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There are tens of thousands of men who have been caught in the spirit of service, and through it they have brought not only great happiness to themselves but tremendous credit to the Rotary ideal. These men became aware of the friendliness and the understanding between others in their own Rotary clubs. Many have watched the new-comer, after his entrance into the club, gradually develop a warmer, friendlier and more likeable disposition. It was in that spirit that the Rotary Club of Haliburton was born. The charter members who had limited experience in Rotary provided the early suggestions for a founding club. This is a brief history of the club's first year. On March 3, 1944, sixteen charter members attended the organizational dinner of the Rotary Club of Haliburton at the Grand Central Hotel in Haliburton. Guests that evening included District Governor Harmon E. Rice of Hunstville, Past District Governor Dan McQuarrie of Lindsay; Bert Harton, Les Boucher and Joe Cherrier of the Hunstville club, and Max Brandon of Fenelon Falls. The most important item of business that evening was the election of officers. They were: Ron Curry, President; Bert Braden, Vice-President; Tom Barry, Secretary; Charles Haggen, Treasurer; Directors Art Gilliam, W.O. Bailey, Clayton Hodgson, Jack Roberston and W.R. Curry. Charter members were: Rea Stinson, Geroge Earle, Fred Jones, Ed Hunter, Mery Robertson, and Ray Archer. Within that year nineteen additional members came into the club, making a total of 35. Some 128 Rotarians from many parts of Ontario attended the Haliburton Club's charter night on May 24, 1944 at Wig-A-Mog Inn. The club's fund raising efforts included monthly bingos and the raffle of a cottage on Lake Kashagawigamog. The cottage was constructed by members of the club. Raffle tickets were sold for 35 cents or seven for $2.00. The first carnival and street dance was held on August 16, with proceeds earmarked for Crippled Children and the War Services Fund. Several health-related projects were sponsored by the club in its first year. At a health clinic held at the Red Cross Hospital thirty children had their tonsils removed by a Dr. Chant. He was assisted by Dr. Agnes Jamieson of Minden and Dr. White of Lindsay. Rotary members helped with the care of the children. An eye clinic provided testing for 55 children, 19 of whom required glasses, which were supplied by the Rotary club. The club also sponsored a mass Tuberculosis clinic where 2,600 people were x-rayed and later, $700 was raised by the sale of T.B. Christmas Seals. A crippled and handicapped children's survey was carried out with the assistance of public school prinicpals throughout the area. A donation of $500 was made to Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto. Donations of $100 were made to the Haliburton and Wilberforce skating clubs to assist them in constructing rinks, and the club sponsored the Haliburton Citizens Band. Two wheel chairs were purchased and $1500 was allocated to Victory Bonds. Rotarians paid 55 cents for their meals at the Wednesday night meetings at the Grand Central Hotel , but before the year was over the price was raised to 65 cents. There was some concern about the increase but in the end not a single member left the club. A very keen attendance contest was carried out with the club divided into two teams captained by Fred Jones and Ed Hunter. Only one member was absent in May for an attendance record of 98.5 percent, the best in the District. Some of the guest speakers in 1944 included Dunc Copus on the topic of a Victory Loan for Ontario; lawyer Cecil Frost on Post-War Planning, Ted Deyman from Trans Canada Airlines, Charles LaFerle, National Director of War Services, Miss Woodsmall of World Citizens headquartered in Geneva, Miss Ross on crippled children, Leslie Frost, provincial treasurer; and Squadron Leader Pat Morse of the RCAF, who saw service in the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk and Dieppe. Many of the men returning from overseas were guests at the club's meetings in its charter year.