The original Rotary Club of Stirling (Ontario, Canada — D 7070) received its charter in April of 1949 and served the community for almost 35 years until it disbanded in 1983.
Thirteen years later, in April of 1996, the service club was reborn with a new charter and sixteen eager members.
Two of those charter members (Alan Coxwell and Larry Groves) remain with the club to this day.
One of the first major projects they tackled was the renovation of the Stirling Theatre.
Local Rotarians contributed many hours of sweat equity in the physical reconstruction of the building itself.
Rotary’s financial assistance allowed for purchase of large dining tables in the upper hall, furnace installation, air-conditioning along with major renovations to the ticket office and basement.
Rotarians also helped with the painting.
A few years later, the service club began fundraising for their biggest project ever – the relocation and restoration of the then derelict railway station.
The historic 1879 building was moved down the old rail bed in the fall of 2004 and now sits proudly at the edge of Highway 14 (North Street) just north of Stirling Foodland and features the well-appointed Community Hall.
In the intervening years there have been many worthwhile community projects both large and small.
The latest is a most ambitious undertaking and involves the beautification of the strip of land immediately west of the railway station.
“This is municipal land,” explained Stirling Rotarian Donna Graff, “and is presently undeveloped and overgrown.”
“Two of our members, Kevin Tribble, a landscape architect, and Bill Vaughan, a retired civil engineer, have drawn up plans for something we are calling Station Park.”
Graff said the project will be done in stages and might take up to two years of work.
Once completed, it will be a beautifully landscaped area with pathways, gardens and trees.
There will be picnic tables, park benches, a fitness station and possibly some children’s playground equipment.
Rotary’s proposal for Station Park was green-lighted by the municipality two months ago and the service club is currently quite busy finalising plans to put the first shovel in the ground this spring.
“With a project of this size, fundraising is absolutely essential,” said Graff, “and the bottle drive we held just after Christmas was the first of many fundraisers we have planned in support of Station Park.”
“We were blown away by the response from local residents. Thanks to their contributions we were able to raise just over $1,000 for the cause.”
Graff went on to say the bottle drive will be an annual event to be held during the first week of the new year and reminded people to check Stirling Rotary’s Facebook page and website for updates on the Station Park project.
Service clubs will always be an important part of any community by helping where help is needed and the Stirling Rotary Club can be justifiably proud of its many good deeds and impressive accomplishments in The Little Village With a Big Heart.
Source: The Intelligencer