The Rotary flag was raised at Thompson City Hall Nov. 1 in recognition of all that the local club has contributed to the community as it seeks to attract new members to its ranks.
The Rotary Club of Thompson (Manitoba, Canada – D 5550) was founded in 1961, said president Cristin Smook, and has contributed to many projects and programmes over its 57 years, including the Otto Bindle sledding hill by Highland Tower, Rotary Park, the suspension bridge at Pisew Falls and the Rotary student exchange.
Cristin Smook said she joined the club four years ago at the invitation of Shelly Watt because her father joined when she was 10 years old.
“That was the first year that we had an exchange student in our house and we had one every year following that up until I was in Grade 12,” she said.
“I was also an exchange student from 1999 to 2000 so when I joined Rotary somebody asked me what I wanted to do and of course it was the kids because that was what gave me the most joy as a kid, being the kid of a Rotarian.”
“We’ve also brought kids in from around the world to go on a trip to Churchill, which is actually happening next week.”
Mayor Colleen Smook, in one of her first official acts since having been sworn in on account of former mayor Dennis Fenske going out of town (the council as a whole will be sworn in at their inaugural meeting Nov. 7), said that the Rotary Club of Thompson has been a staple of the community for the four-plus decades that she has lived here.
“It’s always been sort of the premier organisation of the city,” said the mayor.
“You guys involve the whole community in everything you do and it’s very much appreciated and, especially in this day and age when things do get tough for the smaller organisations, you guys always seem to be able to jump to the plate.”
Cristin Smook says being president hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it.
“It has been enlightening,” she said. “it’s given me a wide variety of experience.”
She also said that members simply asking people to join can be a good way to grow the membership, since that’s how she got recruited.
“I think the more people we ask just randomly like that, the more people that we’ll bring into the club,” she said.
“I hope that we have a really good month of November and we can all get together and participate in some fellowship activities and build our club up and get some new members and continue to service the community of Thompson.”
The Rotary flag will fly at City Hall throughout November except when the Remembrance Day flag takes its place next week.
Source: Thompson Citizen