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Brief History of the New Waterford Rotary Club

With the help and advice of Mr. Curtis MacKay, District Governor from Yarmouth, and the sponsorship of the Glace Bay Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of New Waterford was admitted to Rotary International on March 28, 1938.


The fifteen original members and their classifications were:


  • President Harry Hines – Mine Superintendent

  • Secretary Victor Fisher – Education

  • Treasurer Walter Bagley – Banking

  • J.F. Chiasson – Pharmacy

  • L.J. Doucet – Press Reporter

  • Fred Gregor – Theatre Manager

  • Jack Gregor – Manager of Men’s Clothing Establishments

  • Charles Hares – Anglican Minister

  • Gordon Hillier – Book Store Manager

  • W.J. Hinchey – Owner & Manager of Grocery Store

  • J.T. MacMillan – Jeweler

  • David Morrison – Mine Manager

  • J.C. Trites – Medical Doctor

  • LeRay Morrison – Department Store Manager

  • Lloyd Weatherbee – Hardware Merchant

Luncheon places in New Waterford were not plentiful, so after a number of attempts with the Coronation Tea Room, the Acadian House, the Tartan Tea
Room, and Gilbert’s Grill, the “partners” of the Rotarians served them in “The Hut”, which was the old Mt Carmel Scout Hall on the site of the present KOC building. On December 17 th , 1957, we began a wonderful relationship with the UCW (United Calvin Women) that has lasted ever since.

In 1980-81, Club member Don Blackwood was chosen District Governor. This resulted in our Club hosting the District Conference and Assembly in 1981. The Conference was chaired by the very capable Rotarian Wayne Connors. Our club continues to receive compliments for the tremendous event it turned out to be.

The Rotary Clubs of New Waterford, North Sydney and Sydney co-sponsored the St. Pierre and Miquelon Rotary Club in 1989. We also are very proud sponsors of the BEC Rotary Interact Club.


Today the Club has 23 members, 7 female and 16 male. The first female members, inducted in 1997, were Rotarians Marie Kelly, Joan MacDonald, Beth Latham and Mary Lynk. Our club is more diverse and much stronger because of the presence and contributions of our female members.

The New Waterford Rotary Club is especially known by its members and the district for two things over the last 70 plus years: fellowship, and its work with special children with disabilities.

The club is known for its parties: such as Christmas, Halloween, gin fizz breakfasts, progressive dinners, year end lobster and steak barbeques; and golf, curling, bowling and lob ball exhibitions. We could always find a reason for a party.

Our community service focuses on our work with special children. Since our inception our club has been involved in bringing in specialists from other parts of the province to conduct Rotary Clinics twice a year. We have also provided help to transport children with disabilities to Halifax for treatment, and provide necessary equipment. These continue to be our main community service endeavours. We also have been, or are, involved with Victory Bond Campaigns, War Relief Drives, Combined Christmas Giving, town spruce-up campaigns, spearheading campaigns for a community rink and a swimming pool, lighting for the tennis courts, the ball hockey arena, minor sports, sea and air cadets, Adventure in Citizenship, women and youth job re-entry programs, Easter Seals, schizophrenia awareness and support, mental health awareness and support, Coal Dust Days, Coal Bowl, Meals on Wheels, Maple Hill Manor, hospital equipment, Polio Eradication, Operation Eyesight Universal, Foster Parents Plan, Transition House, Cape Breton Regional Library, Terry Fox Run, playgrounds at Mount Carmel and Greenfield Elementary, Abilities Foundation, etc., etc., etc.

Our main projects to support our community and international service include:

The Trip Draw, Silent Auction and Dance; and the Sports Draw.

We believe our community and international service has been enhanced by the special fellowship atmosphere that has been a trademark of the club over the years.

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