Why I joined and why I stay in Rotary – John Rouble 
 ‘Star of Courage Medal’ pictured
I was first proposed for Rotary membership in Dryden, Ontario in 1962 by Colin Proudfoot, owner of a large department store. In those days Rotary was quite exclusive and adhered to the classification protocol. The local high school principal, Gordon Wood, represented the “Education Portfolio”. When Mr. Wood heard of the rejection, he recommended me to the club as “Additional Active-Vocational Education” which fit quite well into my position as Head of the Guidance Department and I was accepted. In those days candidates were accepted or declined by a membership vote, using a black or white sphere placed in a box, a single black ball declined membership. This procedure was also used by the Haliburton Club until 1990.
We left Dryden in 1966 as I was appointed Vice-President in Prescott, where I was classified as ‘Education Administration-Secondary’. Prescott was a great club with many pranksters. To illustrate we hosted a District Conference and the breakfast orange juice at the buffet was spiked, and that certainly softened the stiff collars.
One of our members was the curator at Fort Wellington. He thought we should commemorate the Fenian Raid of 1837 with an attack on our sister club in Ogdensburg, N.Y. and fire a cannon down the main street. Agreement was unanimous. We loaded a small brass ceremonial cannon in a Station Wagon and told our plans to U.S. Customs who went along with our gag. Prior to lunch we made our presence known by a discharge and roused our hosts much to the delight of both Rotary Clubs.
To Haliburton as Principal of the County Secondary School and immediately was looking forward to joining  the Rotary Club. Haliburton was a great club and a great experience. They were very supportive of the school and the athletic programs, especially football and hockey. And I had no problems with classification. We had a teachers’ hockey team while I was there and for several years we held a benefit game played between the teachers and the Rotary Club that filled the arena resulting in an excellent contribution to Minor Hockey.
The ‘aha’ moment and one of the most significant things in my life was enabled as a result of a Rotary program that taught members of the club how to resuscitate individuals by using mouth to mouth. About one week later our 14 year old son and I were privileged to save the lives of two people whose snow machine plunged through the ice in the Drag River.  At -25C at 10:30 pm, I pulled the woman from the hole and she was gagging and I performed mouth to mouth successfully.  I then fetched the man who was face down in the water and with my son’s help pulled the man to safe ice and started resuscitation and was successful as he vomited water and started breathing. The police arrived and using our snow machine we brought both up to the house and waiting ambulance.
The Rotary program was instrumental in saving their lives. Chris and I were awarded bravery medals by the Commissioner of the OPP and I was awarded the Star of Courage, Canada’s second highest bravery medal citation by Governor General Jules Leger.
I was appointed Superintendent of Schools in Haldimand County. A position I did not like as I was removed from students and for other reasons.
I spent my final 13 years in Yellowknife as the ||Principal of the Territorial High School for 9 years and was appointed by acclamation as the President of the Northwest Territories Teachers Association for two 2 year terms. I was a member of the Yellowknife Rotary Club during this tenure and the President of the Rotary Club for 2 years.
I retired in 1992, left Yellowknife and moved to St. Marys and was accepted by the Rotary Club of
St. Marys where I have been a member for the past 24 years. I have been a Rotarian for over 50 years.
There are several reasons why I have enjoyed being a Rotarian. I have enjoyed the enthusiasm and fellowship of Rotarians all over the world. I have taken advantage of visitation privileges by attending club meetings as I traveled and never cease to be amazed by their hospitality. I have worked on projects with the Wailuku Club in Maui and was especially pleased with their elementary school reading program. For several years I have been involved and it puts me back in the classroom teaching. I often focus on the isolation of Island life and compare it to life in Canada’s Arctic and the students find it fascinating.
Sincere thanks for the honorary membership in the Rotary Club of St. Marys that permits me to attend your meetings and participate in your activities.
John Rouble