Photo of Charter Night June 26, 1935

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It 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 it's 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.

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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