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Building a Local Legacy.

History of the Foundation

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The information available regarding the early history of the Foundation is sketchy, but information gleaned from Past President Bill Tait (Rotary Club of Calgary, 1968-69), Past President Stan Sailor (Rotary Club of Calgary1985-86) and John Collins (Honourary Director) indicate that the concept of the a foundation was conceived and initiated with in The Rotary Club of Calgary. According to Bill Tait, the Rotary Club of Calgary member Holland Cameron, who managed Birks Jewelers, was encouraged by a Rotary friend in Vancouver to follow that club’s lead, in establishing a foundation within the Calgary Club.

According to Stan Sailor, the estate of club member Jeff Hanna, in the late 1960’s, left a bequest to the Club with the instructions to utilize the monies in a manner deemed appropriate. This seemed to be the catalyst that implemented the foundation.

According to John Collins, the Rotary Club of Calgary probably then approached Calgary North, Calgary South and Calgary West Clubs with the concept which then eventually resulted in the formation of the Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation.

The date of incorporation of the Foundation under the Alberta Securities Act was September 20, 1972. (copy of original document is included). Curly Galbraith and Bill Tait were the early champions of the formation of the foundation. Curly was encouraged to be the first Chairman, but declined because he was in the process of becoming President of Rotary Club of Calgary and also involved in Rotary District 5360 affairs and a short time thereafter was to become District Governor. Accordingly the mantle fell to William (Bill) Tait (Insurance Broker) to be the first Chairman of the Board.

The other inaugural board members were, George H. Galbraith (Professional Engineer, Rotary Club of Calgary), Stanley Sailor (Printer, Rotary Club of Calgary), James Fowler (Chartered Accountant, Rotary Club of Calgary), Olin Buker (Investment Broker, Rotary Club of Calgary) Charles McNaughton (Businessman, Rotary Club of Calgary), Lloyd Ligget (Insurance Agent, Rotary Club of Calgary), Gardie Shaw (Businessman Rotary Club of South Calgary), Donald McKinnon (Management Consultant, Rotary Club of South Calgary), Nicholas Taylor (Geologist, Rotary Club of North Calgary), Thorton Summerell (Insurance Adjuster, Rotary Club of West Calgary), John Collins (Chartered Accountant, Rotary Club of West Calgary).

Over the succeeding years, more Clubs in Calgary joined the Foundation. But the same guiding principles incorporated in the original application documents and bylaws have continued to guide the Foundation, reads as follows:

“The objects of the Society are to receive and maintain a fund or funds and apply from time to time all or part thereof and/or the income derived therefrom exclusively for any charitable and /or educational purpose and for any benevolent, philanthropic, charitable, provident, educational or other useful purpose”

“For the better attainment of the above objectives , to encourage Rotarians and their friends to give and/or bequeath other valuable assets to the Society”

“The distribution of the income and capital of the funds of the Society shall be by the advice and direction of the members of the Society. Such distribution shall be made to the /Clubs for the exclusive application to their respective community service projects. Each distribution shall be allocated and paid to each of the Clubs on a pro-rata basis in proportion to the total donations of the clubs to the funds of the Society.”

Contributions to the Foundation trickled in for the first few years, but received a major boost in 1975 as a result of a bequest of Rotary Club of Calgary member Matt Brownlee of some $252,600.

Historical Total cumulative endowment contributions and investment funds retained are as follows:
May 31, 1977
$325,000
May 31, 1982
$565,000
February 28, 1987
$824,000
February 28, 1992
$1,350,000
February 28, 1997
$2,130,000
February 28, 2002
$3,028,000
A “watershed” occurred in 2007, when the Foundation was blessed with a major contribution from the estate of Rotary Club of Calgary member, Everett and Ellen Mayhood. This gift played a major part in the increase in total investment funds in the Foundation as show below:
February 28, 2007
$25,832,000
February 28, 2008
$33,618,000
February 28, 2013
$37,444,000
February 28, 2014
$42,905,000
February 28, 2015
$47,490,000
February 28, 2017
$50,571,000
The original bylaws remained unchanged, except for some minor amendments, until 2007 when a considerable amount of updating was done to more properly reflect the current structure and operations of the Foundation. In 2016 the Bylaws were again reviewed and modified.

Ever since the inception of the Foundation, the board member representation has been more heavily weighted to those Clubs which have provided the preponderance of the total endowment funds (The Rotary Club of Calgary, Rotary Club Calgary South, Rotary Club Calgary West and Rotary Club Calgary North). Over the years there have been several changes in the weighting for these clubs as directors were added from clubs who joined the Foundation at later dates.

In the early years of the Foundation, National Trust Company acted as both investment advisor and custodian of the fixed income securities in which all of the endowment funds were invested.

In the late 1980s, an Investment Committee of three Board members (which has been increased in size over the years) was established to liaise with the investment advisor. This arrangement existed until 1999 when the Board concluded that: (1) with approximately $2,500,000 of endowment funds, the Foundation had reached a suitable size to engage a firm of investment advisors to manage the portfolio; (2) it was also time to begin investing a portion of the funds in equities.

On the recommendation of the Investment Committee, Mawer Investment Management was engaged to manage the portfolio with instructions than no more than 20% of the total funds would be allocated to equities in the first year and 30% in the second year. At the same time, an investment policy was developed for the guidance of the investment manager. The policy has been amended several times over the years (most recently 2016), with the investment class now more in the range of 60% equities.

In 2005, in anticipation of the receipt of substantial additional endowment funds under the terms of the will of the Mayhood’s, the Investment Committee was asked to investigate the concept of adding a second investment manager primarily to diversify the investment risk and establish competing, comparative results. As a result, Gluskins Sheff was engaged to manage approximately one half of the portfolio; their particular specialty was mid cap stocks, while Mawer was more oriented toward large cap stocks. At the same time RBC Dexia was appointed as custodian for both portfolios.

In 2011, on the recommendation of the Investment Committee, the Board replaced Gluskins Sheff with Bissett Investment Institutional, now called Franklin Bissett. Today (2017), the investment advisors are Mawer and Franklin Templeton, each responsible for roughly one half of the portfolio.

The Investment Committee also monitors several life insurance policies on the lives of donor Rotarians which are owned by the Foundation. These policies are of three types: fully paid up, prepaid cash working capital to sustain premiums and those where premiums are paid annually by the donors. These policies are carried on the balance sheet of the Foundation at their cash surrender value.

The Mayhood bequest, established in 1990 specified that the income earned from the Mayhood’s endowment would be paid to the Rotary Club of Calgary. The Club in return, is obligated to pay 50% of the income received to the Rotary International Foundation while retaining the other 50% for its own community services activities. The funds sent to Rotary International are returned in the fourth year to District 5360 (Southern Alberta) to be used for Rotary district-approved charitable initiatives.

The Foundation is now into its fifth decade. It is estimated that approximately $20 million of earnings have been recycled back to the participating Rotary Clubs to substantially augment their funding of local, national and international charitable projects. The participation of volunteer guidance and oversight by a dedicated Board of Directors and associated committees provides the insurance that the Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation will be a vehicle that will continue to provide financial life blood to the many worthy projects of the Rotary Clubs of Calgary continuously into the future.

June 2014
Updated June 2017
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Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation

305, 105 - 12th Ave SE • Calgary, AB T2G 1A1

Key Contacts

Bruce Fenwick
bfenwick@shaw.ca
Melanie R. Gaston
mdeliman@telus.net

Copyright 2013 - 2017 Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation