The History of Our District on the World Wide Web

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The history of District 7820 on the World Wide Web
For the purpose of recording the exploits of District 7820 I am going to outline what I remember of how it entered the “internet” era.
I became a member of the International Computer Users Fellowship of Rotarians (ICUFR) shortly after I joined Rotary in 1994. I had been involved with computers for quite some time, (starting with a Tandy Radio Shack Model 1 ) and after joining Rotary, I went looking for more about it.
Great discussions were taking place on the ICUFR forum on Compuserve and among them were how to set up a website. There was no such thing as a web editor and really there was very little to go by other than to visit different sites, look at the code, copy what you liked and try to get it to work on your own site.  U.K. Rotarian Roger Siddle was way ahead of the game and lent a wonderful amount of support in this initial stage.
Then after communicating with DG John Williamson ( see letters below ) and getting a “go ahead” I found a local server in New Glasgow and set up a small site. It actually was the first Canadian Rotary site on the web.
Six months later I got a phone call telling me the server was being taken down and I had to move the site. It took another 6 or so months to find another server who would host the site. The reason it took so long as I was always after something for free. So back on the web D7820 came only to be shut down in late 1997 when the owners of the server wanted money to host the site. But I had made inroads and had set up a table at the District Convention in Baddeck in May 1997 and had shown many Rotarians what can be had. ( using a 1200 baud dial up modem)
 In March 1998 I eventually registered the domain and through the wonderful generosity of Newfoundland’s Newtel we established a permanent site. All went well for quite some time and we even set up sub-domains for clubs who were now becoming interested in the web. We were growing but so was Newtel.  I cannot remember the exact dates but Newtel became under the control of Bell Aliant. We all held our breath and were successful in being very quiet for a number of years.  Then came the day I received a phone call from Bell Aliant saying that they could not find where they had billed us for the hosting of the main site and all the sub-domain sites. Well, the 4 Way Test got in my way and I had to admit that we had not paid anything.
For the next few years, we paid a reasonable hosting fee and so did those clubs who wanted to stay with them. Many split off to find their own hosts and created their own domain names.
The next years are vague for me but I believe sometime in and about 2010 the district subscribed to Clubrunner and Kentville Rotarian Craig MacMullen took the task of getting it up and running. Craig did a wonderful job of trying to understand the inner workings of Clubrunner that were many times very confusing. In May of 2011 I came back on the scene and took control of the District Clubrunner and with the help of Jim Goit of the Rotary Club of Truro brought it up to be a source of information for Rotarians in our District.
Gord Hankin, March 8 2014