Posted by Paul Elsley, Kingston
We have finally arrived at the culminating month of our Centennial celebrations, and, in some respects, we saved the best for last.
One of our Centennial projects promotes environmental sustainability at No. 9 Gardens, a property located near Lyndhurst, Ont. Launched in partnership with Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, St. Lawrence College Department of Skilled Trades and Tourism, and the Kingston Rotary clubs, this unique 40-acre facility is Canada’s first Sustainability and Reconciliation Centre, created as a hands-on teaching facility and lab for research and the implementation of innovative projects and practices that lead to low carbon communities and a sustainable lifestyle.
On June 15, a dozen Rotarians made their way north to the property to plant apple trees. Working in four shifts, this determined group planted the first phase of trees with plans to return to plant many more in the fall. The centre will teach non-First Nation students about environmental sustainability and First Nation culture and traditions.
Some other project launches are yet to happen largely due to limitations presented by the pandemic. They include a greenhouse and teaching kitchen at Loughborough Public School, the rehabilitation of the waterfront facilities at RKY camp, an accessible fire pit at Easter Seals Camp Merrywood, more tree planting at Rotary Park and the official opening of the Rotary Reading Room at the Reg Shadbolt learning centre for the Boys and Girls Club. Here is hoping that we get to Phase III soon so that these Centennial projects can be completed before the end of the year.
Our online Centennial Celebration took place on the evening of June 25. On the notion that more is merrier, everyone in the District and a few Centennial clubs outside were invited to join in the festivities. The event began with a series of videos showcasing our partnership with the Robinson Community Garden, the installation of a commemorative plaque at the location of the first meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston and our Youth Mental Health Centennial project. We received congratulatory messages from President Nominee Jennifer Jones, Prime Minister Trudeau, and Mayor Bryan Paterson. There were District greetings from DG Hadi Mortada and DGE Fay Campbell and a summary of the year from co-Chairs Peter Merkley and Paul Elsley. The keynote address was delivered by RI Vice-President Valarie Wafer whose talk focused on engagement and personal mental health. The evening ended with the Centennial video highlighting all that was achieved over the past nine months.
To view the meeting recording, go to
The Rotary family in Kingston would like to extend our thanks to the District for supporting and joining us in our Centennial efforts. There is no doubt that this made our Centennial even more special. In case you missed the Centennial Celebration, here is a link to our Centennial website with all projects, events, and the Centennial video - Kingston Rotary Centennial . We look forward to making Rotary even stronger in Kingston as we begin our next 100 years!