Posted by Bill Hagborg on May 17, 2023
North Bay Proclaims May 17th as Rotary Day in recognition of 100 years of service in the community.
Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Then in April 1912, Rotary became Rotary International with the chartering of  the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.
(left to right) Mark Lamontagne, President, Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing; Grace Doiron, President, Rotary Club of North Bay; Valerie Edmunds, President, Rotaract Club of North Bay-Nipissing; Mayor Peter Chirico.
The Rotary Club of North Bay began in 1923 when a group of 25 local business and professional men began meeting during lunch under the Rotary banner. Dr. Rupert Dudley was named the first president of the Club, which was chartered on May 17, 1923.  
Now a hundred years later, and the ‘Family of Rotary’ in North Bay includes three clubs - The Rotary Club of North Bay, The Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing (chartered in 1985) and the Rotaract Club of North Bay-Nipissing (chartered in 2009), whose members continue fulfilling Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self” in North Bay, the surrounding communities and around the world.
Rotarians and Rotaractors (past and present), and their families and friends, have always been ready and willing to support community projects - be it the hospital ($500,000), therapeutic pool ($750,000), Learning Library ($125,000), breast screening equipment ($220,000), Rotary Splash Pad ($500,000) and numerous other projects. And currently under construction, a children’s fully accessible playground adjacent to the splash pad ($110,00).
At the local level, the North Bay club continues to focus on children and youth, and those with special needs. This includes the purchase of assistive devices, home renovations, vehicle conversions, enrollment into various programs, assistance to cover uninsured medical costs and out of town travel and funding for special needs teams, school breakfast programs, and Great Student Awards Recognition Awards, just to name a few. Further, Rotary’s Camp Tillicum, owned by the club, has been, and will continue to be, a destination centre for youth-oriented programs, education, and personal development.
Funding to support projects and initiatives is largely generated through numerous fundraising activities such as Rotary4Kids, TV Bingo, Rotary Rose Day, Catch The Ace, and Nevada Tickets.
“The continued success of all our fundraisers would not be possible without the incredibly generous support of the sponsors and donors – individuals and families, and so many local organizations and businesses, both large and small – many of whom have been with us from day one”, commented Grace Doiron, club president.
On the global front, the North Bay clubs have had a long-standing tradition of participating in literacy, medical supplies and equipment, water, school, and orphanage projects in developing countries. And contributing funds to The Rotary Foundation in support of the foundation’s 7 areas of focus, including the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and to ShelterBox Canada, which provides emergency shelter to those who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict.
For more information visit:
Rotary Club of North Bay -
Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing -
Rotaract Club of North Bay-Nipissing -
Rotary’s Timelines -
ShelterBox Canada -