The Cranbrook Rotary Club — one of 35,000 clubs around the world — marked its 100 birthday on Thursday, February 17, kicking off a season of celebration with a special luncheon in Rotary Park.

The Cranbrook Rotary Club — one of 35,000 clubs around the world — marked its 100 birthday on Thursday, February 17, kicking off a season of celebration with a special luncheon in Rotary Park.

Cranbrook Rotary Club celebrates 100th birthday

The Cranbrook Rotary Club — one of 35,000 clubs around the world — marked its 100 birthday on Thursday, February 17, kicking off a season of celebration with a special luncheon in Rotary Park.

The location was fitting: Rotary Park was one of the first community projects the new service organization undertook in 1922.

“One hundred years ago, when the Cranbrook Club was formed, it was the smallest place in the world to be granted full privileges of Rotary International,” said Leanne Jensen, President of Cranbrook Rotary.

“We have members from the Sunrise Rotary Club (at Thursday’s lunch). We sponsored their club 25 years ago so it’s an anniversary for them as well.”

Rotary International is a non-political and non-religious international service organization, formed in 1905, which brings together business, professional, and community leaders in order to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance goodwill, peace, and understanding in the world.

Thursday was Rotary’s regular meeting day, and the picnic was planned to mark the occasion. A good turnout of Club members and members of the public was on hand.

A formal zoom meeting with Rotary members from around the district was to be held later Thursday.

Later in June, a bigger celebration with a dinner and dance is to be held, with invitations extended to other Rotary clubs in the area.

And the centenary continues in June, with the return of Sam Steele Days to Cranbrook, the theme of which is “100 Years Of Rotary.” “So we’ll have a presence there,” Jensen said.

The Cranbrook Rotary Club's birthday cake, feb. 17, 2022. (Barry Coulter photo)

The Cranbrook Rotary Club’s birthday cake, Feb. 17, 2022. (Barry Coulter photo)

The Cranbrook Rotary Club was established in 1922 when two Rotarians from Lethbridge, Art Baalim and Sam Hall, made the trip through the Crowsnest Pass on February 17 to swear in the first officers of the Cranbrook Club. There were 22 members at the time. Today there are 75, representing all aspects of the community.

Since 1922’s creation of Rotary Park, the Club has created a legacy of community projects, including the zip line and Ridge Trail at Idlewild Park, the Rotary Way trail and the Rotary Scott Villa affordable housing complex. The club is currently planning a trail network at Moir Park.