Rotary Club of Northern Bruce Peninsula Spring Report

The Rotary Club’s Victoria Day long weekend breakfast saw 130 people out to enjoy pancakes and sausages.
Submitted by Jim Dilamarter

Pancake Breakfast

If you missed the pancake breakfast on the Victoria Day Long Weekend you will want to mark down the date of the next one for sure. SUNDAY, JUNE 30TH will be our next PANCAKE BREAKFAST. It will be held at the BEACH and we hope to see you there.
We had 130 people join us for breakfast. People said the sausages were the best ever and the pancakes were superb and I can tell you I agree. In fact everything was great.
Our next Pancake Breakfast on June 30 will begin at 9:00 am sharp at the Rotary Pavilion at the Lion’s Head Beach Park. We will serve until 11:00 and look forward to seeing you all there. Pancakes, sausages, secret potatoes, eggs, coffee, juice, fruit cups, the menu can’t be beat. The funds go towards funding our many projects including our scholarships and bursaries at the local graduation.

Rotarian Bob (Bonzii) Spearing flips eggs at the Victoria Day weekend Pancake Breakfast.

Graduation at BPDS

Rotary prides itself on our many years of supporting our local High School. We provide four bursaries/scholarships at graduation.
Firstly, the Highest Academic Achievement Award of $1,000.00 that goes to the student with the highest average.
Secondly, the ‘Service Above Self’ award of $1,000.00 presented to a graduating student whose involvement in community support and extracurricular activities best exemplifies Rotary’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’.
Thirdly, we present the Keith Hopkinson Memorial Scholarship of $1,000.00 to a graduating student pursuing post-secondary studies in a medical or health-related field.
Fourthly, we present the Mary Cameron Award of $500.00 to the graduating student demonstrating the most improvement over the preceding academic year.
Rotary is proud of the connection we have with our local school, staff, and, of course, the students themselves.
BPDS Secondary Graduation is on June, 27th this year.

The Rotary Hall

We always get questions about the history of the building called the Rotary Hall and I thought it might be helpful to all if I provided a brief history of this wonderful building and just how Rotary became involved. Most of the information I have collected is available in the book ‘Benchmarks A History of Eastnor Township and Lion’s Head’.
The Rotary Hall was, originally, the Eastnor Township Hall. It was constructed after a referendum was put before the voters in 1898.
Council chose a lot on Main Street, Lion’s Head and purchased the land for $35.00. Tenders were let and the lowest bid of $1,275.00 was accepted. A furnace was added at cost of $45.00 and a piano was purchased with $50.00 coming from the township and the remaining funds from donations as far as I can determine.

The hall has been home to the Rotary Club of Northern Bruce Peninsula since the 1970s.

Council started meeting in the hall in November of 1898 so you can see construction moved much more quickly in those days than it seems to do today. Eastnor Township meetings were held there for many years and they had their offices in the balcony of the Hall until they were moved to the Ferndale Municipal Office sometime in the 60’s.
The Hall sat vacant for a number of years and in the 70’s Eastnor Township decided they did not want the building. They sold it to the Lion’s Head Council.
The Lion’s Head Council did not need the office as they met in the Fire Hall building. They soon found a group that was willing to keep the hall as an important part of the community.
You see, over the years the hall was, indeed, a part of the community. It was used for weddings with lunches being served from the cramped basement that existed at the time. Court sessions were held in the hall. Christmas Concerts and Fall Fair meals were served out of the hall and during the First World War the 160th Battalion received much of its training there.
The Eastnor Agricultural Society held their annual meetings in the hall as did many groups. There were concerts, Sunday School events, Antique shows, and blood donor clinics held over the years.
After the Lion’s Head Council had obtained the hall and sometime in the 70s the Rotary Club of Lion’s Head, as we were known then, approached Council and asked to rent the balcony area for a club room. Council approved and Rotary’s connection with the hall expanded. That arrangement quickly extended to the entire building.
Rotary and the township applied for a grant of $25,000.00 from the Canada Works federal grant program and Rotarians worked to paint the interior, refurbish the hardwood floors, install water and put a new cement floor in the entire basement area (part of that floor had been dirt).
Rotary had been at the Parish Hall almost next door for their meetings and ran bingos to raise money for the community. In those days, the bingos were held in the arena upstairs area. It was much easier to use the Hall and soon Rotary became the organizer of everything in the Hall. This was a help to the community and a great ‘home’ for the club and its charity functions. Rotary, through their long term lease, became the ‘keepers’ of the hall for the community.
For at least 40 years now Rotary has been instrumental in maintaining the hall. The lease they had for the building was continued and, over the years, Rotary maintained the hall and kept it open for use of the community. Rotary redid the kitchen downstairs with new sinks and cupboards. The cupboards were actually built by some of the members. Washrooms were installed downstairs and a club room was set up for the many club meetings and to store the countless pieces of equipment used in fundraising.
Rotary purchased two propane stoves, two refrigerators, a freezer, a sanitizing dishwasher, a hot water heater and two furnaces as well as cooler units for the upstairs bar and events. The Rotary Club worked very hard to keep our hall open.
Now the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula owns the hall and Rotary leases the building on a yearly basis. The Municipality books any events for the hall and cooperates with Rotary to make sure things function well. Rotary keeps the building as clean as possible, purchases all cleaning supplies, and reports any problems to the Municipality. The club runs the bars as needed by the community in the hall and elsewhere as most Rotarians are Smart Serve Certified for looking after bars. We look after both floors, the hall itself and the Rotary meeting room, kitchen, and storage areas in the basement.
We are proud of our commitment to keeping this wonderful piece of history as a community resource. We hope, as the years go on, that the Rotary Hall continues to be a treasure in our community. That will require both community and Municipal involvement. Rotary is proud of what has been accomplished over the years.
Want to Join our Team?
Our club is growing. We have increased our membership by 8 members over the last year. We know many others would like to be part of our team dedicated to ‘Service Above Self’. If you are a person interested in joining please leave a message on our phone at 519 793 4040 or contact any Rotarian for information.