The 1920s in Europe were marked by optimism and a strong belief in progress. The First World War had just marked the end of the European empires and the height of liberal democracy. The decade saw the economic development of the second industrial revolution based on technological progress and standardization. Mass production and consumption were becoming widespread.
All known limits were pushed back: construction of the tallest skyscrapers, the tallest ships, Lindbergh's first transatlantic flight... The optimism of the time, however, masked factors of fragility that are as much political (emergence of anti-democratic regimes) as economic (financial imbalances due to the recent war, increasing production in the face of decreasing opportunities) and social (variable evolution of society: not everyone knows the same degree of increasing well-being).
At that time, positive and negative signals overlapped and merged. Thus the decade saw the creation of the League of Nations, joined by Germany in 1926. Treaties settled disarmament and the question of war debts so that a Franco-German rapprochement and reconciliation seemed possible. However, the democracy driven out in Rome and Moscow and shaken in Germany by a coup d'état were all contradictory signals. Faced with the confusion of the situation, wise citizens realized that they should actively work for peace.
It is precisely in this spirit that the Round Table was created in 1927 in Norwich, UK, by Louis Marchesi, a young member of the Rotary Club inspired by his time and driven by the desire to bring people together to create the conditions for lasting peace. The Second World War, which would break out a decade later, would only reinforce the ideals of openness and pacifism of its members.
After a hesitant start, the world was quickly conquered, starting with Europe: 1936 Denmark, 1943 Sweden, 1946 Netherlands, 1947 Norway, 1950 Belgium and France, 1951 Switzerland, 1952 Germany, 1955 Austria, 1958 Italy, 1963 Luxembourg, 1975 Malta, 1980 India, 1984 Portugal... Today the organisation is present in more than 40 countries throughout the world and has some 50,000 members.
The Luxembourg Round Table
symbol of social progress
The history of the creation is retraced in the directory of the Luxembourg Round Table, the author of the original version of which is unknown:
"At the end of March 1962 Evandre CREMONA, a doctor in Metz, contacted the Luxembourg promoters. Thus on March 22, 1962, Marc ELTER brought together four future founding members: Roland FABER, Norbert KETTER, Fred KONZ and Pierre STUMPER. For a year, they would meet, make contacts, enlarge their circle and finalize the statutes of the Luxembourg Round Table. On August 8, 1963, the statutory constitution of the Luxembourg Round Table took place, which was recognised as a national association by the WOCO on the following September 21. On 21 September 1963 Luxembourg received its charter as a godchild from Metz.
Toto SCHLEIMER and Marco MOIA were the promoters of Table N°2 in Esch/Alzette, Carlo KNAFF its first President. On 24 October 1970, as the first service club on the continent, TRL created an International Table (No. 3). Jopp ADOLFSE (NL) was the founding President. On September 14, 1974, at the insistence of Jean HELDENSTEIN, Francis HELDENSTEIN (ex.TR1) was to be at the origin of the Table du Nord (N° 4). As for André SCHWACHTGEN, he was at the origin of the creation of the Table de la Moselle (N° 5), which received its charter on 22 November 1975. The idea of creating a sixth table was firmly relaunched by Romain Bontemps, but it was Romain Hilger who was able to transpose it by promoting an international English-speaking table. It was on March 10, 2001 that the TR6 Luxembourg-International received its charter.
It was in April 2002 that the Luxembourg Round Table organised the first edition of the Duck Race, which subsequently became the TRL's flagship event, on the initiative of a few committed tablaires. Since then, the Duck Race has enabled us to raise funds each year to support charity projects both in Luxembourg and abroad.
On 10 June 2006, the Luxembourg Round Table sponsored the new RT Mauritius after ten years of friendship and many projects carried out together in Mauritius, initiatives started by Guy Walers (TR2) and continued by Luc TAPELLA (TR2) and Laurent MAJERUS (TR4, then TR3).
On 8 November 2013, the Luxembourg Round Table celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala evening under the High Patronage of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Du Héritier and the Grand Duchesses Héritière.
Initiated in the midst of an economic boom in the 1960s, the Table du Luxembourg has accompanied the considerable economic development of the Grand Duchy and the progress of the European integration project.