As the Kin Club of Canada celebrates 100 years, former members of the Kinsmen Club in Williams Lake will be gathering at the legion today to reminisce about the club and its acomplishments.
That despite the Club in Williams Lake having folded in 2000 after nearly 40 years.
“There’s still a lot of people in this community, a lot of fellows and their wives or ladies in the community who were involved in the Kinsmen organization over the years and so we felt that we should do something,” Barry Sale said.
Among the community projects, the Kinsmen in Williams Lake were involved with was the Kinsmen Park and the Williams Lake Stampede Barn Dance as well as the Stampede Breakfast that they started in 1972.
“The major project that Kinsmen in British Columbia got involved with was the Kinsmen Rehabilitation Foundation which was the group that looked after spinal cord injuries,” Sale said. “In fact when Rick Hansen was injured that was where he went in Vancouver, and for years and years we had a Kinsmen Mother’s March that would raise money to go towards that and it used to be called the ‘March of Dimes.’
Sale said like many other service organizations in Canada now the numbers of people that were willing to come out and volunteer their time for community service were in decline.
“Typically it was between 25 and 35 members, ” he said. “At the time there were four or five service clubs in town. There was the Kiwanis, the Lions, the Kinsmen, and the Rotary and then, of course, the Elks and the Foresters but we were all working in this community to try and make it better. In fact, that’s what the motto of Kinsmen was is ‘serving the community’s greatest need.’
The first Kinsmen Club was formed in Hamilton, Ontario that held its first formal dinner meeting on Feb. 20, 1920.