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Rotary has a long history in Fort St. John

Rotarians young and old gathered last week at the Rotary Recruitment Dinner for a night of food and a look back on the Rotary Club over the years. Dudley Wagner told the audiance what got him interested when the Fort St.

Rotarians young and old gathered last week at the Rotary Recruitment Dinner for a night of food and a look back on the Rotary Club over the years.

Dudley Wagner told the audiance what got him interested when the Fort St. John chapter of the Rotary Club was created 52 years ago.

“My Rotary experience started out one warm spring day, just like we’ve had here lately,” began Wagner. He was walking at the intersection of 100th and 100th in Fort St. John when Frank “Pop” Spicer — the town baker — and a man named Jack Nackey approached him. Nackey, it turned out, was in town to start a Rotary Club, and after explaining the basics to Wagner, he signed up.

They needed 20 people to for the charter.

Spicer was named president, they threw their first party on May 17.

“There were people there from Grande Prairie, Dawson Creek, Red Deer, Calgary, Stettler, Edmonton; it was just out of this world,” said Wagner. “And the stories that I heard that night about Rotary and what Rotary had done in communities in Canada and in the world, I decided right then and there that Rotary was for me.”

He said that the Rotary four-way test (the club’s ethical guide) and the code of conduct changed his outlook and became a way of life for him.

Fort St. John city councillor and Rotarian Larry Evans added some of the broader history of the Rotary Club beyond the borders of Fort St. John.

“It might be interesting to know that Buzz Aldrin, the guy that landed on the moon ... planted a four-way test pin on the moon’s surface,” said Evans. “Rotary Clubs all over the world have access to the moon, potentially. Can you imagine visiting a Rotary Club on the moon?” he joked.

Wagner encourages non-members to sign up.

“If you’re looking for a club that works through fellowship, join Rotary,” he said. “If you’re interested in helping your community, join Rotary.

"If you’re interested in improving your life through your vocation, join Rotary. If you’re interested in international service and want to help people in other countries, join Rotary. If you’re interested in helping young people or enjoy students from here and abroad, join Rotary. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I feel.”

peacereporter@ahnfsj.ca