Welcome to the Rotary Club of Thunder Bay (Fort William).
This Rotary Year 2016/2017 represents 100 years of Rotary & Service Above Self in Thunder Bay & District. Thunder Bay is one small part of the Rotary District 5580 made up primarily of US Clubs from Minnesota, Wisconsin & North Dakota. The Fort William Rotary Club, as we are more widely known, is average in size in comparison to the other clubs, but for its membership of 43 dedicated volunteers, it has a giant heart & possibly raises more money than any of the other clubs in the District. The Annual Rotary House Lottery on Canada Day is the vehicle in which this is done & allows us to fulfill our mission of Serving Humanity. All the money from this lottery stays in Thunder Bay & District to support our Regional Hospital, the George Jeffrey Children Centre, The Boys & Girls Club, Air Cadets, The Salvation Army, Shelter House, Habitat for Humanity, the Music Festival of Fine Arts, the RFDA (Regional Food District Association) & many other worthwhile organizations. In the last 30 years this small club has contributed over $5,000,000 to our fine community to make it a better place to live, play & grow. We also raise money internally for worldwide projects. For 2016/17 we will be joining other clubs in the District to build a school & a teachers’ residence in Bolivia. The original school was destroyed by a mudslide so the new school & residence will be relocated out of harm’s way
You probably say why, why do you care or work so hard as a volunteer? Perhaps our symbol the Rotary Gear symbolizes it best. In 1906 the banner or symbol was a simple wagon wheel & by 1913 it had evolved into a gear. Symbolically there are 24 teeth on the perimeter which represents the clubs or organizations around the world doing good for their local and worldwide communities.
The outside of the gear is a solid band of blue & gold and supports the teeth which gives it strength to transmit the power to the teeth & to hold the Rotary Movement together. It carries the inscription “Rotary International” and has 4 segments which represent the 4 avenues of service. Six spokes bind the hub to the rim. They may be seen as the Districts, moving the power, from its source, the hub, to the working elements, the 24 teeth, which represent the individual clubs. The 6 spokes also divides the 24 teeth and gives us a reminder and brings us back to the 4 Way Test / Avenues of Service. In 2016, we have more clubs that have joined and now have 6 Avenues of Service.
The Hub is absolutely central, to ensure that the whole gear runs true to its purpose. It has that vital notch, called a Keyway which locks the hub, the driving shaft. The only missing component is the key. Symbolically the key is the Rotarian, for without the key the whole concept fails. Every individual Rotarian displays that commitment and drive to their individual club.
At our club level, members enjoy fellowship at weekly meetings held at a choice of 2 different venues. Our Satellite Club meets on Mondays, where you can find them serving dinner at the Rotary Shelter House, sorting food at the Regional Food Distribution Association or enjoying social times a local Restaurant. The Host Club meets Wednesday evenings at 5:30 at the Airlane Hotel & Convention Centre. Family & Friends are always encouraged to join us.
If you are looking for further fulfilment & an avenue to pay it forward, we encourage you to look to join our little club & be part of one of the world’s greatest & most respected Organizations.
Robert (Bob) Hookham
President, Rotary Club of Thunder Bay (Fort William)