In 1996 The Rotary Club of Cobourg established a Disaster Relief Fund to assist the citizens of the recent Saguenay Quebec flood.

The Club had been advised that one of the most urgent needs of the victims of the Saguenay flood disaster was for small electrical household appliances.

With the cooperation of the Rotary Club of Port Hope, the Rotary Club of Colborne, Sears Canada Inc. in Cobourg and Colborne, Zellers in Cobourg, Quigley's Pro Hardware in Cobourg and Gilmer's Home Centre in Port Hope, specially priced small appliances from their regular inventory and catalogues were made available for donation to the Saguenay Relief Fund. From Friday August 23 to Saturday September 2, each store displayed the appliances available at their location. Community volunteers will manned these displays to accept cash donations.


Cobourg Rotary President, Mike Irwin and Cobourg Rotary Director Blake Jones, delivered a truckload of relief and goodwill to the people of the Saguenay Region of Quebec on October 5, 1996. The appliances were valued at aproximately $5,500.

"When I got back, I thought maybe we could do a little better", said Rotarian Jones. He contacted Rotary members and their business associates and came up with an additional contibution of more than $60,000 worth of tools and building materials. Cashway Building Centres head office in Port Hope and door manufacturer Premdoor Inc., donated two tractor trailer loads of doors. Rotarian Brian Read of Horizon Plastics and Newform Manufacturing donated 200 wheelbarrows and the Cashway Building Centre store north of Port Hope arranged for the donation of 96 cases of nails, 1,000 tape measures and 1,000 hammers.

Transportation of the materials was the next problem. Rotarian Jones contacted the Alcan office in Chicoutimi, Quebec. The Montreal office of Alcan provided three trucks to transport the materials to Saquenay on November 4, 1996.