Friday, 28 August 2009 13:54 Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 14:20
On February 20, 1920, Hal Rogers and 11 men gathered for a meeting at the Namking Cafe in Hamilton. This group formed the first club in our organization - The Kinsmen Club of Hamilton. These men found that fellowship alone was not sufficient to sustain a continued interest and decided to perpetuate the ideal of service in peace time as they had done in the war years; thus our organization became a service organization. During the next 4 years, members from this initial club moved and formed additional clubs in Montreal, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, giving the organization a foothold from Montreal to the West Coast.
At a National convention in Winnipeg in the summer of 1926 the course of Kinsmen became more clear. After a hotly debated session, it was decided Kinsmen would be become a National rather than International Service club, and a new Constitution and By-laws were presented and adopted. Additionally, the maximum age limit for active membership was fixed at forty years. An important factor in setting this age restriction was to convince four "Eclectic Clubs" of Saskatchewan to join our Association. A prominent member of the Eclectic Clubs was John Diefenbaker, who championed the argument for the age restriction. There is presently no age restriction on active membership.
During the great depression the Association grew both in numbers of members and clubs and began to become structurally organized into provincial districts and a national executive.
During World War II Kinsmen served their country and supplied the British army with its first mobile dental clinic. The national project during the war years was the "Milk for Britain" campaign, during which the Association shipped over 50 million quarts of milk to Britain's children.
After the war, the Association continued to grow and adopt even more ambitious projects. In 1949, the Association set up a Cancer Scholarship Fund to help train doctors in treating this disease. Assistance to flood and hurricane victims in our country and abroad further demonstrated Kinsmen's commitment to its ideals.
By being dedicated to fellowship and service, the Association grew to over three hundred clubs and ten thousand members by 1956. The Association experienced continual growth and expansion up until late 1970. A project that gained Kinsmen great public profile during this era was the founding and construction of the Kinsmen National Institute for Mental Retardation.
Our current national project is Cystic Fibrosis. To date Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs in Canada have raised more than $25 million dollars to aid in the fight against this dreaded disease.
We are proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to the challenges which await us in the new millennium.
The founder of our Association is H.A. (Hal) Rogers. Founder Hal was born in London, Ontario on January 3, 1899. For a time he worked in a bank before moving to Hamilton to take up employment in his father's plumbing sales business.
The seventeen year old Hal enlisted in the army in 1916 and had a distinguished military career. His regiment, the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders fought bravely throughout the war with Hal himself being gassed at Paschendaele and later wounded by shrapnel near Armiens.
Hal returned to Canada in 1919 along with thousands of his fellow soldiers. After re-entering the plumbing business, Hal applied for membership in the Rotary Club, but was rejected because the club already had a member who was in the plumbing business, namely Hal's father.
What was Rotary's loss was our gain. Hal decided to start his own service club. As young Hal saw it, men should preserve in peace the ideal of service to Canada. Encouraged by his father, Hal invited 11 young men to the Namking Cafe in Hamilton to start the first Kinsmen Club.
The first Kinsmen meeting was held on February 20, 1920 and from there the Association grew. Hal served as President from 1920-1923. He kept his interest in the Association in spite of moving to Toronto and starting his own career as the owner of a publishing house.
During World War II, Hal chaired the Kinsmen "Assistance for Britain" committee and was instrumental in the "Milk for Britain" campaign. After World War II, he received a great honor on behalf of the Association; he was made an "Officer of the British Empire". In 1959 former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker presented him with his Life Membership in the Association. In 1980, Hal was made a member of the Order of Canada.
The life of our Canadian nation has been enriched by the idea of Kin, as fostered by our Founder, Hal Rogers O.C., O.B.E.
Red Deer Club History Timeline
1937 Red Deer Chartered May 10, 1937. Sponsored by Kinsmen Club of Drumheller.
1938 Service work began with sponsorship of the library at the Red Deer Municipal Hospital and a Boy Scout Troop.
1939 Amateur Night; a dance, and Motor Circus were major fundraisers.
1940-1944 Red Deer ranked 11th nationally in fundraising for the "Milk for Britain" campaign. Red Deer chartered the Rocky Mountain House club.
1944 "Kin Cottage" raffle held. Cost of land, materials and construction $2,096.93; net proceeds, $10,433.67.
1946 Cancer Foundation and the Red Cross Society were our major projects. Donated $5,000.00 to proposed Civic Memorial Centre.
1948-1949 Sylvan Lake club chartered by Red Deer. First radio auction held. Long term project of developing recreational facilities was adopted.
1957 The tenth playground completed in Red Deer by the Kinsmen.
1959-1960 Development began on Kin Kanyon.
1960 Major fundraisers were a Soap Box Derby, Businessmen's Receptions, Sportsman's Dinners and a Ladies' Stag.
1963-1964 Car Award Booth set up at the Red Deer Fair.
1965-1966 Red Deer Club chartered Kinsmen Club of Rimbey.
1966-1967 North Hill Tennis Courts completed. Committed $50,000.00 over 10 years to Kinex Building.
1968-1969 "Skate for Kinex", the precursor for "Skate-A-Rama" began.
1974-1976 Y.M.C.A. received $17,000.00 for new racquet ball courts. First community bus purchased.
1976-1978 Second and third community buses purchased. Big Brothers, Seniors Christmas Light Tour adopted as projects.
1978-1979 Long term commitments made to installing another ice surface at the Dawe Recreation Complex ($187,500.00).
1981-1982 The first two Dream Home draws were held netting over $250,000.00.
1982-1983 Donated $130,000.00 to the Westerner for creation of Pioneer Park, $49,500.00 to a new building for the Boy Scouts at Camp Woods and $5,000.00 for a Paraplegic lift at the Recreation Centre pool. Two community vans were also purchased.
1984 Skate-A-Rama raised $63,300.00.
1985-1986 Major projects were the construction of Bower Kin Place and the Red Cross Kinsmen Centre.
1987-1988 Kinsmen committed $250,000.00 towards twinning the Kinsmen Community Arenas.
1988-1989 The city wide project of "Kin Grow" began.
1993 $200,000.00 committed over 5 years toward the Kinsmen Library Link. The Kinsmen Link joined the existing city library building and the old firehall.
1994 The old South Hill Community Centre became the permanent home of the Red Deer Kinsmen as a clubhouse and for hall rentals.
1996-1997 Major fundraisers - Kinsmen Dream Home, Skate-A-Rama, Run-O-Rama, Kin Grow, Kinsmen Car Award. Major Projects - Kinsmen Library Link, Youth and Volunteer Centre, Cystic Fibrosis, Kinsmen Discovery Canyon.
1997 Kinsmen Run-O-Rama. This project will raise funds for the Red Deer Soccer Association.