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.
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 WINNIPEG KINSMEN
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 WINNIPEG KINSMEN
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