Posted by Jim Ling
Eric Small was our founding President - Rotary Club of Gibsons. In here he shares the history. Rotary Club of Gibsosn is the first of the four Rotary Clubs on the Sunshine Coast. The others are Rotary Club of Sechelt (Tuesday evening meeting), Rotary Club of Sunshine Coast also in Sechelt (Thursday lunch meeting) and Rotary Club of Pender Harbour.
Rotary was established on the coast with the charter of our club in Dec 1990 with 33 members including 4 women. Eric Small was charter president, Malcolm Fraser was President elect. Dick Williams was secretary and Lorrain Arthur was Treasurer with Darcy Burke Sargent at arms. A little background- When I arrived here in 1988 I noticed there was no Rotary Club and as I had been a member for over 20 years was still a member of Prince George club I thought there should be one. I contacted the District Governor who sim[ply said it couldn't be done as they had tried and failed in the past. This was a challenge I wanted and while he was of little help Mel Spowart District officer for new clubs was a great memtor. I ran ads in the local paper and called on most businesses and several former Rotarians were enthusiastic and helped rounding up new members. It soon became apparent it would have to be a joint club with Sechelt although I didn't see this working in the long run as where did we get our money and where did we spent it. Turns out Sechelt wanted their own club in just over a year which was the right thing to do, I had to transfer my membership to the North Van Club who then became our sponsor. Our first project was a work party cleaning up the waterfront which was well attended. Our first real fundraiser was to organize the wrap party for the Beachcombers after 19 years filming here. This was a huge success and I remember John Kavanagh and Steve Sawyer in particular being the organizers. We made over $25,000 and had some seed money to work with, in addition to a scholarship fund that the CBC wanted, and is still in existence today.