July 3rd Fireworks
Every year since 1983, except for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Tunkhannock Rotary has presented an outstanding fireworks display at Tunkhannock High School Athletic Field on July 3rd for everyone in Tunkhannock and the surrounding areas.
Current fireworks Co-Chair Mike Markovitz reported that plans are proceeding well for this year’s concert and fireworks display on Sat. July 3rd, with a rain date of Mon. July 5th. The event will conform with any Wyoming County Public Health and CDC Guidelines.
Rotarians, family and friends are needed as volunteers for the evening to help with this event.  If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up at one of our lunchtime meetings or flash meetings or let Samantha Maruzzelli or Mike Markovitz know your availability.
Finally, sponsors are needed to help fund the fireworks, since our major fundraising event, the Harvest & Wine Festival, was not able to happen in Oct 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.  The names of all sponsors will be prominently displayed at the event.  Please contact Mary Tempest at maryptempest@gmail.com if you or a local business you know are interested in being a firework’s sponsor.
Did You Know From Our History Files?
1939 - The International Goodwill Trees-Planting Project  
In 1939, the Club decided to undertake a project to further international fellowship and good will. A committee was formed who wrote to Rotary Clubs all over the world requesting soil samples to be mixed with native soil to plant two Koster blue spruce trees, one on either side of the entrance to the Tunkhannock Junior-Senior High School.
On May 19, 1939, the “International Trees” planting program was held at the School. The program began with a welcome from Rev. Harry Somers, president of the Tunkhannock Rotary Club, the reading of the names of the participating countries, and the reading of excerpts from letters from the Rotary Clubs in these countries.
Grade school students were dressed up in the costumes of the participating countries and performed folk dances and folk songs from some of the countries.
The keynote address was given by Rev. Peter Emmons of Scranton, who had just returned from a 7 month tour that took him to many countries of the world.
The program ended with the planting of the trees in the soil carried to the site by the pupils dressed in the costumes of each country.
Soils were obtained from 29 different Rotary Clubs with every inhabited continent represented. Some of the countries no longer exist. The Clubs that sent dirt and letters included: Rotterdam, Holland; Asuneion, Paraguay; Bogota, Columbia; Warsaw, Poland; Tunis, Tunisia; LaPlata, Argentina; Athens, Greece; Tartu, Estonia; Melbourne, Australia; Havana, Cuba; Lofia, Bulgaria; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Paris, France; Hamilton, New Zealand; Cape Town, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt; Manila, Philippine Islands; Bombay, India; Medan, Netherland Indies; Colombo, Ceylon; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bangkok, Siam; Praha (Prague), Czechoslovakia; Kobenhavn (Copenhagen), Denmark; Budapest, Hungary; Quebec, Canada; Montreal, Canada, and Glasgow, Scotland.
The letters from the participating Rotary Clubs were bound into a volume that was placed in the School library. A wooden plaque bearing the names of all the Rotary Clubs that sent soil samples was hung on the wall of the main hall of the School building.
In 2007, the Club received an inquiry from the Rotary Club of Tartu in Estonia for information on the status of the International Trees to which they had sent 1 lb of their soil. Unfortunately, it appears that both trees had been removed from the site over the years.
So you may be asking why Carol included this in a 2021 news Bulletin.  Well, we just received another e-mail from the Rotary Club of Tartu in Estonia.
Margus Ulst  margus36102@gmail.com
Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 2:45 AM
To: tunkhannockrotary@gmail.com
Dear fellow Rotarians in Tunkhannock and Pennsylvania,
I'm writing on behalf of Rotary history team of Tartu Rotary Club (Estonia). Surprisingly we found, that we participated in your Rotary project by sending best wishes and a pound of soil for RI Fellowship Tree (look the attachment).
It would be interesting to know if the tree is alive and how big it is by now. Could you check the tree status and if possible, send a photo.
With best regards
Margus Ulst
Tartu Rotary Club, Estonia
Dear Margus,
In 2015, we celebrated our 90th Club Anniversary and I wrote up the 90 years of history of the Tunkhannock Rotary Club.  In searching through the newspaper archives, I found 3 articles on the International Tree, but no photos.  I am attaching the piece of our history document describing the International trees summarized in the newspaper articles.  Unfortunately, it appears that both trees were removed years ago.
I was also unable to find the bound volume at the school library containing all the letters etc.  The letter you attached is the only letter I have seen regarding this project.  I will include it when I write the updated 100th Anniversary History of our Club in 2025.
Sorry, I cannot give you better news about the trees, but it was really a wonderful thing to do back in 1938-1939.  Thank you for reminding me about the truly international collaborations that are Rotary.
Yours in Rotary,
Carol Ziomek
Secretary and Historian
Tunkhannock Rotary, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania  USA
I did include a copy of the information above, but wondered if anyone in the club knows if the bound book of letters still exists somewhere in a school library?  Also, can anyone confirm that the trees are definitely gone or whether there are any photos anywhere at the school regarding this project?  If the plaque exists somewhere at the school, a photo would be gratefully appreciated as I prepare to update our 2015 90th Anniversary History for 2025 when we celebrate our 100th Anniversary as a Rotary Club. 
This was an amazing project and of course with importation of dirt from various countries this would most likely not be possible today with current importation guidelines from the Dept of Agriculture.