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Houston Chamber of Commerce History


Early in 1961 a group of men felt that a Chamber of Commerce would be a great help in promoting the social and economic needs of Houston and might help put Houston on the map. A March 28, 1961 meeting was organized by Herman Ruiter and Twain Sullivan, two charter members of the Houston Chamber. At that meeting local business people and other interested persons met in the old schoolhouse to organize a Chamber of Commerce.

President of that first Chamber was Don McEwen, with Herman Ruiter as secretary-treasurer. First directors were Art Russell, John Greene and Bard DeBolebec.

Other charter members included Twain Sullivan, Charles Sullivan, Elmer Everson, Bill Stad, John Veenstra, Pete Lieuwen, J.J. Vriend, Norman Groot, Jack Goold, John Colbourne, Cecil Imrie, J.H. Hofsink, Claude Parish, Harry Hagman, E. G. Bellicini, Forest Moore, B.J. Van Rhyn, Lee Newgard, and John Hayhurst.

Over the years, the Houston Chamber has consistently worked towards the economic development of this area. It has contributed in many areas, including working towards:

  • the establishment of an RCMP detachment
  • the development of full-time banking services
  • developing business and tourism growth
  • promoting a municipal water system
  • the installation of a TV satellite on Mount Harry Davis
  • the purchasing Houston's first ambulance
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