It all began back in the spring of 1943 when a contingent of Rotarians from Charlottetown came to Summerside in search of a few good men.  They found 26 of them and on June 2, 1943 the Rotary Club of Summerside received its charter as Club #5619.  The first meeting was held over lunch at the Olympia Tea Room...just across the street from the train station.


The first President of the Club was Peter G. Clark....and over the years the Club has been led by some of Summerside' s most prominent and influential business people......J. Edward Dalton, Ben Taylor, Alan Holman, T. Earle Hickey, Vaughan Groom, Edgar Cannon, Thane Campbell and George Meikle. 


True to the Rotary motto of Service Above Self, in Summerside Rotary has always been synonymous with community service.  In its first year, the Club raised almost $20,000 which included $8500 to buy an x-ray machine....establishing a long relationship with Prince County Hospital that continues today with our $50,000 commitment to the Hospital Foundation.


Over the past 70 years, the Club has become known across Prince County for its dedication to improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities.  It started in 1943 with a $1400 donation to the Crippled Children' s Fund....and since then has included the provision of wheelchair lifts at the Recreation Centre and Centennial Pool, a wheelchair van for SAW Industries, computers, electric wheelchairs, housing renovations and the Community Connections building campaign.  Much of the funds have come from our participation with the Rotary Club of Charlottetown in the Easter Seals Campaign.


We are very proud of our record of identifying important community needs and then meeting them: the Rotary Regional Library, the Inspire Learning Centre, the Rotary Friendship Park, the Rotary Celebration Garden and the STRIVE Scholarship Program are lasting legacies for future generations of Prince County residents.


At the same time, our Club has also recognized its international responsibilities through its contributions to the Polio Plus campaign, ambulances for China, fire fighting apparatus for Argentina, hospital equipment for Jamaica, water wells in Nigeria and a market garden for an orphanage in Mozambique.


We have brought the world to Summerside....and Summerside to the world through our continued participation in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and Group Study Exchange Program.


Today.....more than 70 years after those 26 charter members met for lunch at the Olympia Tea Room we have twice as many members.....and the same determination to put Service Above Self.