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Windsor Ruritans applauded

Community service is at the heart of every Ruritan club, and it’s never been truer than right here with our own Windsor Ruritan Club.

The club was the fifth one ever chartered, and now is the fourth oldest. It celebrated its 90th and 91st anniversaries recently, having skipped an in-person celebration of the big one last year due to the pandemic.

Even during that difficult time, though, the Ruritan Club remained focused on its community. Due to generous donations from club members and local businesses, the club was still able to maintain its charitable focus.

In town to celebrate this week for the occasion was Ruritan National President Linward Hedgspeth. He paid special tribute to those members who have been with the club for 50 years or more.

“Tonight is about you and celebrating 90 years of service,” he told the club as reported by Titus Mohler on today’s front page.

The club was organized with 25-30 members in March 1930. Some of its members helped plan the state and national Ruritan organizations, which were then in their infancy. The charter was issued in May 1932.

It’s not a surprise that the Windsor club was only the fifth ever. After all, Ruritan had started only about two years prior, not too far away, in Holland, which is now a part of the city of Suffolk.

Tom Downing and Jack Gwaltney had started that first club in Holland after they recognized a need for an organization where community leaders could meet and discuss ways to make their community a better place. The name “Ruritan” is a nod to the Latin words for open country and small town.

These days, Ruritan has nearly 25,000 members throughout the United States. Ruritan rarely has national programs, but rather allows each club the freedom to determine how best to serve their own community.

We are so thankful that Ruritan has been serving here in Windsor for 91 years and counting, and we look forward to many good things in the future.