Rotary club members are business and professional leaders who volunteer in the communities and promote world understanding and peace. Rotary’s 31,000 clubs in more than 165 countries and regions encourage high ethical standards and carry out humanitarian projects to address such issues as poverty, health, hunger, education and the environment. Founded in Chicago in 1905 as the world’s first volunteer service organization, Rotary quickly expanded around the globe. Clubs meet weekly for fellowship to discuss local and global topics. Clubs are nonreligious, non political and open to every race, culture and creed.
Rotary has Four Avenues of Service, which are the philosophical and practical framework of the work in our club.
Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and practice high ethical standards. Within this service area, the Stirling Rotary club works with youth to improve literacy and to develop awareness an interest in community service among young people. We have a great team working at the local public schools providing remedial assistance for students. We have also introduced an innovative Rotary youth program called “Who’s Nobody” to allow children to make a difference through their own service projects.
Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community. The Stirling Rotary club’s major project is the restoration of the Historic Grand Trunk Railway station, which will save an important piece of our local heritage for our community. It will also provide the town with a centrally located venue for outdoor and indoor community activities. We also support and participate in community events and provide financial support for individuals or organizations that request our assistance.
International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and promote world understanding and peace. PolioPlus is Rotary’s flagship program. Rotary club members around the world have contributed over US$600 million and countless volunteer hours to help immunize over two billion children against polio. Although there has been enormous success in most of the world, there are still a handful of counties that continue to require work to contain this dreadful disease. The next big focus will be to bring water to people throughout the world who are suffering from the lack of it or it’s contamination. Rotarians gain an understanding of humanitarian issues through international service projects and exchange programs. Rotary sponsors some of the world’s largest youth exchange, educational exchange and scholarship programs. These programs are funded by the Rotary Foundation, in partnership with individual clubs.
Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club. The members of the Stirling Rotary Club are all friends who enjoy social gatherings within the club and other clubs within the District 7070. They also work as a team on the many projects the club undertakes and liaison with other service clubs and community groups in town.
Through the initiative of Larry Groves and under the guidance of Wilf Wilkinson, the current Rotary Club of Stirling was chartered in April 1996. The initial focus of the club, under Larry’s leadership, was to support the Stirling Theatre. The club was actively involved in the early development of this vital part of our community. During Alan Coxwell’s term as President, the club took on the biggest challenge of all. They began the project to move and restore the Stirling Grand Trunk/CN Railway Station and build a community hall in the lower level. This project is ongoing and will become another attractive focal point for Stirling. The club President’s for the current club are as follows:
Stirling Rotary Club 1949 to 1983
The original Rotary Club of Stirling was chartered on April 4, 1949 and met in the Stirling Hotel on Mill Street on Tuesday evenings for their dinner meeting at 6:10 p.m. Original members included: President – Alton Hadley; Vice President – Bill Sutherland; Secretary – Harold Baker; Treasurer – Earl Bailey and Directors – Clifford Hatton, Walter Elliot and Dr. William Cornett. Charter membership also included: Harold Wells, Ed Warren, Harold Bird, Jim Holt, A. O. Dalrymple, Ralph Vandervoort, Everette Ketcheson, George Noble, George Crown and Burton Woodbeck. The club was active in the Stirling community until December 31, 1983, when then-secretary Allan Wells wrote the District Governor Eric Nieminen informing him that as “Moved by Jack Miller, seconded by Tom McClung, Stirling Rotary Club disband and surrender our charter as of December 31, 1983. Motion carried.”
During the 34 year history of this club many worthwhile projects were accomplished including building of the Rotary Covered Bridge in downtown Stirling and the construction of the Henry Street Ball Park. The club was also a strong supporter of the dream to build a new arena with artificial ice which became the home of the Stirling Blues hockey teams.
This new ice pad became the launch pad for the Blues to win many championship titles while several of Stirling-trained players went on to play in the National Hockey League.
During the Stirling Rotary Club’s first 25 years of history the following were the Presidents: