© Rotary Club of Kingston Ontario Canada

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Rotary Year 2019 - 2020

Rotary Club of Kingston

Board of Directors 



President:                Peter Merkley

Vice-President:        Paul Elsley

Past President:        Trevor Dagilis

Secretary:                 Bob Mallette

Treasurer:                Martin Secker

Board Secretary:     Adrienne Brown


Club Service:  

Burt Thompson

Member Service:  

John Shideler

International Service:               

Carol Cartier

Youth Service:  

Ken Mann

Community Service:      

Elsabé Falkson


Mark Santoni


Rotary International President

Mark Daniel Maloney

Rotary Club of Decatur


Governor 7040

Gerry Lambert

Rotary Club of Canton (NY)

The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say, or do:
  1. Is it the TRUTH?

  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:


  1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.

  2. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his or her occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

  3. The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to their personal, business and community lives.

  4. The advancement of international understanding goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional women and men united in the ideal of service.


We channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through five Avenues of Service, which are the foundation of club activity.


  1. Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.

  2. Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society. More info

  3. Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest. More info

  4. International Service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding. We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more. More info

  5. Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange. More info

A bit of our club's history...


The first planning meetings for a Rotary Club in Kingston were held in the fall of 1920 at Ross Livingston's Men's Wear store at 75 Brock Street. As soon as 16 candidates were recruited, dinner meetings were held at the Frontenac Hotel on Ontario Street where it was decided to apply for a charter. Charter night was held in April 1921 at the British American Hotel (current site of the Four Points Sheraton). It included delegations from Ottawa (the sponsoring club) and Montreal with a total of 100 Rotarians sitting down for dinner. The following week, Joe Stewart took the chair for the first regular Thursday luncheon meeting that included 18 Rotarians.


In 1923, the newly chartered club began to give Service Above Self with a focus on underprivileged or crippled children. The first fundraising project was sponsorship of a minstrel show put on in Grant Hall by RMC cadets in aid of Dr. Barnardo's Boys, who were orphaned boys from London's streets, brought to Canada to live on farms. This event raised $450.


As well as fundraising and supporting charities, the club meetings provided great fellowship and excellent speakers dealing with a range of topics that concerned the world, Canada and the local community. Membership increased from 21 in 1921 to 40 in 1924! Dues were $20 a year and lunch was 65¢.


In 1930 The Rotary Club, The Kiwanis, and the YMCA purchased 25 acres of land on Eagle Lake and established RKY Camp to help look after the recreational needs of underprivileged children. To this day the camp is jointly owned and supported financially by all three organizations.


In the early 1940s the club set up The Kingston War Service's Salvage Committee and in 1942 was the driving force behind the foundation of the Sea Cadet Corps and provided $6000 for uniforms, rifles and equipment. The Corps was subsequently turned over to the Navy League. In 1947, an association with Easter Seals began when the club sponsored the annual campaign for the Ontario Society for Crippled Children (precursor of the Easter Seal Society). During the 50's, the club started the Rotary Peanut Drive, which has blossomed into a major fundraiser for all three Kingston Rotary clubs.


Over the next several decades, the Rotary Club of Kingston initiated many fundraising projects for this community and on an international level. In the early '60's, Rotarian Ed Church started a $45,000 campaign for the new International Centre at Queen's University. Rotarians helped launched the Easter Seal Telethon in 1983, and it has become one of the most successful in Ontario. The Boys and Girls Club has received tremendous financial support from Rotarians who consider it to be one of their most important ongoing projects. Contributions for emergency aid and hospital beds around the world have made a significant impact in the lives of those who have needed help.


There is a long saga concerning women in Rotary. In the end however, a US Supreme Court decision in 1987 required US Rotary clubs to admit women as members. Although the Council on Legislation, which met in 1989, voted to allow women into Rotary as of 1 July of that year, Canada was permitted to admit women earlier in an RI decision in November, 1988. Our club took no time when it opened its doors on 21 February 1989 to a triumvirate of women: Marilyn Benn, sponsored by Bill Dickison; Carol Caird sponsored by Ron Southward; and Elizabeth Reid were our first female members. Doug Forbes was president. Frank Milledge oriented the three at his house. Although Marilyn remained a member until October, 2014, Carol Caird was moved away by her company, and Elizabeth Reid became a mother. Her baby was made an “Honorary Rotarian” but Elizabeth had to leave Rotary soon afterwards. Alice McKeown we think was the next female to join. In 1999, Marijke Wilkins served as our first female president, followed by Adrienne Brown in 2002-03 and Alison McShane (now Braga) in 2011-12. When Lucille Davies was president in 2015-16, women made up 30 percent of our club’s membership and that tradition continued during Lindsey Foster's 2017-18 term.