Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.


Rotarians have not only been present for major events in history—we’ve been a part of them. From the beginning, three key traits have remained strong throughout Rotary:
1) We’re truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today we’re working together from around the globe both digitally and in-person to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.
2) We persevere in tough times. During WWII, Rotary clubs in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Japan were forced to disband. Despite the risks, many continued to meet informally and following the war’s end, Rotary members joined together to rebuild their clubs and their countries.
3) Rotary's commitment to service is ongoing. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. By 2012, only three countries remain polio-endemic—down from 125 in 1988.


Rotarians are your neighbors, your community leaders and some of the world’s greatest history-makers: 
  • U.S. Presidents Warren G. Harding, Jimmy Carter, and others
  • Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of Mayo Clinic
  • Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor of the wireless radio and Nobel laureate
  • Admiral Richard E. Byrd, American explorer
  • Frank Borman, American astronaut
  • Edgar A. Guest, American poet and journalist
  • James Cash Penney, founder of JC Penney Co.
  • Carlos Romulo, UN General Assembly president
  • Sigmund Sternberg, English businessman and philanthropist
Ready to make history with us? Get involved. 
History of the Rotary Club of Middleton:
A provisional meeting for the purpose of organizing a Rotary Club in Middleton was held at the home of Dr. Richard Merriam on April 14, 1955, with 15 men attending. Dr. Merriam, formerly a member of the Wolfville Rotary Club and Bruce McKenzie, a Middleton businessman, Introduced the recommendations for the formation of a club.
The first meeting was held in the American House Hotel located on the north side of Main Street opposite Holy Trinity Church, and where now Tim Hortons stands, on May 2, 1955 with Dr. Merriam as Chair. Eighteen of the 21 Charter Members attended. The Charter for the Rotary Club of Middleton was signed at Rotary International on May 25th 1955.
The Charter night was held at the American House on June 13, 1955 with 65 Rotarians and guests present. Members from Rotary Clubs in Kentville, Wolfville. Windsor, Halifax, Dartmouth, Truro, Sydney, North Sydney, Moncton, and Dundas, Ontario were present. President Dr. R.H. Taylor of Wolfville and Ralph H Shaw of Kentville, co-sponsors of the Middleton club, also attended.
 The Rotary Club of Middleton met Mondays at 12:30 pm at the American House Hotel. When the American House was demolished in the early 60’s, the Club moved its meetings to the Middleton Fire Hall on Church Street. These meetings were catered by Mrs. Phillis Parker, Mrs. Muriel Sanford, Mrs. Francis Fitzgerald, and Mrs. Muriel Comeau. In 1970, the caterers decided to discontinue their service and, in August of that year, the Club began meeting at Mid Valley Motel. After the Mid Valley Restaurant closed in 2011, the Club moved its regular meetings to Eisner's restaurant and later to the Capital Pub.
In November 1989, the Rotary Club of Middleton welcomed its first female member. Diane Hankinson LeGard became the first female Rotarian in District 7820 and first female President of the Club in 1996. She has also served as Assistant District Governor in 2002-03. Sandra Penny became the second female President serving in 2001-02, Dr. Katie Sloma became the third President in 2011, then Christine Beck in 2018, and, most recently, Sharon Hutton in 2021-22. 
For more detail on the history of the Club, please go to the "Avenues of Service Committees" page.