The Rotary Club of Simcoe has been serving the community
and beyond for generations.
Chartered in 1925, 30 local businessmen and professionals
joined the worldwide network of community
and international service clubs.

 
Rotary International was founded by a group of friends from Chicago in 1905 with the simple purpose of “doing some good in the world.” The concept took hold and today Rotary boasts 35,784 clubs with a total membership of 1,230,399 members.
 
Rotary clubs are divided into districts throughout the world. Simcoe is in District 7090 which is unique because it has clubs in both Canada and the United States.

The Simcoe club was originally sponsored by Brantford and approved by Rotary International. Throughout much of its history, membership in Rotary was by invitation from classifications largely defined by occupation.

Wally AmdersonWally Anderson, who owned a hardware store, (“I’m senior active now”), followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the club in 1968. His father was a charter member in 1925 and Wally’s three sons have also been involved in Rotary.
Anderson said Rotary’s slogan is “He profits most who serves best” and members subscribe to a four-way test: truth, fair to all, build goodwill and friendship and be beneficial to all concerned.
“If you live life like that, you won’t go too far wrong,” he said. “It also builds a good community.”

Rotary recognizes individual outstanding service with the Paul Harris Fellow award which was first presented to a Simcoe member, John Irving, in 1975. Anderson received the award in 1987.
Anderson said some of his most memorable moments in Rotary was his term as president where he attended a Rotary International convention in Hawaii as well as hosting Simcoe’s first Rotary International Youth Exchange in 1967.
He said the student was from Argentina and did not speak English when she arrived for a term at Simcoe Composite School. But thanks to tutoring by Anderson’s wife Estelle, who was an English teacher, the student became fluent in just two months. “She was brilliant,” Anderson said.
During his term as club president, Anderson visited the student in Argentina and met her family.

Anderson said Rotary membership is a great way to network throughout the world and, more importantly, serve the community.
The first project of the newly formed Simcoe club was to build a sunroom at Norfolk General Hospital, an association which continues to this day. Over the subsequent years, the local club has contributed to hundreds of local projects as well as Rotary International commitments, such as providing water wells throughout developing countries around the world.
“I have no idea of how much we’ve donated over the years but its a hell of a lot of money,” Anderson said.

Rotary Wally
 
 
Source: Rotary in Simcoe published by Media Pro Publishing, Waterford, Ontario June, 2018 (Page 7)