Whether fundraising to build hospitals at home or contributing to international aid efforts, the Rotary Club of Haliburton has worked to help people over its 75-year existence.
The club celebrated that history with an event at the Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre on the anniversary of its founding March 27. More than 200 people made up of members, district representatives and political leaders attended to recognize the club’s legacy of service to Haliburton.
Club president Ted Brandon said the group has made a lasting impact on the community.
“One of our members in the room often says when he was a kid growing up, if anything good happened in our community, rotary was involved,” Brandon said. “No matter what the size or makeup of our membership, they’ve always been a positive force in our community.”
The club received recognition from across the world. Rotary International and Rotary Foundation general secretary John Hewko sent a video message recognizing the club’s efforts over the past 75 years, including raising more than $500,000 for a new local hospital, putting on the Music in the Park concert series for over a decade and hosting international exchange students.
“This list just scratches the surface of all you have done in the past 75 years,” Hewko said. “What is certain is all these efforts have provided and will continue to provide a better quality of life or life-changing experiences, for people both here and around the world.”
Dysart et al Mayor Andrea Roberts said the club has contributed to so many different community projects.
“The Rotary Club has been a key player here in the Village of Haliburton and in Dysart. What a community partner you’ve been,” Roberts said. “I can say that this club has made Haliburton a better place.”
The club also looked towards the future. Brandon teased the club’s next major local initiative to the crowd.
“Our goal in our 75th anniversary is to build nice washrooms in Head Lake Park,” Brandon said. “We are working towards that. We’re going to make a presentation to council in the next month or so.”
Brandon reflected on the date of the group’s founding, which happened March 27, 1944.
“I thought about the office in Chicago where they put the stamp on the Rotary Club’s application. I wonder if that person had any idea on the impact that decision made on the small town of Haliburton, Ontario, Canada,” Brandon said. “We have a lot to be proud of.”