President passionate about club's efforts
By Angelica Ingram
When George Kadoke travelled to South Africa a number of years ago he saw first-hand the good
work Rotary Clubs are a part of.
“I was in South Africa in 2005 for a three-week excursion holiday,” he said. “For a few days I stayed with
an old friend and colleague ... and he’s a Rotarian and showed me all the things that the local Rotary
Club has done and I went to one of his meetings. So when I came back here I decided to look up what
our local Rotary Club has done and within a year I decided to join.”
A member for almost a decade, Kadoke became president of the local club on July 1 of this year,
serving in the position for the first time in his life.
Leading the 26-member club has been both fulfilling and rewarding, said Kadoke.
“I’m certainly passionate about Rotary,” he says. “I felt that it was my turn to pitch in.”
Kadoke was first acquainted with the Haliburton Highlands in 1954, soon after his parents bought a
cottage in the area, and stayed in Eagle Lake until 1981.
He moved permanently to Haliburton 15 years ago, following his retirement from the trade show
Kadoke sees Rotary as an opportunity to give back, both here in Haliburton and abroad. Since joining
the club the retired entrepreneur has embarked on various humanitarian efforts overseas through
He points to Skyline Park, the Dysart library branch and other areas that have seen a contribution
from the organization.
“Anywhere in the village of Haliburton you’ll see something that’s done by Rotary in the past,” he said.
Continuing on that tradition of giving back, the club has also spearheaded many successful events
during the past number of years, including the Rotary carnival, the annual parade and the recently
launched Music in the Park series.
Coming up on Dec. 4 will be the annual Rotary Christmas party at the Dysart community centre. The
free family event includes skating, Santa Claus, pizza and hot chocolate.
“Last year I believe there was about 200 kids there,” said Kadoke. “Everybody gets a present ... it’s our
way of giving back to the community.”
The club will also be hosting its second annual Lobsterfest next summer, a successful fundraising
initiative that took place at the Haliburton Curling Club this past June.
“We’re going to try to grow that,” he said. “Another thing we’re planning at the moment and hopefully
executing next spring is we want to build a picnic shelter in the park. It’ll be located right next to the
Through the organization Kadoke has travelled to India, Cambodia and other destinations to partake
in projects spearheaded by Rotary.
“Our club is also involved with ongoing eye operations in India,” he said. “Between various clubs and
grants through the organization we’ve raised $100,000 to sponsor eye operations for those who can’t
Always seeking new members who might be interested in joining Rotary, Kadoke says there are a
number of reasons to join the organization.
He points to an excerpt that described Rotary as “a leadership organization, joining local business,
professionals and community leaders together. Through regular meetings the members form
friendships, exchange ideas and take action to get things done in our local and world community.”
The local chapter meets every Thursday evening at Pinestone Resort for dinner and a meeting. Each
week includes a guest speaker, with past guests ranging from a politician to the Haliburton Highlands
Secondary School robotics club.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to have camaraderie and meet other business leaders,” said