Kimberley Rotary Club celebrates 75th anniversary

Parks, trails and projects; serving Kimberley for 75 years

Melanie Holloway

Kimberley Rotarians gathered on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 with District Governor Kees Vander Pol to celebrate a milestone in the club’s history — their 75th anniversary.

Vander Pol addressed the club briefly and brought congratulations from the President of Rotary International.

Rotarian Mike Cave put together a history of the club and its accomplishments over the past 75 years, and they are quite impressive.

Formed in 1941, under a sponsorship from the Cranbrook Rotary Club, the Kimberley Rotary Club immediately dove into the war effort with a blood drive and victory bond drive.

In 1944, the club took on the creation of Rotary Park on what was then Government Road. It was renamed Rotary Drive in recognition of the club’s efforts two years later.

The park was updated by the club several times over the years, and in 1997 Kimberley Rotary embarked on a major upgrade, including a new playground for younger children and an upgrade to the park washrooms.

The final touch to the park is the new splash park, just completed this fall, a huge fundraising effort for a club the size of Kimberley Rotary.

Kimberley Rotary has also been instrumental in a lot of Kimberley’s trail development. In 1978, the club undertook the development of the trail, bridge and viewpoint at Marysville Falls. In 1983, they joined the Marysville Lions on  a joint project to construct a fitness path between Black Bear and Marysville. In 2005, the club built a loop trail from the Riverside Campground along the St. Mary River.

Cave says that is just a partial list of the many projects Kimberley Rotary has taken on over the years, and doesn’t include international projects such as the ShelterBox campaign, which has seen Kimberley give on a higher per capita basis than any other community.