Written By Norm Veasey


Believe it or not, I am in my 50th year as a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club, having been inducted in 1969, the same year as Bob Crowe. We are not the oldest or longest-serving, living members of the Club. The Honorable Hal Haskell—who is very much alive and kicking—holds that distinction, having been inducted in 1956. Still, I was honored to be asked by President Samantha Harris to mark my 50th year in Rotary with a short talk to the club on June 14, 2018, on why I joined Rotary all those years ago. Here is a synopsis of what I said.

I remember well that day in 1969 when The Honorable Dan Herrmann, Delaware Chief Justice and a distinguished Rotary Club member, introduced me to the Club. It was a “conspiratorial set up.” Here is how it happened and here is the dénouement of how it played out:

My late father, Dr. Gene Veasey, and Henry Canby, my boss at Richards, Layton & Finger, were members of the Club. Happily, they got together with Chief Justice Herrmann to make my membership happen. The upshot of my membership, I said facetiously in my “Rotary Minute” on June 14th, was that this “conspiracy” among my father, Dan Herrmann, and Henry Canby achieved nepotism, currying favor with the Court, and pleasing my boss at work!

Just kidding about that, but the real outcome of my nearly 50 years as a Rotarian is that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, the comradery of my fellow Rotarians (living and passed) over these many years. Further, I have always admired, and tried to participate in small ways, the splendid and noble community service for which Rotary around the world is justly famous.