Rotary Club members visit the newest bus shelter on West Saanich and Birch Rd. (From left) Rob Whitehead, Leta Kenney, Roger Hind, Cosmo Pessoa, Al Colborne, Jack MacAulay and Garth Dunn. (Erin Davis)

Rotary Club of Sidney member leaves green legacy

$9,000 total gift spent on planting trees around new Sidney fire hall

A generous anonymous donation has nearly been matched by Rotary International, meaning $9,000 worth of trees and shrubs have been planted around Sidney’s new fire station.

The initial $5,000 donation is thought to come from a serving Rotary Club of Sidney member, who wanted it specifically used for tree planting, to beautify the already charming town.

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In response, Rotary International gave $4,000 to the project to plant trees around the new hall and between it and the Mary Winspear Centre.

The Sidney chapter is relatively small, staffed by dedicated volunteers who all know each other well and although members are keen to respect the donor’s anonymity, the surprising gift leaves them wondering who the mysterious benefactor is.

Club members report that in a perhaps serendipitous twist of fate, when the Town of Sidney was contacted about the funds, they were told the estimated cost of populating the area with trees almost exactly matched the donation. The money saved can now be put into other projects around the town.

The Town say they 34 “specimen” trees and numerous shrubs were planted thanks to the donations.

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In a phased approach, initial planting took place on April 25, and members of the club were on hand to cheer those adding the first saplings.

“The whole purpose of Rotary International is ‘Service Beyond Self.’ We can think of few things more selfless that go beyond – even beyond this lifetime – than the planting of trees. We will all be forever grateful,” said Rotary Club of Sidney Chapter President Carolyn Morley.

The chapter has been busy of late, providing funds for four bus shelters to be built. These can be found on Wain Road (west of the Pat Bay Highway), Birch Road and West Saanich, Bradley Dyne and West Saanich, and Ardmore and West Saanich.

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Rotary International is a service organization with over 1.2 million members worldwide. The Sidney club makes numerous annual donations on the Peninsula, including to Friends of Dean Park, Project Unity, Admiral Budge Sea Cadets, Peninsula Softball, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Saanich Agricultural Society, the Mary Winspear Centre and $1,000 scholarships to local secondary school students.

The organization advises people interested about Rotary in general, or joining the Rotary Club of Sidney in particular, to visit rotary.org and click on Club Finder.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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