Doug Peterson welcomed everyone (mostly by Zoom) to the 35th and final meeting of the Rotary Club of Belleville in the 100th Anniversary.  It has been an interesting and challenging Rotary year.  President Doug was very pleased to recognize the work of Rotarians and the results of that work by dedicating the Rotary Fitness Park to the City of Belleville.  This is the Club's final major project honouring the Club's 100 years of service in the community.  Past District Governor Bill MacKay, Rotarians Vince Lynch, Bill Lowther, Ken Wheeler, Cory MacKay, John Smale and friend to Rotary, Ross Wagner collaborated on this meaningful project.  The dedication of this Fitness Park comes almost a year after Rotary's first project, the Rotary Music Garden, dedicated at Riverside Park on July 3, 2019.  The same hard-working crew was on the job then!
PDG Bill MacKay, Chair of the 100th Anniversary Committee was personally very pleased  to mark the Rotary Club of Belleville's 100th Anniversary with the opening of the Rotary Fitness Park, an idea suggested by Director John Smale in conjunction with some other projects.  A Celebration dinner was planned, unfortunately was sidelined by COVID-19, but re-arranged as a virtual Zoom celebration meeting!  The start of the celebration saw the dedication of the Rotary Music Garden a year ago, followed now with the Rotary Fitness Park and a history book to ensure the Club's history continued to be captured.  The final idea that was acted on was to develop a video of past presidents and their stories.  The Rotary Club of Belleville has now launched their own YouTubeChannel that will also be posted on our Facebook page.  To the members of the 100th Anniversary Committee, to the Committee Members of the 100th Dinner Celebration and Chair Pat Feasey, to the Club History Co-Chairs Jo-Anne Wheeler and Karen Baker and the team of editors, to the Music Garden and Fitness Park Team Leader Vince Lynch and his team of installers and to all those who helped and assisted in making this year such a special one, thank you.  Bill was very proud to say that between him and his father, long time Rotarian Bill MacKay Sr. they have a combined 100 years of service in Rotary, as Past Presidents and Past District Governors, all from the same Club.  Quite a milestone and appropriately linked to today.
Vince Lynch as the key installer of the Rotary Fitness Park, refers to the timing as "just in time", finishing at 8:30 a.m. this morning after a very busy month of June taking delivery of the equipment on June 9th, getting the site excavation started, installing the equipment (18 pieces with 84 anchors), installing the sign, all done under the constraints of COVID.  Vince thanked his right hand man, Bill Lowther who was invaluable and always available on short notice.  Vince also made special mention of Rob Rashotte, site lead from the City along with Joe Reid and his Parks and Open Spaces staff.  Everyone was determined to get the job done in time.  And a thank you to Mayor Panciuk and Council for their support.  The Rotary Assembly Crew are becoming experts at park installations!  Great job.
Mayor Mitch Panciuk was excited to accept this Rotary Fitness Park on behalf of the City of Belleville and although he was looking forward to the 100th Anniversary Dinner, was very impressed with the Club moving forward with their project and not stepping back.
Historian Jo-Anne Wheeler announced the availability of the Club's History Book, a special walk through the century that was.  The content of "A History of the Rotary Club of Belleville" will surprise you.  The book committee headed up by Jo-Anne included Bill MacKay, Cory MacKay and Karen Baker and they all worked on this project for almost 4 years.  With the assistance of Past President Garth Stephanson and the generosity of Rotarian Ian Anderson, owner of JB Print, the book is available at the low price of $25.  Every Rotarian, past Rotarian and anyone who knows a Rotarian should not miss the opportunity to purchase this piece of history.
Incoming President Tim McKinney thanked everyone for this much needed facility, for their countless hours planning and constructing this Rotary Fitness Park as well as the Rotary Music Garden.  The location of the Fitness Park is appropriately located with trees in the background as part of the Rotary Keegan Treescape project from the Club's 75th Anniversary.  A proud moment for Rotary and the Club.  Tim is looking forward to his term as President of the Club as of July 1st, the 101st year of the Rotary Club of Belleville.
Rotary Club of Belleville - The Rotary Fitness Park Project & Dedication Ceremony