History

The Rotary Club Of Sussex, NB, was chartered on November 2, 1977, through the efforts of the Rotary Club of Saint John and several local businessmen. We are Club # 6355 in District 7810.

What has Rotary done in Sussex since 1977? In its early years, the Club formed and operated a Boys and Girls Club. The Rotary Club of Sussex has strongly supported Camp Rotary at Grand Lake by building a landing dock, a wharf and a new cabin at the Camp. Each year, we continue to send local children with physical and mental challenges to Camp Rotary for a camp experience that they would not otherwise have the chance to enjoy.

In 1983, the Club helped to form the Rotary Club of Hampton and we have three Rotarians from that Club here today.

Since 1984, the Club has purchased more than $50,000 of musical instruments for the elementary school band program, and in the past two years, we have invested more than $12,000 of additional funds in this very important program.

In the 11 years since 1993, our Club has spent over $60,000 to provide winter outerwear for local area elementary school children through our “Coats for Kids” project.

In the community, Rotary was a major funding partner in the building of this community centre – now known as Jubilee Hall. We also purchased the shelves for the new Sussex Public Library, which was built in 1997. Local area walking enthusiasts can cross the bridges we built along the walking trail in Sussex Corner and connecting O’Connell Park to Magnolia Avenue. At present, both Crosswinds and Portage Cassidy Lake are driving vans made possible by Rotary. 

Not all Rotary projects involve huge donations. Over the years we have provided local students with scholarships, assistance to attend leadership and youth conferences, and we have hosted exchange students from a number of countries. We have also hosted young professionals from around the world as part of Rotary’s Group Study Exchange program.

We have extended ourselves beyond our community by sponsoring international humanitarian projects. In 2002 we partnered with a Rotary Club in South Africa to help drill a well to supply water to a rural elementary school in South Africa. We saw the impact of this project up close when Kevin & Ann Kilfoil, Gloria Wynter and I visited that school in South Africa. We had the opportunity to witness how our Rotary Club had truly changed lives for the better. To see first hand the children who now had access to clean water at school was something I know I will always remember.

The Rotary Club of Sussex has benefited from the leadership of many fine individuals who have served as Club President. I would ask that the following Rotary Club of Sussex Club presidents stand as I read their names:

  • 1981-82 Gerry Randall
  • 1983-84 Harley Geldart
  • 1985-86 Jim Wynter – Jim’s wife Gloria is here today
  • 1989-90 Bob Kimball
  • 1991-92 Murray McGibbon
  • 1995-96 George Akerley
  • 1999-0 Kevin Kilfoil
  • 2000-01 Greg West
  • 2003-04 Frank Skaling
  • 2004-05 Kathy Cole

And I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t at this time recognize Bob Black who served as our Club Treasurer for many years and, and the late Tom Snowden, our Club Secretary for something like 17 years.

While I know that none of us will be here to eat birthday cake on February 23, 2105, I am confident that Rotarians somewhere in Sussex will be celebrating the beginning of the 3rd Century of Rotary Service around the world.

The preceding history was Past President, PHF,  and now Honorary member Keri Marr’s address to the attendees of our Club’s celebration of Rotary International’s Centennial Celebration at Jubilee Hall on Feb. 23, 2005.

Ralph Carr, Mayor of the Town of Sussex, then proclaimed February 23, 2005, as Rotary International Day in the Town of Sussex, and encouraged all citizens to join him in recognizing Rotary International for 100 years of service to improving the human condition in local communities around the world. (Click to see Proclamation.)