History

KINSMEN CLUB OF WINNIPEG

February 20 is traditionally Founder’s Night and is appropriately named; it is not so much a celebration of an event – rather it is an expression of our appreciation to those who gave us our association and club.

On returning from The Great War, four comrades in arms, led by Hal Rogers O.C., O.B.E., sought out the means to recreate a similar camaraderie in civilian life.  They spent time planning the organization to provide fellowship, the fulfillment of citizenship, their needs and the needs of others in the community.  The first meeting was held on February 20, 1920 at the Namking Cafe in Hamilton, Ontario with eleven charter members, and Founder Hal Rogers as charter president.  One month later, on March 25, the name of the club was officially recorded as The Kinsmen Club of Hamilton.  The suggestion for the name came from Hal’s father; it was the name of a literary club in New York frequented by Mark Twain.

As our founding members moved, the seeds of Kin were spread across the country.  In 1921 a Hamilton Kinsman moved to Montreal, and chartered a club there.  In 1923 a Montreal Kinsman, Herman Mawhinney, was transferred to Winnipeg.  On 17 December 1923, Herman and ten other young men met at the St. Charles Hotel to discuss the possibility of chartering a Winnipeg Club.  The chairman of that meeting was Alf Rosevear, who became the charter president  on the chartering of the club 29 January, 1924.  The first General Meeting was held 20 February, 1924.

A point of interest: One of our two current, active, honorary members was born on the same day that this club was chartered!

The Winnipeg club was the third club in the association, and as the Montreal club is no longer in existence, is currently the second oldest club in the Association.  Occasionally we refer to ourselves as `The Mother Club of the West’ as we are the first club west of Hamilton.  In 1924, one of our members chartered a club in Vancouver and in 1925 we chartered a club in Brandon.  In following years we expanded Kin into the Western provinces, rural Manitoba and North Western Ontario.  In 1940 Kin Norm McLeod chartered the first Kinsmen club outside of Canada – The Kinsmen club of St. John’s, Newfoundland, which caused the association to change its name to The Kinsmen Clubs of Canada and Newfoundland.  Newfoundland later became a Canadian province in 1949.

In the late 1940’s we expanded Kin in Winnipeg with the All Saints and Transcona clubs, and in the 1970’s continued expansion with the Fort Garry,  and Stony Mountain clubs. A period of remarkable growth continued as these new clubs in their turn chartered more clubs.  The Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg’s contribution to the expansion of Kin is unparalleled: its influence is seen from coast to coast.  In more recent years, several of the clubs that had evolved within the city found that they could work better as one and amalgamated.

The Winnipeg Club provided a leadership role in those early years.  We hosted the 1926 National Convention which structured our organization, as well as those in 1974 and 1998; two of our past members have served as National Presidents: Herman Mawhinney being the 4th. President in 1925/26 and Bob McGillis in 1937/38.

Our members, be they National Presidents, District Governors, Club Presidents or concerned Kin, have created a lasting impact on the Association and their communities.  The Association’s objective is to serve the community’s greatest needs.  In doing so the past members of this club, those who established our tradition,  have undertaken some of the most innovative, ambitious and successful community projects in Canadian history, and have positively affected the lives of millions of Canadians over the last seven decades.

  • Established the FIRST nursery school in Western Canada – Children’s Home
  • Initiated a trust fund for a Cerebral Palsy Treatment Centre (1947)
  • Milk for Britain Campaign (mid 1940’s)
  • Conducted the first Easter Seals campaign in Manitoba (1949)
  • Spearheaded the fund raising for the first Children’s Hospital (1949)
  • Founded The Red River Exhibition (1952)
  • Assumed the debt and built the Kinsmen School for the Mentally Handicapped (1957)
  • The Kinsmen Centre for the Society for Manitobans with  Disabilities (1963 & 1969)
  • Built Kin Park (Freight House) on Sherbrook (1971)
  • Built Kinsmen Lodge for YMCA At Camp Manitou.  (1972)
  • The Kinsmen Reh-Fit Centre (1977)
  • The first major funder, and remaining the largest funder, of Manitoba Special Olympics – over $250,000 since 1980.
  • The cost of a home for Habitat for Humanities
  • The Winnipeg Harvest Building
  • The Children’s Museum
  • The Kinsmen Discovery Centre at the Assiniboine Park Zoo (1990) (This project was the winner of the Hal Roger’s Service Shield – awarded to the club which has contributed the most to the fundamental object of the association – service work.)
  • Kin Ride to Low Tide – flood relief for victims of the Flood of the Century.

 

Funding provided to:

  • Cystic Fibrosis Society
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Christmas Cheer Board
  • Kinsmen International Relief Projects
  • Kinsmen National Disaster Fund
  • Knowles Centre
  • Canadian Hemophilia Society
  • Salvation Army
  • MacDonald Youth Services
  • Winnipeg Centennial Library
  • St. Amant
  • Rehabilitation Centre for Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And many, many more including individual requests for such things as:  Wheelchairs, Ramps, Lifts, various medical costs, computers, etc etc for individuals in need.

An average amount of $150,000 is donated each year by the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg to various causes. No request is too small nor too large.  Each request receives the same consideration and is considered on its own merits.

A note of special interest regarding Kinsmen nationally  and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CF): this has been a national partnership for many years and Kinsmen have been the biggest provider of funding to CF- over $25 million raised nationally since the beginning of the partnership. During the time they have been working together to find a cure, the life expectancy of those suffering from CF has improved dramatically as has the quality of life; the amount of medication a patient is required to take has decreased, and the gene that carries CF has been isolated.

Our current fund raising to support these projects indeed dates back to those early members:

  • Kinsmen Kar Award started in the 1940’s
  • Kinsmen Food Booth started in the 1950’s 
  • Media Bingo went on the air in 1974, we had our first television bingo in 1968.

As a result of our spirit of community we can proudly state that Kin members have raised more funds per capita than any other service organization, worldwide.

These early projects required hands on involvement by the members and their families, such as stuffing envelopes, manning phones, etc.  This is where the true spirit of the Kin family was to be found.

Kin is an organization of men and women between 18 and 45 whose members come from all walks of life with no barriers regarding race, creed or colour.  The only criterion for membership is that one be of good character.  Each member’s reasons for joining may differ, but they all have two things in common – an interest in their community and a willingness to work together, toward a common goal, for the betterment of their community.  These ingredients make for a dynamic organization.

On a personal level, Kin provides an opportunity to develop a wide circle of friends and the chance to develop skills such as public speaking, organization and planning.  Kin offers education in business and professional methods as well as parliamentary procedure.  Most important, Kin is a family affair involving the spouse and children.  Kin is not all work and no play; it offers a well-rounded social calendar and has something to offer for everyone.

The Kinette Clubs were formed initially as an auxiliary to the Kinsmen clubs and were designed for Kinsmen wives and subject to supervision by the Kinsmen.  At the National Convention in Calgary  in 1988 a motion was passed making the Kinette Clubs independent clubs which could accept members who did not have a Kin spouse. Kinsmen and Kinette clubs, while operating independently, frequently form a team to help each other’s projects.

K-40 and K-ette clubs are also available for members who have reached the maximum age limit and who prefer a more social club. Currently, a member who reaches age 45 can opt to remain in the club as a privileged member, but cannot hold office, or can join a K-40 or K-ette club.  However, the age issue is currently a hotly debated issue and a referendum is being held to decide whether or not to abolish the upper age limit.

The most recent addition to the Kin family is Kin clubs which are mixed clubs.  As yet, there a very few of these, but this means a prospective member has the choice of an all male, all female or a mixed club.

This recollection of past contributions and achievement serve to show what Kin was, is and will be.  The first motto adopted by Kinsmen was one that served the Royal House of France: We shall not fail each other.

Founder Hal, Charter President Alf and our fellow kin of yesterday have not failed us.  May we not fail those who follow us.

 

 

PRESIDENTS OF THE KINSMEN CLUB OF WINNIPEG

 

1924       A. B. Rosevear                     61/62     V. G. Sandstorm

24/25     G. C. Cumming                    62/63     J. K. Beatty

25/26     K. Johnson                            63/64     D. R. Gibson

26/27     A. L. Ham                             64/65     J. O. Thompson

27/28     H. Popham                           65/66     S. Scott

28/29     A. B. Johnson                       66/67     J. Dunderdale

29/30     R. Richardson                      67/68     M. Black

30/31     F. H. Currie                           68/69     E. Wyche

31/32     R. Kennedy                           69/70     A. Tevendale

32/33     M. H. Hall                             70/71     L. May

33/34     D. R. Chapman                    71/72     G. Bowman

34/35     R. J. McGillis                         72/73     R. Small

35/36     N. E. McLeod                       73/74     N. Lee

36/37     R. R. Goodwin                      74/75     C. Nellis

37/38     D. Waite                                75/76     L. Mark

38/39     J. C. Millar                         76/77     G. W. Goodman

39/40     E. B. Chown                         77/78     J. Lazareck

40/41     E. Dawson                             78/79     B. Holden

41/42     H. Richmond                        79/80     P. Moss

42/43     P. J. O’Brien                          80/81     B. Thorn

43/44     J. C. Reid                               81/82     P. Johnson

44/45     L. Purdy                 82/83     B. Rhynard

45/46     J. E. Galbraith                       83/84     I Berman

46/47     A. S. McMillan                     84/85     R. Peterson

47/48     J. R. Racine                           85/86     M. Tornopolski

48/49     J. H. Main                             86/87     P. Mudry

49/50     D. C. Small                            87/88     R. Holden

 

50/51     J. M. Hanson                        88/89     C. Edwards

51/52     W. O. Baizley                       89/90     D. Deane

52/53     D. A. Bowles                         90/91     T. Almdale

53/54     S. Ade                                    91/92     B. James

54/55     T. Montgomery                    92/93     G. Julius

55/56     G. C. Lount                       93/94     S. Irvine

56/57     S. C. Millet                            94/95     B. Stevens

57/58     M. H. Gray                            95/96     P. Mudry

58/59     P. M. Jackin                          96/97     L. Mansky

59/60     C. R. Tandy                          97/98     L. Mansky

60/61     K. B. Kelpin                          98/99     T. Genik

LIFE MEMBERS OF THE KINSMEN CLUB OF WINNIPEG

 

Stan Ade                               Peter Hume                           Bob Rhynard

W. O. Baizley                       Peter Jackin                          Alf Rosevear

Ken Beatty                           Jack Lazareck                      Sid Scott

Daryl Chapman                   Norm Lee                              Jim Sexton

Ken Cooke                            Jim Main                               Sid Sheppard

Jim Dunderdale                    E. J. McAvoy                        Gord Skinner

Colin Edwards                     Tom McEwen                 John Simpson

Jim Emmonds                      Norm McLeod                     Bill Snell

Maurray Garychuk             Tom Montgomery               Alex Tevendale

Gerry Goodman                   Paul Mudry                           M. Tornopolski

Bruce Holden                       Ray Peterson                        El Wyche

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