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  • Paul Van Nest


Rotary began as a fellowship opportunity. Rotarians invited like-minded professionals who fit the criteria of membership. Over the last 115 years, this international organization has evolved and now anyone is welcome to apply who wishes to serve both the community and the world through Rotary. Members see opportunities to serve, make new friends and business associates, and make a difference.

Engagement is important to Rotary clubs. There are weekly meetings with informative speakers and opportunities to serve on any number of club committees and projects. Each club has its own fundraisers and service projects with all four clubs and the two Rotaract clubs frequently collaborating on larger-scale community events and projects. On international projects, we always partner with a Rotary club which also supports that project, ensuring our and their project’s success and sustainability.

Rotarians are busy people, so their volunteer time is precious. But our weekly meetings are important for networking, planning, motivation, and fellowship. Each of Kingston’s four Rotary clubs meet on different days and at different times. [During these Covid times, our meetings have actually been on ZOOM, replacing these fixed locations. As we move out of the restrictions, meeting locations may change. See our webpages.]

  • Mondays – late afternoons: 5:15-6 p.m. - Waterfront - RCHA Club, Ontario St.

  • Tuesdays – early mornings: 7:15-8:30 a.m. – Cataraqui-Kingston – The Spire

  • Wednesdays - early evenings: 6:15-7:30 p.m. – Kingston-Frontenac - Smitty’s

  • Thursdays – noon hours: 12:15-1:30 p.m. – Kingston – moving to accommodate a hybrid model.

Each club has its own operating account with its income derived almost entirely from membership dues. From this account, we pay our dues to Rotary International and our District, as well as cover the club’s operating costs such as hosting our websites, member care, marketing and insurance. Rotarians are also encouraged to support the Rotary Foundation with personal donations.

Each club also has one or more service accounts. ALL fundraising dollars from our events are deposited directly into these accounts and, under a budget set annually by each club, are spent on community and international service projects. Very few charities can say that 100 percent of their funds raised are spent in service. Rotary can!

The four clubs in Kingston have set up a new website called, which provides an overview of each club and links to our websites and social media accounts. Every club is different in its membership, priorities, traditions, and social interactions. Anyone who may be interested in learning more about joining Rotary in Kingston is encouraged to check out this website to see which club might best align with their own passions and schedules.

Our meetings are open; no invitation is needed. You will be welcomed and filled in on what is happening. There’s a very good chance that you’ll see someone you know. Rotarians know everyone it seems!

We look forward to meeting you in the future and hope that one day you will join Rotary in Kingston and help us chart a course for the next century of Service Above Self.

On behalf of Rotary in Kingston, we want to thank Steve Serviss, Editor in Chief for the Whig-Standard and Kingston-This-Week, for making the publication of these Reflections possible to all of you.

Finally, on behalf of the editors for these 52 Reflections: Fred Richmond, Doug Townsend, Glenn Warner and myself, Paul Van Nest, this has been our honour to speak with you every Wednesday in 2021, our Centennial year. We hope that you have enjoyed these glimpses into our story and learned much about Rotary.

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