ROTARY CLUB OF BRANTFORD SERVICE ABOVE SELF | EST. 1917


HISTORY


PROUDLY SERVING + IMPROVING BRANT FOR 100 YEARS

 

our storied heritage

Since the inception of the Rotary movement, in Chicago in 1907 by Paul Harris, a young lawyer from New England, there are now more than 1.2 million Rotarians around the world in 27,000 clubs, 150 countries and 34 geographical regions.
 

our roots were planted in brant

The Rotary Club of Brantford was created in 1917. Actually, the members had begun planning in 1916, but found themselves in fault according to Rotary International rules. It seems that they had submitted, "five lawyers, three bank managers, a couple of ordinary doctors and others of lesser importance" as charter members. Rotary International refused to accept this charter member list and it took intervention from the Hamilton (Ontario) Rotary Club to help properly organize the club. Following a meeting at the Brantford Club on March 16, 1917, the Rotary Club of Brantford was officially under way as only the fifth club in Ontario. The charter was formally accepted and signed December 1, 1917. Despite this prolonged beginning, The Rotary Club of Brantford still flexed its independence by getting special consideration from Rotary International to have meetings fortnightly instead of weekly- only in Brantford! Meetings were held at The Brantford Club, the W. F. Cockshutt Building, the Y.M.C.A., the Hotel Kirby and The Brantford Golf and Country Club. It was during these formative years that the club developed the philosophy of working with physically handicapped children as the major effort of the club, which we follow to this day.

 

our unforgotten history

Unfortunately, most of the records of our community involvement prior to 1949 have been destroyed. Our longevity and increased presence in Brantford is perhaps the early members' legacy, despite the lack of detail that formed this reality. We do know that over five million dollars was raised in the period between 1958 and 1992. Since then, we annually raise from $200,000 to $300,000 for our community projects.

Our club has sponsored two other new clubs: one in Simcoe in 1925; and a Wednesday morning 'Sunrise' club in Brantford just a few short years ago. Our members are involved in many other community projects, non-profit boards and fund-raising endeavors outside of Rotary.

As a testament to our commitment towards the Rotary International goals, we support international projects such as 'Polio Plus', 'Fresh Water Wells' and the 'Eye Sight Programs'. In addition, we have had two members move into the position of District Governor: Stan Forbes, 1935-1936; and H.J. "Val" Vallentyne, 1956-1957. Stan went on to be a Director of Rotary International.

Currently, we have approximately 70 members from across our community who meet each Friday to share Rotary fellowship over lunch at the Brantford Golf and Country Club.

 

 

our club   •   what rotary does   •   rotary stories   •   join our club