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The History of The Rotary Club of Simcoe - Part 2



Prior to 1947, several of the Club's members had a leading role in raising $ 175,000 for the Simcoe Artificial Ice Arena.

In 1948, the Club sponsored a new club in Cayuga. The Cayuga Club remained active for 26 years and surrendered its charter in 1974.

In 1957, the Rotary Club's long association with curling began with the sponsorship of the International Rotary Mixed Curling Bonspiel.

International Rotary Curlers

Two years later in 1959, the Club contributed $ 5,000 to the new Ontario Crippled Children's Centre in Toronto. Also, $ 5,000 was raised for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

The commitment to international service remains strong. In 1964, the Club financed the drilling and construction of a water well in the arid region of Rajestan, India.

Then in 1967, the Student Exchange program started. The club is one of the most active in the District with approximately 69 outgoing and 68 incoming students to date (2015).

In 1970, the Club sponsored its second Rotary Club with the Delhi Rotary Club.

During the 1970's, the Club continued it's active fundraiser with a contribution of  $ 25,000 for the Simcoe Recreation Centre and a further $ 5,000 for the Recreation Center Arena. Rotarian Wally Anderson was General Chairman of the committee for this $ 700,000 plus project.

Simcoe Recreation Centre

The Club has contributed two District Governors, Harold M. Jackson in 1962-1963 and John B. Irving 1970-1971.

During 1983, the club committed its resources to raising $ 150,000 for the Norfolk General Hospital. It remains one of the club's largest, local, fundraising projects.

Norfolk General Hosital Sign


1988-1989 The Jamaican Hurricane Relief Project From Tin Roofs to School Books

When Hurricane Gilbert hit the island of Jamaica in September of 1988, The Rotary Club of Simcoe formed the District 709(now 7090) Jamaica Hurricane Relief Fund. An organization in Simcoe made a contribution and the club decided to double the contribution because of the great respect our members held for the Jamaican Workers who come to harvest agricultural crops in our area. A decision was made at that time to focus our assistance on the Montego Bay area as many of these workers come from the villages surrounding Montego Bay.

The Rotary Club of Montego Bay was contacted and it was suggested that there was a crying need in Jamaica for Zinc Sheets (Galvanized Sheeting) as thousands of people had lost their roofs as a result of Hurricane Gilbert.

An objective for the district was set of $50,000. The club decided to ask for a maximum special grant from Rotary International of $50,000 U.S. It was also decided to contact the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to arrange funding if possible. This committee acts as a liaison between Canadian Rotary Clubs and CIDA. Donations poured in from all over the district. A tractor-trailer load of clothing was sent to Toronto for distribution in Jamaica. Donations came from other Rotary Districts.

On February 24, 1989, CIDA advised us that large quantities of Zinc sheeting was sitting on the dock in Kingston. The Rotary Club of Simcoe was instructed that it would have to be another project to receive CIDA funding as the Canadian Government had already funded Zinc Sheeting.

On April 4, 1989, CIDA approved a grant of $230,000 to ship school supplies through a non governmental organization called CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education). They have printed more than 8 million textbooks in Jamaica and are well prepared to equip the schools with school supplies.

The school supplies were Lower Primary Student kits, Upper Primary Student kits, Lower Secondary Student kits, Teacher kits and School kits. All supplies were packaged in self-contained separate units. Plastic bags with the Rotary Wheel on them will be used for the Student kits.

The ability to read and write is a primary necessity if people are to progress. Children who are taught to read and write will do a better job of rearing their own children and insist that those children receive basic education as well.

The total amount of the Project is approximately as follows:



Amount $

 District 709 Clubs


 District 707 Clubs (Alliston Ontario Area)


 District 785 (Lebanon, New Hampshire)


 District 701 (Barrie, Ontario)


 General Public (Simcoe Area)


 Rotary International









The Simcoe Rotary Club's motto for this project has been "What you conceive and believe you achieve". This project has shown that Rotarians will not be complacent while other people in the world live deprived lives because they do not have a rightful share of the world's resources.

Gentlemen, this is Rotary in Action and I'm proud to be a Rotarian. When you see 5 Rotary districts get together to accomplish what we have both been able to do, you realize that each and every Rotarian  CAN make a difference to help people in distress in this world.”

Edited from a speech by Simcoe Rotarian Jim Jackson in Jamaica.

In 1995, the club sponsored its third club, to be known as Norfolk Sunrise and share the same territory as the parent club. It was this year that we celebrated our 70th anniversary.

Also in 1995, the Probus club of Simcoe and District was established by the club.

1995 also marked the year the club raised the funds, some $ 75,000 and purchased a computer laboratory for Simcoe Composite School.