Previously known as the Dave Blackburn Memorial Shine On Car Rally , the event has a new name this year.
Now known as the Rural Routes Car Tour, this event, a partnership of the Stratford Perth Museum and the Stratford Rotary Club, is in its sixth year.
The tour starts at the Museum and takes participants on the “less-travelled” roads of Perth County (and even a bit beyond.)
Along the way there will be a few stops where you will get interesting stories about Perth County that you might not have learned in school! Those stories will be presented by reenactors from the Stratford Perth Musuem.
Even though the content of the tour is historic, your car doesn’t have to be. Cars, pick-up trucks, even RVs are more than welcome to take part.
Pay attention, and even take notes, because when you are finished there’s a quiz and the highest score with the closest time to the official rally time is the winner.
Once again, the tour finishes at the Boar’s Head for some apres drive food and refreshments.
The event is a tribute to the late Dave Blackburn. Dave was a devoted Rotarian, car lover and former branch manager at the TD Bank in Stratford.
April 9, 1959 – October 8, 2013
“Intense, sincere, concerned and very funny – all at the same time,” is how one friend describes the late Dave Blackburn.
A long-serving Rotarian, banker, devoted family man and quintessential ambassador for the community. That is how Dave is remembered.
It was during a trip to Portugal in 2013 with his wife Katherine Hahn that Dave was first inspired by the possibility of a car rally as a potential new fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Stratford.
Dave was always coming up with new ideas to improve his club and his community. He was the driving force behind the creation and implementation of all sorts of local projects, including Junior Achievement, the revitalization of the Block Parent program, the Gift of Life program in El Salvador and the introduction of the Rotaract Club. He was also passionate about bringing new members to the club and one year received the award for having the highest membership increase in the district.
In 2012, he was recognized by the business community and presented with the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce Personal Excellence Award.
While TD Canada Trust is known for encouraging community involvement, during Dave’s 19 years as Stratford’s branch manager he consistently went beyond even the company’s expectations. “He had so much to give and he gave it so willingly,” says a friend. “He cared so much.”
Rotary runs deep in Dave’s family. He had been a member since 1994 and was past president. His late father was a Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honour bestowed by Rotary. His mother is a Rotarian and his son Daniel is a founding member of Rotaract, the club for 18- to 30-year-olds. It was also through Rotary that Dave met his wife Katherine, also a member.
Dave was a leader and he led by example. He believed if you worked hard, were moral, ethical and considerate, good things would happen.
It is in his memory that the Rotary Club of Stratford, in partnership with the Stratford Perth Museum, presnts the Rural Routes Car Tour. With Dave in mind, we are moving forward with commitment, optimism and a sense of fun.
A fellow Rotarian speaks for us all. “He is gone from our midst but not from our hearts”.