EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chapleau Rotary Club celebrates 60 years of service to Chapleau and wider world from E. Roy Haddon as first president to Dave Laughland in 2011-2012

Rev E Roy Haddon
It seems like only yesterday but 60 years have passed since a group of business and professional men met to establish the Chapleau Rotary Club sponsored by the Sudbury club and united by the 'Ideal of Service'.

During the past week, I have been receiving news clippings and photos about the Chapleau club as it enters into a year of celebrating its 60th anniversary in Chapleau. For me, who was only ten when Rotary came to Chapleau, it has been a journey into the mothballs of my memory, and I am delighted to share some of the history of the Chapleau Rotary Club. Obviously I am at least a couple of years older now.

The founders of the Chapleau club read like a who's who of Chapleau in 1951, and all of them were so very much involved in the life of Chapleau as the community experienced expansion and growth. At the time there were no women in the Rotary club.

The club's first president was Rev. E. Roy Haddon, rector of St. John's Anglican church, World War II veteran and padre to Branch No. 5 (Ontario) of the Royal Canadian Legion. Vice president was Dr. G.E. Young, who became the club's second president, while, Newt Pellow, a local businessman was secretary; J.R. Serre, the township clerk was treasurer and B.W. 'Bubs' Zufelt, the reeve of Chapleau and owner of Chapleau Bakery was sergeant at arms.

The first directors were local businessmen E.E. 'Ernie' Collin ands Harold Cahill, Royal Bank manager G.F. Bailey and pharmacist J.R. 'Ross' Thornton.

Other founding members included Angelo Bucciarelli, Charles W. Collins, Dr. William Young, A.J. Grout, R. James, John McClellan, F.L. Moorey, Wilf Simpson, Earle Sootheran, C.A Smith   and J.M. Shoup.

When the Chapleau club was founded, Rotary had about 350,000 members worldwide while today Rotary International is made up of over a million men and women of all races and religions, found in all parts of the world who accept its  motto “Service above self”. As such, Rotarians do not allow politics or religious issues to interfere with striving to make this world a better place for all. Rotary was founded as a service club in 1905.

In Chapleau, as the club celebrates its 60th anniversary, the members include Jocelynne Bernier, Twyla Berry, Lucy Bignucolo, Lynn Bignucolo, Richard Bignucolo, George Evans, Dave Laughland, Joanne Laughland, Jim Shearer, Luc Tessier, and Natalie Tessier. Dave Laughland is the president for 2011-2012.

Once established the new club met weekly in Renison Hall of St. John's Anglican Church where the church ladies provided their meal for many years.

In 1952, the club held its first 'Ladies Night' where Mr. Haddon gave an address and Mr. Zufelt proposed the toast to the ladies, responded to by Mrs. C.A. Smith.Bob Serre provided entertainment on his accordion and Mr. and Mrs. W. Bernhardt gave a number of dances. Games and dancing followed --- and the usual close to reports of such gatherings, "a good time was enjoyed by all".

Jimmy Purich, Angelo Bucciarelli
To provide the necessary funds to carry out its good works, over the years, Rotary undertook many projects as fundraisers. In its early years in Chapleau was the annual car draw, and Pat (Purich) Russell and her brother Charlie kindly provided information about it. Their father, Jimmy Purich was very active in the Chapleau Rotary Club and it is fair to say, the car draw was one of his favourite projects.

Pat advised that Mr. Purich was Chairman "Ways and Means", and  organizer of fundraisers such as car raffle draws and bingos.
"For car draws he would set up  on the main street and had a little black book to keep the names of those requesting tickets and he would make sure those folks did get their tickets."

Charlie added: "Five Hundred tickets would be sold on e.g. a 1959 Pontiac. Tickets were ten dollars each and all were sold. Dad would love to stand outside of the Dominion's Store and sell them to passerbys, with Charlie Law's permission of course. (Mr. Law was manager of the Dominion store.)
"Once all tickets were sold, the big draw would take place at the scheduled bingo in the basement of the old Town Hall. Each and every ticket was drawn and each person's name was placed on a huge chalkboard, numbered 1 through 500. The ultimate winner would be the last name drawn. 
"On a number of occasions, when only two tickets remained, the Rotarians would check to see if both parties were in attendance. If they were, they were asked if they wanted to split the cash value or take a chance on the last name out. Back then the car would cost approximately $2500 thus yielding a profit of $2500 for an upcoming worthwhile causes".
 Pat also said that her father  would grow tall gladiolus and take bunches to Rotary meetings and auction them off to the highest bidder. "One year he took one of his prize pumpkins to have the Rotarians guess the weight of the pumpkin....original ideas adding to the coffers of Chapleau Rotary Club".
Names at bottom
Over the years, the fundraising projects may have changed but members still devote much time on them -- two more recent ones by the Chapleau club have been an annual curling bonspiel with profits split between the favourite charity of the winning team and Rotary, while another major one has been an annual Rotary Trade and Sports Show in the spring.
The Chapleau Rotary Club meets twice a month. Here are some of the things it does in the community, according to an information bulletin.
"We offer scholarships and awards to students in all the schools of Chapleau. We annually send a high school student for an “Adventure in Citizenship” offered by the Rotary Club of Ottawa. 
Fund raising bonspiel
"We built the Rotary Pavilion on Chapleau’s waterfront and we are continuing to beautify the area with planters and trees. We continue to make major contributions to the Chapleau General Hospital Foundation, and the Bignucolo Residence, including the Standing Garden in the latter’s courtyard, the chapel and, RED program for future development. We support the Chapleau branch of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and other specific projects for local groups..."
Next week, I will continue with more about the Chapleau Rotary Club, then and now! Congrats on the occasion of your 60th anniversary.
Sport and Trade Show
Thanks to all who contributed to this article: Joanne Laughland, George L. Evans, Pat (Purich) Russell, Charlie Purich, Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick, Doug Greig. Any errors are mine.My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Chapleau Rotarians in the 1960s cooking for community function. Front row l to r D.O.Payette, Jim Keddie, Bob Warren. L to r back row, not identified, Jim Lane, Gene Bernier, Ray Ouellette, not identified, Jim Purich, Ross Perrigard, Jack Shoup, not identified.

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Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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