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The Weather Network
Nov. 14, 2018 | Wednesday
Local News
Rotary rocks at Queen's Royal Park
Members of the Rotary Club of NOTL gathered at Queen's Royal Park to celebrate the opening of the updated seating area.

On a sunny autumn Tuesday morning, with one of the most beautiful views in the country as a backdrop, the Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake celebrated its 25th anniversary gift to the town — a limestone seating area on the beach at Queen's Royal Park.

Rotary community service chair Paul Lalonde came up with the vision to recognize the club's milestone, and members jumped in to back the project, helping to raise the funds to cover the cost. 

"I had the idea July 3, and we're standing here at the end of October and it's happened," said Lalonde.

It's a busy park, used by locals and visitors from all over the world, he said. The stone seating is a focal point that will give people a place to rest, enjoy the view or a beautiful sunset, "feel at peace and relax in tranquility."

On the face of the Rotary stone, a centrepiece of the seating area, said Lalonde, will be engraved the words "Have you made somebody's life BETTER today?"

'It's a simple question that we hope will lead to reflection and promote goodwill that we hope will multiply within the community and the world."

That's the goal of the Rotary club, he said — to make people's lives better every day, and the seating area of the park will help to do that. The stone with the plaque will even have a little ridge at the top, and it's placed in the perfect position to rest a phone on top, to allow people to take selfies while enjoying the seating area, with the gazebo as a backdrop.

Rotary members not only raised the money for the project but gathered at the beach to do what work they could, including raking sand, aided by Roxburgh Landscaping to move the stones.

J.B. Hopkins of the Town's parks department called Lalonde's vision "an excellent idea effectively executed," and said it was a pleasure working with Rotary members on the park enhancement.

The celebration was also an opportunity to announce the name of the area — it was an idea of Lord Mayor-elect Betty Disero, who came up with Rotary Rocks - fitting, since Rotary donated the rocks, and because Rotary does rock, said Lalonde.

Whether that becomes an official name or one that is used by locals, Lalonde said he can imagine a time when residents say "let's meet at the rocks." 

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