Kin Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary of supporting communities like Campbell River this year.
And a group of local Kinsmen, Kinettes and their supporters gathered last Thursday morning at sunrise in Spirit Square to celebrate that accomplishment.
Allan Buxton of Campbell River Kinsmen says the club’s history is tied closely to many facilities and projects right here in Campbell River, as it is in many communities across the country.
“In 1920, a fellow by the name of Hal Rogers founded our organization, and it’s the largest Canadian Service Club – it’s Canadian only – and we serve our communities’ greatest needs,” Buxton tells those assembled. “100 years later and we still do that.”
The Kinsmen, Buxton says, are responsible for the construction of the first Campbell River Community Centre in 1954, “of which the legacy still lives today in the floor of the Maritime Heritage Centre. When they destroyed the community centre, they saved the floor and installed it in the main banquet room at the MHC,” Buxton says. “So when you’re attending an event there, have a look down and remember Kin.”
Campbell River Kinsmen also founded Campbell River Citizens on Patrol, Campbell River Crimestoppers, “and we’ve also funded the Campbell River Hospital Foundation to the tune of about $40,000 over the past five years.”
Mayor Andy Adams was also on hand to declare Feb. 16 to 23, 2020 as Kin Canada Week in Campbell River.
“I appreciate the opportunity to thank Kin Canada for the wonderful work they do in the community,” Adams says. “There have been events where some of you took me home safely, and I sincerely appreciate that,” he added to a chorus of laughter, as Kinsmen often operate the “safe ride home” program from various community events at which alcohol is served. They also put on various pancake breakfast events around town, including last week’s Family Day events at the Sportsplex.
“There has also been $45 million raised by Kin Canada since 1964 just for cystic fibrosis,” Adams says, “and that is truly amazing.”
Last week was also a chance for the local Kinettes club to celebrate its return to the community, and chapter president Joanne Millar says she couldn’t be happier to be part of bringing the club back to town.
“Kinettes have actually been a part of Campbell River over the years,” Millar says. “There was a chapter in the 60s and again in the 90s, and my husband is a Kinsmen and I’m very passionate about what the Kinsmen do and what Kin Canada does, and I just thought it was time to have a Kinette club in Campbell River again.”
They officially got back up and running in October, and their first community involvement activity was during Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser for the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, but there’s much more to come, Millar says.
“We’re just getting going and getting our feet under us,” she says, “but we’re looking at being very much involved in many things around the community.”
If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, you should contact Millar directly at 250-202-7253 or email her at email@example.com and she’ll let you know how you can get involved.