Southampton Rotary celebrates 85th anniversary with Charter re-enactment


On Friday May 5th, Southampton Rotary Club members and partners together with past presidents and invited guests celebrated 85 years of service at the Walker House. During the social hour guest were able to view memorabilia and displays of the Club’s many achievements and community projects.

President Jenny Amy welcomed members and honoured guests and led the toasts to the King, Canada, Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Southampton.

Past Presidents Kees Veerman and Art Eby viewing the exhibits

The Club was admitted to membership of Rotary International in March, 1938 and was formally presented with its Charter on May 5th, 1938 at a dinner at the Walker House by  then District Governor Geoffrey Wheable from the Rotary Club of London. A short re-enactment ceremony took place and the following presentations were made.


The Rotary Club of Owen Sound sponsored the Southampton Club in 1938 and the Past President of Owen Sound Rotary Club Rob Dors re-enacted presenting the gong, otherwise known as the Rotary Bell and the gavel to President Jenny.

Re-enactment participants L to R Past Presidents Bruce Waechter, Past President Rob Dors from Owen Sound,  Past President Henry Weickert, Past President Alex Thornburn, President Jenny Amy, Past District Governor Tony Sheard, Emcee and Past President Sylvia Sheard

Past Presidents and Rotarians Alex Thornburn, Henry Weickert and Bruce Waechter presented the American Flag originally given by the Rotary Club of Flint, the Canadian flag, which came from the Rotary Club of Woodstock and Rotary Pins from the Rotary Club of London.

In recognition of this milestone, Rotarian, past-President and past-District Governor Tony Sheard presented a certificate congratulating the Club on 85 years of “Service above Self” to President Jenny and read out greetings from the Southampton BIA and past-President Keith Nixon. He also displayed the “wooden fish” that were used at the 1938 Charter dinner showing the order of proceedings that were used to guide the re-enactment ceremony.

Bob Speight, a long serving Southampton Rotarian and also a past-President was the Keynote Speaker and spoke about the Club’s history and achievements over the last 85 years, with funny anecdotes.




Mayor Luke Charbonneau responded on behalf of the community and also presented a certificate of recognition and said, “It was impossible to imagine Southampton without Rotary.” The District Governor Elect responded on behalf of the guests and congratulated the Club on its exemplary service.

Past-President Sylvia Sheard emceed the evening and commented that the Southampton Rotary Club met at the Walker House for 50 years and over that period only men were allowed at the meetings. The only women allowed in the room were waitresses and Deputy Mayor Diane Huber was one of those waitresses for a time. It was interesting to learn that the Walker House also acquired its first liquor licence in 1938.

President Jenny thanked everyone for attending and invited them to take part in the Club’s Scavenger Hunt and to come to the free fun day on May 13th at Jubilee Park from 11:30p.m. to 2:30p.m.

For more information about Southampton Rotary, visit