A Short His­tory Of The Ro­tary Club Of The Bound­ary

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

IThis fact-filled ar­ti­cle about the otary of the oundary club was writ­ten sev­eral decades ago by for­mer Stanstead ournal editor loyd liss and brought to our at­ten­tion by one of our sub­scribers obert Colt. r. Colt was re­search­ing his grand­fa­ther Charles ep­burn when he came across it. t was on June 26, 1935 that 250 Ro­tary mem­bers and guests gath­ered at the Del Monty Ho­tel in Rock Is­land to mark the Char­ter Night meet­ing of the Ro­tary Club of the Bound­ary. On that same day in 1985 a sim­i­lar party was held at the same ho­tel to mark the 50th an­niver­sary of the club that has served its com­mu­nity faith­fully dur­ing a ha1f cen­tury. The bound­aries of the Club, es­tab­lished in the char­ter, were Rock Is­land, Stanstead, Beebe, and Ayer's Cliff in Que­bec, and Derby Line and Derby, in Ver­mont. By draw­ing its mem­ber­ship from two coun­tries this club be­came the first truly in­ter­na­tional Ro­tary Club in an or­ga­ni­za­tion that has spread and pros­pered through­out the free world. There were 22 char­ter mem­bers of the Club, all of whom played a lead­ing part in the busi­ness, pro­fes­sional and political life of the com­mu­nity. J. Dou­glas Fer­gu­son was Pres­i­dent, with Frank W. Hearle Vice-Pres­i­dent; Don­ald L. Dash­ney, Sec­re­tary-Trea­surer; Charles Hep­burn, Ed­ward J. Struthers, Ed­mund J. Kel­ley, Wil­liam H. Brown, Di­rec­tors. Other char­ter mem­bers were Paul Bai­ley, Harold Beane, Ge­orge Bur­ton, Wayne Campbe1l, Rev. E. L. Con­klin, Rev. Ge­orge Har­ring­ton, John C. Hol­land, Wal­ter E. Nor­ris, H. Sid­ney Po­cock, Harry Rice, Wil­liam H. Richard, Dr. T. J. Wells, Dr. A. R. V. White, A. J. Monty, and Col. B. B. Mor­rill. Present at the Char­ter Night meet­ing, as wel1 as lo­cal mem­bers and in­vited guests, were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ten clubs in Ver­mont, four in New Hamp­shire as well as Mon­treal, Que­bec City, Sher­brooke and West­mont. Of the many av­enues of ser­vice in Ro­tary, Com­mu­nity Ser­vice is un­doubt­edly the most im­por­tant and most stressed by all clubs. In this, the Bound­ary Club has been no ex­cep­tion. From its be­gin­ning in 1935 the Club has spon­sored and sup­ported many projects aimed at Mak­ing our com­mu­nity a bet­ter place in which to live and work. Among th­ese have been the Fron­tier Swim Pro­ject which has taught wa­ter safety to hun­dreds of chil­dren; the chil­dren's room at the Haskell Li­brary where the Club has sup­plied books and mag­a­zines for more than 30 years; and ev­ery pos­si­ble as­sis­tance for crip­pled chil­dren has been a ser­vice of the Club for many years. Among other com­mu­nity ser­vices which the Club has been able to pro­vide has been eye glasses for any school child that needed them, aid in or­ga­niz­ing the In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­nity School, a Santa Claus pa­rade and com­mu­nity Christ­mas tree for many years and a Hal­loween night party in the Haskell Opera House with such en­ter­tain­ment stars as Magic Tom, and oth­ers. As well as th­ese, the Club has made it pos­si­ble for lo­cal stu­dents to at­tend events such as the Model U.N. As­sem­bly and Ad­ven­tures in Cit­i­zen­ship. Sup­port for mi­nor hockey, base­ball and other youth ac­tiv­i­ties has been a con­stant part of the club's com­mu­nity ac­tiv­ity.

Ro­tary of the Bound­ary mem­bers in front of the Del Monty Ho­tel, in 1935, when the club was first founded. Di­rect re­lief when disas­ter struck has al­ways been avail­able for vic­tims even with­out ask­ing. One in­stance where a home was de­stroyed by fire led to an on­go­ing pro­ject. An ap­peal for fur­ni­ture and cloth­ing for the fam­ily re­sulted in so many items be­ing re­ceived that a com­mu­nity cloth­ing pool was es­tab­lished where those in need could get good qual­ity gar­ments for chil­dren and adults free of any charge. Through­out the fifty years, the Club has or­ga­nized var­i­ous events to raise the money needed to sup­port this com­mu­nity ser­vice. One of the most no­table of th­ese was the Ro­tary Fair first or­ga­nized in about 1947, in the Rock Is­land ar­mory. This took the form of gam­ing ta­bles with cash and mer­chan­dise prizes. Within two or three years the ar­mory proved to be too small to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing crowds and the fair was moved to the bor­der Arena where it re­mained un­til 1953, when it was dis­con­tin­ued. An­other out­stand­ing fund-rais­ing event. by the Club was the in­ter­na­tional sled dog races which cul­mi­nated in a mid­win­ter din­ner dance. This along with the Club's late sum­mer steak and lob­ster cook-out as well as a casino night, were the main sources of funds up to the present It should be noted that the Club has never as­sessed its mem­bers for di­rect money con­tri­bu­tions, nor ever col­lected money from lo­cal mer­chants or busi­ness firms. All money raised has been through projects and the united ef­fort of the mem­bers.

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