The Remarkable Journey of Maurice Rollins
By Orland French
When Mark Rollins approached me to write a book about the accomplishments of his father, I had no idea how complicated this would be. I had not yet met Maurice Rollins, but I knew him to be a land developer, contractor and creator of the Journey’s End motel chain.
As it turned out, the more intriguing stories of his life emerged outside his role as builder and developer. File after file of his various business ventures tumbled from his office cabinets as he excavated stories of business adventures and venture capitalism. Just when I thought we were wrapping it up, a yellowed business card skittered out of a file. He said, "Oh, here’s one I forgot. This is a good story.”
What captured me ultimately was the story of a bright high school kid who graduated from Ontario’s Grade 13 in the 1940s and, without further formal training in anything, made himself into a millionaire through sheer hard work, long hours, persistence and determination. He knew how to put a plan together. He didn’t build all those houses and hotels himself but he knew how to hire people who could.
The story of Maurice Rollins is the study of a man who never quits and never ceases to be compelled in his search for new business ideas. Even in his 80s, he still drives to work through snowstorms to be at the office by 7:30 a.m.
For many years, Maurice Rollins has been returning part of his wealth to the community. He does it quietly, not seeking publicity. He and his wife Marilyn have become recognized philanthropists to the larger organized charities, but quite a few individuals have also benefited form his anonymous gifts when they were facing adversity.
The most public of his donations was his contribution, and loss, of one million dollars to help create a community cultural centre in his home town of Belleville, Ontario. The complete story is presented in depth in this book. For a million dollars, Maurice Rollins deserves at least that.
Published by Maurice Rollins, 2011
6 X 9, hard cover
272 pages, full colour throughout
To read a sample chapter, CLICK HERE
To learn about a new film documentary from the book, CLICK HERE