaintance of young men through the medium of their various occupations.
  2. To emphasise the fact that one’s calling offers an excellent medium of service to the community.
  3. To cultivate the highest ideals in business, professional and civic traditions.
  4. To recognise the worthiness of all legitimate occupations and to dignify each his own by precept and example.
  5. To further the establishment of peace and goodwill in international relationships.


The first Round Table was formed in Norwich, England, in 1927. The founder, Louis Marchesi, was a young member of Norwich Rotary Club who felt a need existed for a club where the young businessmen of the town could gather regularly. His vision was for them to exchange ideas, learn from their colleagues' experiences, and contribute to the civic life of the town.

Within a year of inception, the membership of this Round Table had grown to 85, and interest was being shown in establishing Round Tables elsewhere. From a very early stage, it was agreed that Round Table would be a non-religious, non-political club, and this has continued to this day.

A second Round Table was established in Portsmouth, and subsequent growth was rapid, with 125 Tables and a membership of 4,600 by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Round Table proved it had international appeal, with the first overseas Table formed in Copenhagen in 1936. During the war years, Round Table in Denmark continued to expand. However, in the British Isles, activity was restricted and was like a ‘holding operation’.

After 1945 the growth pattern was rapidly re-established with Tables being ‘chartered’ all over the United Kingdom and in many international locations.

Today, Round Table is an international movement with active members in most European countries and Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.


Round Table has no direct connection to the Arthurian Round Table. However, the Round Table emblem or rondel design is an adaptation of the one which hangs in the Great Hall in Winchester Castle. Although this is claimed to be the Round Table of the mythical court of King Arthur, it is, in fact, a representation that was made in the 13th century and painted in its current form on the order of Henry VIII.

Organisation and administration[edit]

Round Table is structured in a club, area, association, regional and international levels. All Tablers are members of their local clubs. Round Table is led by a national Board combining with Regional Representatives to form the ‘National Council.’ An area structure exists across the UK to support clubs locally and bring them closer together to foster cooperation and friendship.

Club level[edit]

Being a member-driven organisation, the Club is the cornerstone of Round Table. Regular meetings are held where members discuss club business and plan their subsequent social or charity activities. Clubs are led by their leadership team and can make independent decisions on projects and their membership.


Areas/Districts exist in some larger associations where a coordinating level between local and national level is needed. Area boards also organise meetings and activities to facilitate encounters and exchanges between different Tables from the same area and provide the link between the Tables and the National Board.


Round Table International is an umbrella organisation governed by board members elected at the various Annual General Meetings. The board meets regularly to establish policies and make recommendations as to the overall direction of Round Table on a global basis.

The Round Table Family[edit]

The following are members of the Round Table family of service clubs. These different organisations meet up regularly and conduct joint service or social projects.

LCI (Ladies Circle International)[edit]

Ladies Circle International is meant exclusively for women. This is a social networking community for women aged between 18 and 45. Until 1993, Ladies Circle International was only limited to the wives of the members or Tablers. The rules were later changed and the organisation was then open to any woman in the 18-45 year age group.


The Tangent Club was formed by ex-Circlers, who ended their memberships in Ladies Circle due to the age limit and wanted to continue the friendships formed.

The first Tangent Club was established in 1950 by former members of Ladies Circle in Bornemouth, Great Britain. Several other Clubs followed their lead and in 1965 the National Association of Tangent Clubs (NATC) had its first meeting. The idea of Tangent Clubs spread to other countries and in 2014 Tangent Club International (TCI) was formed by the five founder countries; Cyprus, Denmark, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden.  TCI today is an association with about 13,000 ladies throughout the world. The TCI motto is Let Friendship Continue and the main aims and objectives are to promote, encourage and strengthen old and new international friendship within the Round Table Family and to assist LCI wherever and whenever called upon.

41 International[edit]

The 41 International Club is exclusively for men who have retired from RTI fter they have crossed their age limit of 40. The first Ex-Tablers Club was started at Liverpool in 1936. This Club gave birth to the concept of the 41 Club. What started as an Ex-Tablers Club evolved into a full-fledged community! The 41 Club of Great Britain and Ireland was formed in 1945 whereas the 41 International was formed in 1975.41 International is an association of twenty-eight 41 Clubs throughout the world (Hungary, Portugal and USA joined in May 2018).


Agora Club International (ACI), is part of the Round Table Family, and was founded in 1987, by a group of former members of Ladies’ Circle in Lille, France. In 1988. The first National Board was set up and in 1993, with the first International Club created in The Netherlands, followed by a club in Belgium the year after. In 1996, Agora Club International had its first Council meeting in Strasbourg, France. Agora is a Greek word which means a place where friends gather to socialize.

The chosen motto of ACI is ‘Donner et Tolérer’ meaning ‘Service and Tolerence’ in English. The official language of ACI is English. ACI has clubs in 23 countries, namely Belgium, Botswana, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Romania, South Africa, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Zambia as full members, and Austria, Cyprus, Madagascar, Nepal, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Zimbabwe as Associate members.

Ladies are invited to become members of Agora Club International once they have reached the maturity age as Lady Circlers within the Round Table Family, (which could be as of the age of 40) and has an open membership for all ladies of 42 years onwards.

Individual Members are ladies from countries where there is no Agora Club yet established or if clubs are not close to your residence.

ACI has an Annual General Meeting (AGM) with all its members represented by the council members, and is held in a different member country each year the first week of October.

ACI will be registered as a Non Profit Organisation in Luxembourg in 2021.

The Aims and Objectives

  1. To link together all National Association of the ACI
  2. To promote, coordinate and develop the friendship which unites them around the motto ‘Donner et Tolérer’
  3. To be non political and non sectarian
  4. To maintain good relations with the organizations in the Round Table Family

ACI is built on the premise of Friendship and Service. ACI has its own International Service Project(ISP) which runs for 2 years. In previous years, ACI has successfully led a project which together with the NGO ‘Eyes for the World’ sponsored thousands of adjustable spectacles for children and the elderly in countries like, South Africa, India, Romania, Morocco and Zambia to name a few.

Currently, the ISP focuses on ‘keeping a girl child in school’ by providing reusable sanitary towels to young ladies, who would have otherwise missed school due to menstruation.

These projects are very often carried out as ‘side by side’ projects with other Round Table Family members, namely, Ladies Circle, Round Table, Club 41 International and Tangent Club International.

ACI is part of the RTWorld platform , as AGORACLUB.WORLD and was launched in 2021 and will be fully integrated on the platform by end 2022.

For further information please visit our website and contact us.

Service Programs[edit]

The Global Service Project of Round Table International has been created to apply Round Table’s unique advantage of an international congregation of diverse professionals to bring about ideas and actions. These ideas and suggestions are used for making an impact on local communities on a global scale. The following is the key focus areas:

Conserve now[edit]

The objective of ‘Conserve Now’ is to ensure future generations can share our natural resources and historical monuments by taking action today in our communities to protect this heritage and environment.

Educate the underprivileged[edit]

Through its member associations, Round Table International aims to help in the eradication of illiteracy across the world by engaging with schools and other educational institutions.

Purge poverty[edit]

Purge poverty is an initiative for alleviating poverty through the local action of Tablers through a combination of long-term community projects and the creation of opportunities whilst ensuring the continued fulfilment of today’s most basic human needs.

Promote health[edit]

The pillar ‘Promote Health’ vision is to strive hard for achieving the goal of affordable and superior quality healthcare for every individual. Round Table develops and enhances the distribution and investment of critical healthcare in the community. It supports frontline medical projects and assists medical organisations in times of crisis.


The Tablers ensure support on different levels to help out their fellow members when they require help. The Round Table organisation has an open and safe structure on a global level that is easily accessible for members to reach out when needed.

Other Activities[edit]


The Round Table movement offers its members the fellowship of young men from different walks of life. It allows broadening their horizons beyond the borders or race, creed or country. It allows interaction with people of different nationalities. It enables its members and their families to mingle with thousands of other people that belong to the same age group.

Personal development[edit]

Round Table conducts various activities that help in developing the overall personality of the Tablers. A wide range of programs is organised to boost the character and professional development aspects of all the members of Round Table or create real-world value.


Round Table International has a robust network of Tablers that are of vital importance to any individual. The members of Round Table come from all walks of life and join for various reasons, such as a gateway to relaxation and enjoyment or as a way of participating in the local community. It is ideal for those who have moved into a new area to find new friends of a similar age.

Travel and other opportunities[edit]

Members of Round Table experience travelling like never before. Including International meetings like Half Yearly World Meeting and World Meeting where like-minded young members set the pre/post tours, there are several national events my associations where members travel from all over the world. Apart from this, there are regular adventure sport and road trips where members from all over the world are welcome.

As a member, whenever you travel, you have a friendly local to that country to meet you when you need any help for chit-chat and show you around.

Publications and communication[edit]

RTI Newsletter[edit]

RTI Newsletter is an effective tool for sharing Round Table associations from all over the world and to publish key articles and stories from members and board to share knowledge, experiences, and idea for the movement to grow and serve society.

The Newsletter is published every month. A soft copy is circulated on email and other digital media to reach all Round Table members.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RT international main page". Round Table international. RT. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  • Barty-King, Hugh (1977), Round Table: The Search for Fellowship, London: Heinemann
  • Creasey, John (1952), Round Table: the First Twenty-Five Years of the Round Table Movement, Norwich: Jarrold & Sons
  • Wilkinson, Alan (2005), Continued Friendship: Sixty Years of Forty One: The Story of the Association of ex-tablers' Clubs

External links[edit]