The original Strathroy Chamber of Commerce was established around 1940; with Alex Goudie as the first president, Gordon Stepler was the Treasurer and Campbell MacKinlay the first Secretary. In 1943 Phyllis Mitchell, the manager of the Eaton’s Order Office at the time, became Secretary-Treasurer. The organization continued over the years at varying levels of activity.
In 1952 after a time of inactivity, a membership drive was planned in April with the goal of revitalizing the organization. The drive was successful in recruiting new members and soon after, the Chamber was incorporated under the name The Strathroy and District Chamber of Commerce. The formation became official when the Certificate of Formation and Memorandum of Agreement was registered with the department of the Secretary of State on Februrary 27, 1956.
Effective February 29, 1964, Phyllis Mitchell resigned as Secretary-Treasurer due to the general lack of interest on the part of the business people of Strathroy, and the Chamber disbanded.
Fast forward to September 24, 1998. On that particular evening, the Chamber was re-born with Doug Brown taking the reins as the first president, Diane McLean as the vice-president and Betty Pearce was the secretary. Earlier in 1998 Craig Richardson, general manager of Strathory Foods, undertook a campaign to find out if there was enough interest locally to get the Chamber going. The Chamber has been enjoying a steady growth in memberhsip ever since. There are a great many of the original 60 businesses and individual that joined the very first night in 1998, that are still active members in the Chamber of Commerce.
Today, the Strathroy and District Chamber of Commerce is sitting at over 250 members and is dedicated to enhancing the growth of local businesses and working to support Western Middlesex County. We celebrated our 10th Anniversary in 2008 and are proud of how far we’ve come since that first Membership Meeting more than a decade ago.
In 2011 the Chamber moved to its current location on the edge of Alexandra Park in the Strathroy & Area Seniors’ Centre, 137 Frank St.