|ROTARY CLUB OF PRINCE ALBERT
A history compiled by Brian Dirks, Past President 1984 - 1985
A NEW CLUB IS BORN
Back in 1919 a couple of Saskatoon Rotarians, Ben Chappell and Sherriff Calder, were delegated to make a survey of Prince Albert with a view to forming a Rotary Club. They arrived quite late one night in November, phoned Mayor Samuel McLeod, got him out of bed and went over to see him. The next morning they met with Charlie Clare and Earnest Fox. As a result of a meeting held in the Bank of Commerce it was decided to get together a group of Prince Albert business and professional men who shared much interest and enthusiasm. This group met at the Palace of Sweets, now Wing's Café, on December 30. After due discussion the following resolution was moved by Samuel McLeod and Ray Clemons: "That the Rotary Club of Prince Albert be formed by the members present." The motion was adopted unanimously. They elected Charlie (Charles) Clare as President and Bert Pawson, Henry Hueston, George Carr and Oswald Manville as vice-presidents. So was born a club that was to play an important part in the future of Prince Albert.
The new Club met weekly at the Savoy Café. From the beginning the Club prospered and expanded. On February 23, 1920 the charter list was closed with twenty-five members. On February 26, 1920 a group came up from the Saskatoon Rotary Club and the Charter, Number 619, was formally presented. The Club was formally admitted to Rotary International on March 1, 1920.
The charter members were:
Charles F. Clare, President, classification of Jeweller who had his business at 923 Central Avenue.
Herbert E. Lawson, Vice President
James Guy Penny, Treasurer, classification of Banking who was the manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia
Edward T. Bagshaw
Alexander Brunton, classification of Tailor who had his shop in the K.C. Block opposite the Orpheum Theatre. He was a civil and military tailor who was known to handle products from Bond Street in London, England
Louis Campbell, classification in Lumber who was the General Manager of North Canada Lumber Co. Ltd.
George Carr, classification of Cartage Transportation, who owned Northern Cartage, assisted the Peary Expedition to the North Pole and was still in business at 100 years of age.
Ray Clemons, classification of Hotels, who owned the Empress Hotel which was built during the logging boom years. Rotary met there until the hotel was destroyed by fire.
Thomas C. Davis
Leonard A. Elliott
John S. (Jack) Fowlie, classification of Real Estate
Bruce Harris, classification in Lumber who was the sales manager for Ladder Lake Lumber Co.
Henry M. Hueston
James H. Lindsay, classification of Lawyer
Oswald B. Manville, classification of Retail Hardware who owned a large hardware business in the building later occupied by the Craig Department Store.
Rev. James W. McIntosh
Dr. Stanley B. McMillan
Ralph Miller, classification of Merchant, Mens Wear
Nelson W. Morton
Samuel McLeod, classification in Lumber who owned P.A. Lumber and built Keyhole Castle.
Frederick J. O'Leary, classification of Soldiers Settlement Supervisor.
John P. M. Sibbald, classification of logging, who was the President and general manager of the Sturgeon Lake Lumber Co. Ltd.
Cecil G. Simpson
Arthur R. Smythe
William T. Stephens, classification of Groceries - Wholesale who was the manager of Codville Co. Ltd.
THE EARLY YEARS 1919 - 1971
1919-1921 President, Charlie Clare, classification, Jeweler
Among the first projects of the new club was the providing of River Swimming Pool on the North shore of the river. The other project
during that term was the establishment of the Red Cross Hospital at Paddockwood. To promote a greater knowledge of Rotary and its ideals practically the entire Club went to the District conference, which was held in Calgary that year.
1921 - 1922 President, O. B. Manville, Classification, Retail Hardware
River Swimming Pool, which was O.B.'s idea, was officially opened during his year of office. The members of the Rotary Club did the operation and supervision of the pool. The first Club family picnic was held on Fred Zoellner's farm at Buckland. The boys' work committee of the club made a citywide survey for the purpose of organizing boys' sports groups.
1922 - 1923 President, Jack Fowlie, Classification, Real Estate
River Swimming Pool was operated and supervised by the Rotarians. The boy’s work committee carried out further work in the organizing of supervised sports. A family picnic was held at Lily Plain with the farmers of the district invited.
1923 - 1924 President, Fred O'Leary, Classification, Soldier Settlement
A banquet honoring the old-timers of the district was given in the Empress Hotel. The event was very jovial with some of the participants getting quite talkative. The Rotarians again supervised river Swimming Pool. The Paddockwood Red Cross Hospital, which was originally Fred's idea, was officially opened.
1924 - 1925 President, Oscar Sharpe, Classification, Retail Lumber
River Swimming Pool was turned over to the City Parks Committee and operated by them until the new pool on 13th Street West was ready for use. A delegate, Frank Culp, who traveled with his wife, Mary, attended the Rotary International convention in Toronto, which was the first convention to be held outside of the United States.
1925 - 1926 President, Frank Culp, Classification, Optometrist
The Public School teachers of the City were entertained at a banquet held in the Empress Hotel. Rotary was still a comparatively new organization in P. A. and the aims and objects of Rotary were explained to the teachers with the hopes that they might pass the information along to their pupils, and so spread the "Ideal of Service" in the community.
The initial steps to erect a War Memorial were taken by the Rotary Club. It was felt, however, that a memorial was something that the entire citizenry should be interested in and so a public meeting was held and a Citizens' Committee was formed to proceed with the selection, purchase and erection of the Memorial now standing in front of the Court House.
1926 - 1927 President, James (Guy) Penny, Classification, Banking
Rotary's first Minstrel Show was produced this year. Three evening shows and a matinee were given. Net proceeds of about five hundred dollars were used to start a junior section of the Public Library.
1927 - 1928 President Alex Brunton, Classification, Tailor
This was the year of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation and the City had a parade of all the public school children. They were marshalled to the Central School grounds where Bishop Lloyd delivered the address of the day. Large flags were presented by the Rotary Club to each of the schools and brochures illustrating flag etiquette was presented to each pupil.
1928 - 1929 President, Bill Mahon, Classification, Motion Pictures
The Prince Albert Auto Camp had been opened the year before and there
was a need for a dining hall. The Club built a log dining hall of pallisade construction and presented it to the City.
1929 - 1930 President, Bill Rowe, Classification, Druggist
As other presidents before Bill had trouble getting the members to fill the head table. April Fool's Day fell on a Monday this year so Bill thought an April Fool stunt might be in order. A drop of bitter aloes was put in each drinking glass except those at the head table. Immediately after Grace was said Bill proposed a toast to All Fools Day. The immediate effect was that many of the members made a rush for the nearest cuspidor. Some didn't appreciate the joke but those at the head table thought it funny. Other normal activities were carried on during the year as usual.
1930 - 1931 President, Fred Stevens, Protestant Clergy
The first series of Provincial Music Festivals were being held at this time. A new class for Male Choruses was started this year and as the Festival was being held in Saskatoon the Prince Albert Rotary Club decided to enter a chorus. It was necessary to have at least twelve singers in the group. We could get only eleven, not including Rae Manville. Rae candidly admitted that he was not a singer but we had to have twelve. So Rae went along, acted as end man for the chorus, going through all the motions of singing and saved the day. We didn't quite win the trophy but we got a mark of between 75 and 80. The Club is still a supporter of the Music Festivals, which were carried on during the Hungry Thirties until forced to recess during the World War. The festivals are thriving again and our Club remains a sponsor.
1931 - 1932 President, James H. (Jim) Lindsay, Classification, Lawyer
The usual club activities were carried on without loss in club membership or financial standing which was a real credit to the executive and directors during the early thirties. Jim was a charter member and still one of three members in the Club on the 36th Anniversary.
1932 - 1933 President, George Carr, Classification, Cartage
During this term George faithfully carried on the activities that had been started but not finished in previous years. He was now the only surviving member of the Peary Expedition to the North Pole.
1933 - 1934 President Ralph Miller, Classification, Merchant, Mens Wear
Ralph was very interested in music and during his year in office he threw the weight of the Club behind the Provincial Music Festival. With this increased impetus the festivals were carried on until 1940 when they recessed on account of the World War. The usual fund raising activities were carried on.
1934 - 1935 President, B. L. (Ray) Clemons, Classification, Hotels
It was during this year that Radio Station, 10 BI, became a commercial station with the call letters C.K.B.I. The Rotary Club assisted in arranging the first two days program of the station under its new status. They canvassed their members and other business and professional men for the first twenty-two programs and shared in the financial returns to the extent of about $300.00. Of the twenty-two entertainment groups arranged only one failed to show up at the appointed time. The Rotary M.C. and Rus Carrier filled in the fifteen minutes extemporaneously. It is interesting to note that this broadcast started Rus on his radio career. He became a full time announcer with the C.B.C. in Winnipeg and later Ottawa.
1935 - 1936 President, Vaughan Morgan, Classification, Ladies Wear
We were now in the middle of the "Hungry Thirties" and the Club's activities were largely directed towards raising funds and clothes drives for the needy. This was a very active year but without an outstanding single event.
1936 - 1937 President, Fred McLean, Classification, Dentist
The Minto Hockey Club was in the Provincial finals this year and at the end of the season the Board of Trade honored them with a banquet in the Avenue Hotel. The Service Clubs were asked to contribute a number on the program. The Rotary presentation was the broadcasting of an imaginary hockey game between the Mintos and a picked team of the Rotary Club. Great care was taken in picking the Rotary players. Bill Mahon was placed on defense as he had a reputation of never letting anything get by him. Harry Quinlan was chief scorer as he used a hockey stick like a blue pencil on a loan sheet; no principal but he sure held the interest. In the words of a sports announcer of that time, "It was the humdinger of all humdingers".
1937 - 1938 President, Fred Jones, Classification, Bakeries
A branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses was sponsored by the Club and started this year. They have been assisted in their yearly canvas every year since (until they disbanded).
The second Minstrel Show was held this year. Rotarians put on the circle. The second part was a motion picture instead of the usual oleo.
Fred always felt cheated because he wasn't given a Rotary button when he joined the Club in 1929. He made it mandatory for all future members so all new members would say, "Thanks Fred."
1938 - 1939 Rex Puttick, Classification, Meats, Wholesale
During the month of August we joined with the Kiwanians for our weekly luncheon. This practice continued for the summer months for over forty years. We found them pretty good fellows so we turned over our "Apple Day" to them as they wanted to make it a countrywide effort for the Kiwanis Clubs.
The Club put on a Major Bowes Amateur Show. Instead of being sponsored by Sanborne Dated Coffee our program was sponsored by The Chafe & Sunburn Undated Underwear. A goodly sum was realized. Rotarians and their wives were guests of the President at a picnic at Waskesiu.
The university students of Rotarians were entertained at our luncheon between Christmas and New Years Day. This custom was continued until the sixties and was broadened to include all Prince Albert University students.
1939 - 1940 President, Harry Quinlan, Classification, Banker
Negotiations with the advance agent of the Passion Play resulted in the signing a contract with them for the production to come in the fall. In the meantime war was declared and their contract was cancelled here and all over Canada. In January we started the production of "Trial by Jury". Owing to sickness in the cast this also had to be given up.
The Club helped raised funds for a Boy Scout Hall by a tag day. Major Ned Pickering, O.C. and the Officers of the 44th Battery were entertained at one of our luncheons.
1940 - 1941 President, George Salter
During this year a ladies night was held at the Empress Hotel. A Rotary sign was erected on Highway 2.
1941 - 1942 President, Bill Christie, Classification, Wholesale Groceries
Rotarians operated two booths at the Community Carnival held in the curling rink. The proceeds were used for community activities. The Club assisted at a patriotic concert in the Orpheum Theatre in the aid of the Mrs. Winston Churchill Fund. Reference was also made to a lucky ticket episode.
1942 - 1943 President, Bill Quinn, Classification, Breweries
Talent Doubling Effort. Each member was given a ten-dollar bill, which he had to invest or otherwise put into active use and return to the club treasury with accrued earnings. The effort netted something around three hundred dollars.
1943 - 1944 President, George Whitter
This year an Efficiency Project was started at the Collegiate as well as a War Charities Chest. Rotarians were invited to weekends at Waskesiu as Rae Manville's guests.
1944 - 1945 President, Richard (Dick) Mayson, Classification, Aviation
.This year was the 25th Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Prince Albert and the occasion was observed with a ladies night and banquet to which representatives of other Rotary Clubs were invited. George Carr and Ray Clemons were recognized with appropriate gifts for their twenty-five years of membership. Initial steps were taken to sponsor a Rotary Club at Nipawin. Usual fund raising activities were carried on. President Dick later became District Governor.
1945 - 1946 President, Wendall Howard, Classification, Merchant, Boots
This year the organizational work at Nipawin was completed and a Rotary Club was formed there. Several carloads of local Rotarians drove there for Charter Night.
Fund raising activities were projected towards helping to finance the Prince Albert Recreational Centre. The university students and City Council were entertained again at the end of the year.
1946 - 1947 President, R. D. Kerr, Classification, Education
The Christmas Carol Festivals were started this year. These were carried on until the 1970's and proved to be one of the most popular activities in which the Club has been engaged. A donation of $150.00 was made to the Prince Albert Recreation Association. A community auction sale was held and the proceeds were used for community activities. Steps were taken to organize a Rotary Club at Melfort and the Charter was presented to them on June 25, 1947. The Nipawin Club was presented with a Rotary Wheel.
1947 - 1948 President, Jack Conroy, Classification, Employment Service
The first contribution to Rotary Foundation was $200.00 donated by members of the Club. From this fund up February of last year over 700 scholarships for advanced study have been awarded to students from fifty-seven countries to colleges in thirty-seven countries thus promoting better understanding between college groups of different nations.
Contracts were signed with the Stan Francis Show and the Night in Vienna Concert, both to be presented in the Fall. Membership in the Club increased by over 15%. Tommy Davis presented us with a club pennant from the Rotary Club of Nanking. The second community auction sale was held..
1948 - 1949 President, Bill Halsey, Classification, Railway Express
A further donation of $400.00 was made to the P.A. Recreation Association for the swimming pool. The Club revived the Provincial Musical Festival locally and assumed the financial responsibility. Donations were made to the National Film Board, the Aid to Britain Fund and the John Howard Society. The Stan Francis and the Night in Vienna shows each showed a nice profit.
Installation of Inner Wheel officers was held at Ladies Night and that was the highlight of social activities.
1949 - 1950 President, Bob McKenzie, Classification, Wholesale
The second Horsfall Concert now called the Cavalcade of Song was presented before a full house. It was one of the nicest concert programs to come to Prince Albert. The Easter Seal Campaign was taken on by the Club with gratifying results. Dick Mayson's nomination for District Governor was supported.
1950 - 1951 President, Alex Blakely, Classification, Insurance
This was the first year that we participated in the Adventures in Citizenship and sent a student from our Collegiate to Ottawa to attend Parliament while in session. While in Ottawa these students were the guests of the Rotary Club of Ottawa. Our Club continued to participate in Adventures in Citizenship until the 1980's when a variety of Adventures programs became available. Our Club was honored with a visit by the President of Rotary International, Arthur Legeaux, of Quebec. This year saw the first presentation of the Dare-Devil Motor Car Drivers, which was very exciting, and a good money maker. The Horsfal Concert again played to a good house. The Rotary District Assembly was held at Waskesiu.
1951 - 1952 President, Ernie Aquilon, Classification, Banking
There was a return engagement of the Dare-Devil Motor Car Drivers, which again showed a good profit. Other activities and fund raising were
carried on as usual.
An aeroplane propeller, which had been used at the Prince Albert Flight Training School, was presented by Past District Governor, Dick Mayson, to the New Zealand Air Force.
1952 - 1953 President, Fred Veale, Classification, Motor Cars, Retail
We were proud to present a local boy in a concert program. Jon Vickers, son of W. Vickers, delighted the audience with a varied program of operatic and classical songs.
The Easter Seal Sale was again promoted with satisfying results. The Club sponsored a team in Pony League Baseball supplying the uniforms and equipment. The Musical Festival was presented and under-written by the Club. The Christmas Carol Festival was presented in the Sacred Heart Cathedral for the first time. Another student was sent to Ottawa for Adventures in Citizenship. A stag party was held to honor Fred Jones on his retirement from the Club.
1953 - 1954 President, Jack Amos, Classification, Stationary, Retail
We again sponsored a team in Pony League Baseball and this year saw them through to the Provincial Championship. As a community service and at the request of the Agricultural Society we had dinner served to 175 boys and girls attending the 'short course' at the Fair. A second Jon Vickers Concert was promoted. The Club raised $400.00 in Talent Money promotion. The Musical Festival and Christmas Carol Festival were again held. We raised $1,400.00 in the Easter Seal Sale. For the third year we sent a student to Adventures in Citizenship. Our Club continued to participate in Adventures in Citizenship until the 1980's when a variety of Adventures programs became available. We continued the V.O.N. drive in the business section and aided the Collegiate band..
Maurice Casgrain became the Club pianist and has been continuously since playing at the meetings and socials.
1954 - 1955 President, Jack Boddy, Classification, Railway Freight
It had been the custom to announce the receipts of the Easter Seals Sale for the entire Province at one time. These announcements have usually been made before a crowded grandstand at one of the larger Fairs of the Province.
This year we had the honor of having the announcement made at our own Agricultural Fair. Our president was very proud to go before the microphone and announce that the receipts from the entire Province this year amounted to $57,000.00. This fund was used for the treatment of children with cerebral palsy.
The weekend at Waskesiu as Rae Manvilles guests had grown to be a district event with guests from Melfort, Nipawin and Carrot River as well as our local Club. The Golden Jubilee of the founding of Rotary in Chicago by Paul Harris was celebrated at Herbies and was the outstanding social event of the year. Rotarians were there from other Clubs in the district.
1955 - 1956 President, Ed Gerry, Classification, Accountancy
The Rotary Social Club was organized with membership limited to two hundred. The tickets were sold at $25.00 each. As all members were considered good presidential material, the president was chosen by lot. The first twenty names drawn comprised the executive and each was given a souvenir of the occasion. The twentieth name drawn was the president. He was presented with a new car to help him transact his official business which was as various and strenuous as desired.
A Ladies Night was held at which tribute was paid to all Past Presidents. They, and their wives, were guests of the Club for the evening and occupied a special table at the right of the President and civic guest table. A voice from the past, via loud speaker, gave a short resume of each President's activities while a spotlight was thrown on him and his lady. In the case of absentee Past Presidents the light was thrown on the Rotary Wheel. Many of the members and guests were amazed at the number of things that had been accomplished during the thirty-seven years that Rotary has existed in Prince Albert. The evening was voted to be a decided success. The other usual activities such as the Easter Seal Campaign, the V.O.N. Drive, distribution of flowers to the shut-ins
were carried on as usual.
1956 - 1957 President, Harry Mitchell, Classification, Garages
This was another year of accomplishment. All usual activities were carried on. Harry succeeded where others had failed and supported the Rotary Christmas Carol Festival by entering a Rotary chorus. The University students were entertained during Christmas break.. The City Council and City executive officers were entertained. The local Music Festival Association was assisted in producing their spring festival and a very successful Ladies' Night and dance was held at Gus's Hall. The Rotary weekend at Waskesiu had been so successful that it was expanded to include all the Rotary Clubs of the District. The Rotary Social Club functioned again with the proceeds going to local activities.
1957 - 1958 President, Edward Pickering
An article from the Prince Albert Daily Herald was headed '12th Annual Carol Festival Underway Tonight In City' and quoted.
"Twenty-six Prince Albert choirs will sing songs of all nations, both ancient and modern, tonight, Thursday and Friday during the 12th annual Rotary festival of Christmas carols at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.