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  • Fred Richmond


From the founding of the Kingston-Frontenac Rotary Club in 1966 until the late 1980s, the wives of club members played a very important role as members of the Kingston-Frontenac Rotary AnnEs. Before spell check and the internet, our ‘Annes’ were one of those ‘Anns with an E’. This was a time before women were admitted to Rotary and Rotary Anns had become an international organization on its own.

The Kingston-Frontenac Rotary Annes supported and extended the community outreach and the social aspects of the Rotary Club in many important ways. Their own meetings were held monthly and provided them with an opportunity to plan their charitable activities and to extend their fellowship on a more personal basis. In a similar fashion to an undeclared object of Rotary, being president of the Annes presented an opportunity for members to build on their own leadership skills and experience; the president of the Annes was most frequently the spouse of the president of the Rotary Club in that year.

Over the years, their dedicated efforts provided significant contributions to a wide variety of community and other projects. Examples of their support included the annual Salvation Army Christmas Baskets, donations to Interval House, Hospice Kingston, The Food Bank, Palliative Care, the Hemophilia Program, Gifts for Fairmount, the Adult Literacy Program, and decorating the sitting room at the KGH Blood Clinic.

The Rotary Annes also organized Christmas concerts and social events in support of their own projects and in conjunction with the Rotary club’s activities. One of their major fundraising projects was the compilation and publishing of "Rotary Annes Favourite Recipes" during the presidency of Betty Jeffery in 1981. This attractive and popular book was lavishly illustrated with artistic designs by former club member and president, the late Fred Schonberger. Proceeds of this project were donated to help finance the completion of Rotary Park.

The support given to the club and to the community by the Rotary Annes is greatly missed and they should be justifiably proud of their many projects over the years. To help fill this void and to keep partners as fully involved in Rotary as possible, the club has increased the number of events where partners are encouraged to join the members in our regular evening program. That is, if they haven’t already been inducted to become full time contributing members of the club.

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