The Rotary Club of Gravenhurst was founded in 1937 and for over half of its existence, Dr. Jim Reynolds has been a member.

The 81-year-old celebrated his 50th anniversary with the club in April. They celebrate the milestone on Monday by surprising Reynolds with a drive-by ceremony at his home. “Dorothy – Jim’s wife – announced to Jim that someone was at their home for a visit,” Kathryn McGill explains. “Jim thought someone but came to the door to be greeted by the procession. Rotarian Mark Clairmont led the parade playing his trumpet playing Christmas Carols with the lyrics changed to honour Jim. After the long line of greeters passed and parked, Jim was presented with a special Rotary Paul Harris Award by Club President Pat Bongers.”

Reynolds was also presented with a personal, framed letter from the President of Rotary International Holger Knaack by 49-year member of the Gravenhurst Rotary Club Dr. Jim Goodwin.

“Dr. Reynolds is a joyful guy,” Bongers tells the newsroom. “Always a smile on his face, such a wonderful attitude.”

“It feels wonderful to have lived that long, Reynolds says. When he joined in 1970, he says he was the youngest. “I felt fortunate to be asked to join,” he adds. 

It was during is early years with the club that he and his wife Dorothy had their son. “One of the other members presented me with a baby spoon with the rotary emblem on it,” he says. “Then I thought ‘Jesus, I’m the only one that’s young enough to father a child.'” 

Reynolds says he’s also enjoyed his work with the Rotary Club’s Youth Exchange Program. “We send students to various parts of the world and in return, we get a student from another part of the world,” he explains. For the better part of two decades he was helping with that and at one point served as the Chair on the District of Muskoka’s Youth Exchange Committee. “That’s probably my best memory,” he says. In between that, he says there are so many other great memories he has of the Club.

“I don’t get as involved as fr as executive business as much now, but I help out with some projects and our TV auction,” Reynolds says. “As far as helping run the club, I’m not involved in that as much.”

Bongers says it’s been a pleasure working and spending time with Reynolds over the years and looks forward to another 50 years.