Some of our past-presidents


Take A Look At Our Story!


On the north east shore of Lake Ontario is a peninsula that is Prince Edward County, total population 22,259, a shoreline of 800 kilometres, rural in nature with the recent addition of a flourishing viticulture.  One of three small population centres in The County is the village of Wellington, 1703 inhabitants.  In early 2002, a small group in the village began to explore the possibility of forming a Rotary Club, hoping to establish a service profile because of the area’s increasing role as a retirement destination and a growing interest in the fledgling wine industry.  After several months of meetings with members of the nearby Rotary Club of Picton (formed in 1943, so lots of experience and guiding wisdom), the Rotary Club of Wellington received its Charter in November, 2002, with the first president, Jim Bancroft, presiding.  The evening celebrated its twenty founding members.  At the time, the new club was grateful for the support and interaction of several neighbouring clubs and this close relationship and co-operation continue.


We are recognized in our community as enthusiastic supporters of individuals, organizations and events, to be counted on for both financial donations and volunteer help.  A major focus for us, in our small, rural area, is assistance to our young citizens through donations for scholarships, athletic and educational competition prizes, travel aid, support for local athletes, the 4H, a Field of Dreams baseball project, providing school library books, resurfacing a running track and school playground equipment.  The Storehouse Foodbank is a regular recipient of generous Rotary donations.  We are a community that loves to celebrate and is renowned for its ability to organize special events that attract participants from across the province and beyond.  During our mid-October Pumpkinfest, parade viewers don knitted pumpkin hats, eat homemade apple dumplings and gather at the school to watch Wellington Rotarians perform the weigh-in to determine the largest pumpkin and squash from entrants across Canada and the U.S.  As well as our Pumpkinfest parade float, we also provide a float for Canada Day and two Christmas season parades.



With a proud history of accomplishments, our largest project was the rejuvenation of Wellington Beach, the only municipally owned, no fee for usage beach in The County. Over more than five years of planning, research, securing grants, fundraising, and just plain hard work, the area was officially declared Wellington Rotary Beach in summer, 2009.  The project included 1200 feet of accessible boardwalk, 900 feet of walking paths, a picnic shelter, picnic tables, viewing benches and interpretive signs, at a total cost of about $225,000, including much sweat equity from club members, community individuals and businesses. 



 Our pride in this project is reflected in our redesigned club banner.


Our latest major donation is to the newly built Wellington and District Community Centre, home of the championship Wellington Dukes hockey team, an indoor walking track and a centre for activities for The County.  In recognition of our pledge of $50,000, a large, mulit-purpose room in the Centre bears the name of The Rotary Club of Wellington on its door.


Each of the past five years, Rotary Club of Wellington has entered a team in the Wellington Lions Club Dragon Boat races.  Approximately $6000 was raised this year to support breast cancer survivors and research.  After five years of paddling our hearts out, we finally won the Community Cup this July!  No small feat for our group of very enthusiastic, but, shall we say, mature, team members





For the first time in eighteen years, the Quebec-based Grand Tour Desjardins held its annual cycling tour outside of Quebec, visiting Prince Edward County in early August with 1,950 cyclists.  At a nearby elementary school, Rotary Club of Wellington volunteers supervised lunch areas, water bottle filling stations, washrooms and garbage clean-up, in the pouring rain.  It was a wonderful experience for Rotary members and many of us got to try our rusty French in conversation. 



We are becoming more familiar with the benefits of partnering with clubs for projects.  During this past summer, Quinte Sunrise Rotary Club invited Wellington and Belleville clubs to partner in contributing to restoring a damaged dock at a local camp for children with cancer.  As a result, our clubs’ $2000 donations became $12,000, to complete a much needed facility at the camp.  As well, club members spent a day at the camp, cleaning, building and preparing for the first campers and their families



Although we do focus on local support and activities, we also take part in international projects.  Through annual donations to the Rotary Foundation, we join Rotary Clubs around the world in supporting the eradication of Polio and AIDS.  We are in our fourth year of contributing to Pure Water for the World to purchase and install specialized biosand filters and latrines amongst 1500 families in 31 villages in the El Paraiso District of Honduras.  This project includes continuous hygiene education for adults and children.  The result has been a reduction in children’s absences from school for health reasons.  We are anticipating partnering with the Rotary Club of Belleville to support a bio-latrine project at St. George’s Primary School in Kapseret, Kenya.  Both of these projects reflect our belief that a healthy environment for children has such a positive impact on their lives. 



How does a club of 37 members (and growing) fund such a variety of interests?   Very creatively!


Our major source of income is our operation of a Bottle Depot recycling centre, in partnership with The Beer Store.   In leased space in an old feed mill, Wellington Rotary has business hours Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9:00am to 1:00pm.  We accept any containers that the Beer Store and LCBO sell and we provide a full refund for these items.  As well, we assist in unloading vehicles and sorting, although we do request that containers be sorted and counted prior to arrival.  We are fortunate to include our local wineries, who also return their bottles to us.  Our clients are very generous and regularly commend the club for its many accomplishments and leave a donation in our plastic bucket.  There is a weekly pick up by a large Beer Store truck and we are reimbursed by the quantity that we have gathered.  It is a dependable enterprise, but requires a huge commitment of member time and energy, with four on duty each day, five during the summer. 


For several years,  a consortium of seven Quinte area Rotary clubs have produced the Annual Diners and Duffers book, a discounting coupon book featuring golf clubs, restaurants, wineries, theatres and a brewery.  When it becomes available in late March, it is a much sought after item, with a price of $35 per book providing $2500 in value.  The books are sold by Rotary members, by local businesses and through our elementary school.


Our annual Rotary Golf Tournament is a day of fun and good food, at our Wellington Golf Course.  One of the features that our golfers enjoy is the dinner that is catered entirely by Wellington Rotary members. 


Annually, we invite our wineries, cheesemakers,  a musician and a local catering group to join us in presenting An Evening of Fine County Tastes.  It is an opportunity for wonderful exposure for the businesses and a fun evening for those who attend.  Wine tasting tickets are sold and a light tasting menu is provided.  Our local barrel-maker even auctions a wine barrel (empty, sorry), to add to the excitement.


Our Success –

A major strength of our club is its highly visible energy and commitment in our community.  We have become the “go-to group” for ideas and assistance.  New members are attracted by our vitality and our enthusiasm.  With 7:07am Tuesday morning meetings, enthusiasm is a must!  At our Past Presidents’ Dinner in June, 13 of 36 members received perfect attendance pins.  Eleven of our now 37 members are Charter members.  A great amount of time and energy are involved in being a member of the Rotary Club of Wellington.  Our unofficial motto, “We don’t just donate, we participate!” is exemplified in the many activities that we endeavour.  Along with our service and commitment, however, we have not lost sight of the importance of camaraderie and good social times together.  At the end of each meeting, as we repeat together the Rotary Four Way Test, we add our own fifth requirement, “And is it fun!”


Rotary Club of Wellington is humbled by the honour of being October’s District 7070 Rotary Club of the Month.