Murray Ramsbottom and his family moved to the Victoria area in August of 2007. Murray served as an Aerospace Engineering Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Forces for 35 years and retired with the rank of Brigadier General. Murray joined the Victoria Rotary in 2008 and assumed his current responsibilities as President on July 1, 2013.

Murray took us through the history of Rotary from the formation in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris. The name was derived from the practice of rotating the location of the meetings. On November 15th, 1913 the Victoria Club was established with the first meeting held at the Empress Hotel. Lunches were held at the Crystal Gardens and the first president was Frank Higgins. In 1968 Rotoract was established. In 1985 the initiative of Polio Plus began, which was to eliminate polio by the year 2005. The introduction of ‘qualified women’ for membership in Rotary began in Canada in 1988.

There are currently 11 Rotary Clubs in the Greater Victoria area with approximately 600 members in total. Major initiatives undertaken in the last 100 years include the Victoria/Vancouver Island Tourist Bureau, the Rotary Boys Choir, Mount Douglas Lookout, Rotary House and the Project Centennial which included specific projects for Rainbow Kitchen, Cool Aid, Mustard Seed and Craigflower Elementary.

The Victoria Rotary Club has provided over $1 million to projects in the last decade.