70+ years of service in Minden Ontario

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Compiling the history of an organization such as Minden Rotary is an enormous task that will take considerable time. The information exists in people's memories, in brochures, on paper stored in the inaccessible "filing cabinets" buried in the bowels of the club's storage locker, as well as in newspaper articles. To start, this will be a compilation of items submitted by others. Hopefully it will reach a point where someone can assemble the parts into a narrative. The contribution to Minden has been very significant and this is a story that needs to be told. That said, here goes......



  1. Charter Night
  2. ROTARY Park
  3. Dinner/Auction
  4. ROTARY from June 1947 to present
  5. A ROTARY tour of Minden in pictures


photo courtesy of Ted Brandon

Founding Members, Charter Night June 18 1947 Wig-A-Mog Inn

Front Row:Percy Brintnell, Archie Stouffer, George Zeigler (DG Parry Sound), Ken Currie, Don James, Bob Herlihey
Second Row: Al Vince, Vince Fountain, E.A. Rogers, Jimmie Smith, Allan Rogers,
Third Row:Clayton Rogers, Lorne Dawson, Clarence McInerney, Sinclair Russell, Leslie Prentice, Harry Cowan
Back Row: Ralph Hussey, Morris Windsor, Lawrence Pritchard, Phil Taylor. Cliff Mullen, Bill Coneybeare
Missing:Al Barron,

Quite a night

charter night program

Charter Night Programme and Menu

ROTARY PARK -by: Steve Berry

rotary park

In the mid fifties the present  Rotary Park was a large island in the Gull River. The river flowed past it on the north west side and the creek flowed past it on the highway side. Access was principally by water but a steep path came down the hill and crossed the shallow creek on the east side.
The site was used by Kilcoo Camp as a final overnight stop on their two week canoe trips down from Algonquin Park enroute to Kilcoo on Gull Lake.
It was also used extensively by the First Minden Scout Troop led by Scoutmaster Don Berry. The Minden Scouts were sponsored by Minden Rotary Club.
In the interest of securing this scenic and important site, Don collaborated with the current Reeve Reg Booth to expropriate the land for Minden Township. (There were several adjoining landowners who did not approve of this step but the fact that a township road allowance ran through it to the river  and that it was deemed an island gave the township the rights to take over the site).
Extensive planning and development with the collaboration of the township and Minden Rotary Club led to the existence of the beautiful asset we have today.

Brief History of Minden Rotary’s primary Fundraise: the Annual Dinner Auction -by: Jeanne Anthon

dinner auction

Background: the Minden Anglican Church had initiated a fundraiser using the dinner/auction theme in the later 1990’s to raise funds for a new roof. When their goal had been reached after 3 yrs, rather than dropping the event, they entertained the concept of partnering with another organization to help alleviate the burden of running a major event. Rev. Merv Everall was the Anglican minister at the time plus a Rotarian so negotiations were entered into and the first joint event was conducted in 2001. The arrangement was for the Church to cater the dinner and collect all the proceeds and our Club would collect proceeds from the auction portion. The goal was to raise between $10, and $15,000 in total. Our Club had conducted weekly bingos for years and they were tremendous fundraisers for the community – $100,’s of thousand for the hospital, community centre, tennis courts etc. So we were looking for a major fundraiser and this seemed to fit the bill. The Anglican Church finally found that they didn’t have the numbers of volunteers to produce the dinner so we have had other caterers, especially the Minden Agricultural Society over the years. Now the Society has reduced numbers and we are reaching out again for a new cater. Over the years, our Club has raised from $10,000 to a high of $17,000. Attendance has ranged from 175 to SOLD OUT of 220 which is almost over capacity considering we us ¾ of the community centre upstairs for the auction portion. We have had several aspects to the auction including the proceeds from the bar, a portion of dinner sales, 50/50 draw, snakes & ladders, Nostalgia table, loonie , live and silent auctions with a professional auctioneer, Norm Mills.The province has forced licensing of some of those events and banned loonie auction completely so we are looking at having another fundraiser to replace the $1,000 plus that brought in. 2016: individual binders are being prepared like this one, containing all paperwork required to effectively solicit the businesses, friends, relatives for donation. These will be out in Feb. giving us 3/ ½ mos to approach the over 300 contacts. Many businesses don’t mind our approach because they recognize what Rotary does for Minden and area and they have said they don’t have time to belong to an organization and their donation is an opportunity to participate

Minden Rotary from June 1947 - present -by: Ed Pergolas, Rick Ratcliff and Joanna Penfold

What would Minden be like if there wasn’t a Rotary Club? Minden Rotary would like to think that they have served the community well, adhering to our motto “Service Above Self” Our list of accomplishments is a long one and Minden Rotary hs always been there with a helping hand, not asking for anything in return. Our Charter members and beyond were dedicated – always keeping in mind that our aim was to help the community to the best of our ability. Our problem has always been that we neglect to “Toot our own horn” as it were. This might be so but our satisfaction is being able to help others. It is estimated that we have been able to help the community with over 3 million dollars in support. Our list of accomplishments locally have been

Our international contributions include:

None of this could have been accomplished without the involvement of our community and the dedication of our members in supporting our various fundraisers which include:


A Rotary tour of Minden in pictures - more to come

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