On Tuesday morning, 31 currently active members 'zoomed' in to celebrate our 25th Anniversary as a Club and to recognize our founding members, in particular, those who remain as active members.
Originating from the very active days of the Rotary Club of Simcoe in the 1990's, we split away and were founded on 16 May 1996. Planned by a recognized Steering Committee and set out with the blessings of Rotary International and our parent Simcoe Club, our first group of 52 held their Assemblies at Mindon Manor under the leadership of our founding President, Keith Flexman (very recently departed - may he RIP in Rotary heaven!). In the photo, see Pres Keith being so-pinned at the first club assembly by first Club Secretary Terry Kristman.
If you go to the 'Read more ...' tab, you will find recognition of the Steering Committee, the first leadership team and the full list of our 52 founding members.
During our anniversary meeting, the remaining, active members of the founding group, each provided us with one or more memories/reflections related to the inauguration and/or history of our club. Go to the 'Read more ...' tab to see a summary of their ideas. How grateful we are for the work this group has done over the years as well as the example they continue to contribute as we look forward to our bright future as a service club.
Reflections from the Founding Members still active in our Club.
Jim Peters discussed the reasons for forming the new club, our special relationships with our parent club (the RCS) and the manner in which the RCNS was created. Jim added a few entertaining anecdotes about the first days of our club.
John Wallace reflected on our approach and success with youth and exchange programs, our initial trip to Togo, the work done to create our Op Eyesight program and our approach to environmental and Sunrise Trail initiatives.
Yvonne diPietro talked about how she was recruited and became so interested in the club and its fundraising over the years as well as the value she has taken from our work with youth.
Dave Douglas discussed the creation and growth of our special partner programs with the Welshpool Club in Wales; in particular our youth exchanges, adding several amusing anecdotes about the challenge of looking after teens in a foreign setting.
Keith Jones discussed the characteristics of our membership over the years; in particular our approach to diversity, our success with including talented and very capable women to our ranks.
Peter Wheatley commented on the comparisons and contracts between our club (the RCNS) and our parent club (the RCS), and how those differences have been good for each of us and the community over the years.
Steve Malo concluded these remarks by reflecting on the strength and value of our fellowship over the years; it leading to the promise we have for a bright, albeit challenging future.
RCS/RCNS Planning, Steering Committee Members 1995-96.
The Steering Committee that started weekly meetings in October 1995 included : Keith Flexman, Jim Peters, John Wallace, John Verbakel, Scott Morris, Tony Suprun, Mike Fredericks, Dave Brown, and Linda Ramage.
First RCNS Leadership Team - May 1996.
President - Keith Flexman
Pres Elect - John Wallace
Secretary - Terry Kristman
Treasurer - Scott Morris
Club Service Director - Carrol Lambert
Community Service Director - John Verbakel
International and Vocational Service Director - Jim Peters
List of Inaugural Charter Members. (see www.norfolksunrise.org - Our Club Tab
Debra Abbott-Greenfield Mark Boerkamp  Randy Bridge 
Dave Brown Cam Carter Tony Cheung
Rhonda Clarke-Bruyn Randy Coates Robert Cole 
Joan Davidson Mike Dickinson Yvonne DiPietro 
Charlie Douglas Dave Douglas Keith Flexman 
Mike Fredericks  Blair Harrison  Al Harrington 
Mike Heirwegh Gary Hepburn Steve Jackson
Keith Jones Janet Kazakevicious  Terry Kristman 
Carrol Lambert Doris Longe  Steve Malo
John Matecsa Scott Morris Dave Murphy
Linda Newbery Kim Novak  Jeff O’Donnell
Jim Peters John Race *  Keith Rainey 
Peter Rasokas  Mike Redden  Barry Robinson 
Eric Rustan George Santos Doug Slade 
Bryan Slaney Tony Suprun Dawn Swaenepoel 
Shawn Swarts Gerry Townsend John Verbakel 
John Wallace Peter Wheatley  Carolyn Wiens 
Wayne Wormald  *Honorary Member
from the First RCNS Bulletin Published following the Inaugural Assembly.
Paraphrased from the 1st issue of The Sunriser, dated May 28, 1996
"Once the Rotary Club of Simcoe okayed the idea of a morning club in their territory, the steering group got started.  Weekly meetings were held starting October 24, 1995, with a meeting on January 16, 1996 to recruit members.  A total of 76 people were at that meeting, including Past and future District Governors.  This led to a Provisional Club, and fifteen weeks later the group got the call that the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise and its 52 members were officially part of Rotary International.   
The first Club Assembly was held in short order on June 11 to hear from members about the Club’s direction.  
Charter papers were received from the District Governor at a celebration with the Rotary Club of Simcoe at the Minden Manor on June 17, 1996."