BELLEVILLE, Ont. — Maurice Rollins, best known for founding the Journey’s End motel and hotel chain, passed away last week at the age of 94.
According to a story in Quinte News, Rollins was an entrepreneur, builder and philanthropist who was known for his support of countless local charities, including the United Way of Hastings-Prince Edward, the Belleville General Hospital Foundation, the Enrichment Centre for Mental Health, the Salvation Army and others.
“It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the passing of Maurice Rollins,” said Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk in a statement last week. “[He] has touched the lives of many within our Quinte region. His story captures hearts whereever it is told. As a young man who graduated from high school in the 1940s, he became a self-made millionaire through hard work and persistence — no formal training or education, just pure determination. His passion for construction began when he built a subdivision in Belleville and this project was the gateway to an amazing career in the construction industry. He proceeded to build 9,000 homes and condos across the province and started a hotel chain called Journey’s End before getting into the retirement-home business.”
Panciuk said while Rollins’ grassroots start is “loudly applauded, it’s the imprint he and his wife Marilyn have made as philanthropists that will never be forgotten. Their generous support of non-profits has often been done unobtrusively behind the scenes. However, their Maurice Rollins Leadership Challenge for the United Way has drawn regional attention as they have matched thousands of donated dollars since 2008.”
Rollins is also remembered for openly discussing his struggle with mental health and has generously donated to mental health causes.
“Our quality of life as a community has been enriched because of Maurice and we deeply appreciate the contributions he has made to our city,” said Panciuk. “On behalf of Belleville City Council and the staff at City Hall, I extend our deepest condolences to Maurice’s family. Our thoughts are with them in this time of sorrow. In respect for Maurice Rollins, the flag at City Hall is also lowered in his memory.”