Club History
The Rotary Club of Summerside boasts a fascinating history that dates back to 1943. At that time, a group of Rotarians from Charlottetown arrived in Summerside and set out to find 26 upstanding men to join their club. On June 2 of that year, the Rotary Club of Summerside was officially chartered as Club #5619, and its inaugural meeting was held at the Olympia Tea Room over lunch. In its first year alone, the club managed to raise almost $20,000, which included a remarkable $8,500 that was used to purchase an X-ray machine for the Prince County Hospital. This initial act of generosity cemented the Club's strong relationship with the hospital, which continues today. The Club has committed to raising $50,000 for the hospital, and it has made significant progress toward that goal.
Over the years, the Rotary Club of Summerside has been led by some of the city's most accomplished and influential businesspeople. These individuals include Peter G. Clark, J. Edward Dalton, Ben Taylor, Alan Holman, T. Earle Hickey, Vaughan Groom, Edgar Cannon, Thane Campbell, and George Meikle. In 1976, Rotary International began accepting women as members, and the Rotary Club of Summerside welcomed its first two female members in 1987. Since then, more than 196,000 women have joined Rotary International.
One of the Club's primary objectives is to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. In pursuit of this goal, the Club has provided various essential services, including wheelchair lifts, electric wheelchairs, a wheelchair van, housing renovations, and support for Community Connections. The Club's Annual Easter Seals Campaign has been instrumental in making these initiatives possible through generous donations.
The Club's activities are organized around five core principles: Club [capacity], Vocational, Community [local], International, and Youth. By identifying critical community needs, the Club has contributed to a host of lasting legacies, including the Rotary Regional Library, the Inspire Learning Centre, the Rotary Friendship Park, the Rotary Celebration Garden, and the STRIVE Scholarship Program. Additionally, the Club has played an active role in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and Group Study Exchange Program, allowing Summerside residents to experience different cultures and ways of life.
The Club is committed to fulfilling its international obligations and has significantly contributed to various charitable causes. These include the Polio Plus campaign, which aims to eradicate polio worldwide, as well as the provision of ambulances for China, firefighting equipment for Argentina, hospital equipment for Jamaica, water wells in Nigeria, and a market garden for an orphanage in Mozambique. To ensure that its actions align with its values, the Club adheres to the Rotarian's 4-WAY TEST, which involves asking whether a particular course of action is truthful, fair to all concerned, builds goodwill and better friendships, and benefits everyone involved.