The Rotary Club of
St Thomas
20Jan21 Bill Horn's History with Rotary


The Wayside is under new management. Check out their website, very inviting.

The following is a link to last weeks Zoom re Cyber Security:

Stay tuned for more info re the Dutch tulip bulb fundraiser that is sponsored by Stratford Club.

Nancy reported as our Assistant to the Governor. There was a District Zoom grant training seminar happening concurrently.


Submitted by Bill Horn: ROTARY (R) – My life in it! Jan. 20, 2021

(Zoom Mtg due to Covid 19 restrictions)


–      High School, Mansfield, OH 1954-5,  R student of the month; Enjoyed speakers subjects and big-wigs I met.

–      Aug. 1959, after grad Ohio U, I joined Gorman Rupp (G-R), the pump manufacturer

–      Feb. 1967, came to St. Thomas to Co-manage G-R plant. Immigration papers were handled by company Lawyer, Frank Sanders.

–      Frank prevailed – I joined Rotary Club, June 22, '68, now in my 53rd yr. (co-mgr, Dale Thompson was a Kiwanian, but I was predisposed to Rotary since High School.  Between the 2 of us, it was fun! The clubs had joint mtg from time to time, competition twice a yr in golf & curling)

 First Rotary Meeting place for me –

–      Grand Central Hotel -above dinning room; very dark, dingy, I was not impressed. Membership = 50+ with about 25 class classifications.

–      Due to fire at GC Hotel, about '79, mtg was moved to YWCA

–      Y was too small, so we moved to new Sheridan Inn on Wellington St., which had a large conference room.

    It went down Hill!

–      Club met a few other places; Longhorn's, which became Samuals, on Talbot St., maybe even the Talbot Study.

–      K of C's then became our home. Two Rooms/// Meals catered by the Wayside, served by non other than, Trudy Kanellis.

–      Guess what, soon, 2002, Trudy was a Rotarian and we were meeting at The Wayside.

     (note: mtgs were in the evening until it was thought, due to some evenings dragging on, noon mtgs would be more convenient and better for new member. - lost some, gained some) Met on Mondays, then to Wed.


–      “Change-over” meetings in my time – Scott McKay's ancestral hm (Selldon), Payne's Mill, then to Frank Sanders', “Sandam”.

–      Summer Mtgs – often at members' homes or area parks.

–      Christmas Dinner – St. Thomas Golf Club or the normal met place.

–      Special Events – Wherever best, Churches, schools, CASO sta. Parks 

–      Sang songs, much music – Allen Harrington, music teachers lead us, played piano. Bill Gates wrote, ”We are St. Thomas Rotary” sung at most meetings for many yrs.

–      Robbie Burns nights '80-'93 . . . scotch

First ladies night, 1950, but first RI official female, 1991. Not certain 1st female in our club.

R Club positions -

–      Pres & director in 1977-78 , 2000-01

–      Pres and director Club Foundation

–      Chair: T&A (Professionals showing Travel & adventure films, slides at Parkside, '70's, 200-300 attn)

–      Chair: TOH ('95), M/F, Group Home, Membership

–      Co-chair w DR. Dick Wylie for District Conf., 1978 for club DG, Bert Thacker. Dist 633 then, originally 221

–      Received Queen's award and others for 50 yrs service

–      working on PHF #9

Fund raisers – Many mentioned already . . .


–      First one I remember was at the Stork Club in Port, '70's.-picture above, The club had rented the second floor for a community dance with bar and snacks. It was the first and only time I was in there. At the time, I recall hearing, only 1500 could be on the second story floor for dancing. In write-ups I've read, the Stork Club was 13,000 sq ft (two story) and could accommodate 6500 people in its day. I can't recall if we made money, but it was a big room, and we did not use much of it. (Note: Fire destroyed Stork Club, '79.) 

–      The “PLOWING Match ('02) – picture above T&A ('61), TOH, Horse Show, Buffalo BBQ @ airport, Bingo, Poinsettias, Raffles  (new Ford Pinto, kit cars made by R -- Ray Broadbent), Bears, Fish Fry, Choc. Extrav.

–      Food trailer - went to many venues – Fire Muster, Cdn day, Iron horse, Horse Show, Ferguson's Halloween experience on Wellington Rd., Fly-ins, senor's day,  . . .

Comm. Service –

    -Many annual $'s to Polio, Sal Army, Christmas Care,  Hospital, Adventures in Citizenship, Tomorrow's Leaders, Adopt a Highway, Exchange Students,

–      Others; Group Home Picture above, Habitat, Farmer's Night (ag ppl), Interact, M/F, Splash Pad, Memory Garden, Fantasy of Lights, Canada Trail,  Grace Cafe . . .

–      too many to list, Thousands of $'s . . and 1000's of eyeglasses,

I participated in nearly all fundraiser and community services events.

I attended to two RI conventions, San Fran & New Orleans, and visited a few R meetings across N. America with business friends.

Most of all, I learned about things I did not know much about, met great people, many are friends for life, too many are gone!


Thank you and Rotary for good life experiences, for your friendship and for giving me an opportunity to boast without being fined!

Rotary Club of St. Thomas History Summary: sent by Bill Horn 20Jan21
Rotary was started in 1905 (2005 is centennial year) by Paul Harris meeting with three other business and professional in his office in Chicago. Paul’s idea was to dedicate themselves to serving others using their resources and expertise. The meeting “rotated” from one office to another, thus the name. This idea grew rapidly among their business associates forming clubs throughout the U.S.A. then in 1912, a club was formed in Winnipeg, making Rotary international.
Today, Rotary International (RI) is in over 165 countries, with over 1.2 million members – the first and largest service club in the world. It now provides more world humanitarian service than any other organization, except the U.N.
The St. Thomas Rotary Club was chartered on June 13, 1950 due to the efforts of its charter President, E. Frank S. Sanders. The Hon. Ray Lawson, Lt. Gov. of Ontario (member of the sponsoring club, Rotary Club of London) and two former Ontario Premiers, Geo. S. Henry and Col. T. L. Kennedy were present at the old Grand Central Hotel along with 300 others.
From its beginning, the St. Thomas Rotary Club supported service to the community and its citizens (mostly youth) while helping Rotary’s world projects.
Exchange Programs - Since 1951, annually four or so area students have been sent to the Canada wide, week long, “Adventures in Citizenship” held in Ottawa. Similarly, four to five students are annually sent to U.W.O. for a weekend “Seminar for Tomorrows Leaders”. Many students have been sent to and hoisted from other countries in Rotary International’s year long student exchange program. Currently, a St. Thomas student is in Thailand and soon one will go to Poland. More recently, the club has participated in a short term exchange program with a student soon to depart for France.
In addition, local young business leaders have visited other countries as part of RI’s Group Study Exchange program to learn how their counter parts accomplish similar duties and then the visit is reciprocated.
The most on going service project has been the Rotary Music Festival, started in 1951. This has given 10’s of thousands of participants over the years an opportunity to have their talents judged and improved. Thousands of dollars have been given out in scholarships. In 2005 alone, over $8500 will be awarded. 
Community Projects - The clubs capital support of community projects started from the clubs beginning and continues today. Substantial amounts of money have been raised from the area over the years and returned as noted below:
  • $4,000 to furnish the Hospital chapel.
  • $4,500 to the then new Northside Community Center.
  • $500 to Friendship School.
  • Two-way radios (1960’s) to enable ambulances to communicate with the hospital, relating injuries prior to arriving at the Hospital.
  • $90,000 to build the group home for the Children’s Aid Society.
  • $20,000 to the Hospital chemotherapy unit.
  • $1,000 to the Red Cross for “Resuscitation Anne & Baby”.
  • $3,500 to the Fire Dept. for “Jaws of Life”.
  • $500 to WWII Lancaster Bomber preservation while in St. Thomas for an air show.
  • Various donations to Second Stage Housing.
  • $1,000 to Crime-Stoppers.
  • $3,500 to Elgin Pioneer Museum over the years.
  • $2,000 to the Public Library.
  • $1,500 to “Jesse’s Journey”.
  • $15,000 to the Hospital’s proposed new emergency area renovation.
  • $21,000 to the City’s Memory Garden project.
  • $19,000 to the Canada Trail project.
  • $3,000 to Children’s Hospital in London
  • $100,000 currently pledged to the City for the Splash-pad built in Pinafore Park.
Many dollars have annually gone to projects like:
  • Music in the Park                           
  • Caring Cupboard
  • Salvation Army
  • Christmas Care
  • Newspapers in Schools
  • Various camps
  • Adapt a highway
  • Junior Achievement       
There have been many other special events, such as “Save the Pool”, Special Olympics and Elgin Children’s Foundation, to name a few.
Internationally - The St. Thomas Club has directed over $148,000 US to RI’s Polio Plus project since 1985, to eradicate polio from the world (RI has raised over $600 million world wide). Locally, a member went to India last year to help and is presently in Africa delivering the final attack on one of the most difficult polio areas. (In 1985, 350,000 cases were reported. Last year, only a few hundred cases occurred)
The Club has sent several thousands of dollars to disaster relief in Canada and around the world, including $4000 to Tsunami Relief through RI.
Several $1000 donations, along with well over 10,000 eye glasses have been sent to Operation Eyesight International (OEI) to help the site impaired in eleven developing countries. Recently, the Club chaired this Rotary District’s campaign to raise nearly $98,000 CDN for equipment to go to a new eye hospital in India.            
All of this is the result of many dictated Rotary members over the past 55 years and the tremendous support of the community’s people, businesses, industries, municipalities and other organizations. As Rotary International enters its second century, the Rotary Club of St. Thomas is positioned to continue in service to the community, Canada and the world as it has done for the past 5 decades.
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Upcoming Events
History in Rotary - Malcolm Rust
Jan 06, 2021
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
District Zoom Meeting
Jan 12, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
History in Rotary - Bill Horn
Jan 20, 2021
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
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