BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHATHAM KINSMEN CLUB

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The Kinsmen Club of Chatham was chartered as the 16th Club in the Association on August 1st 1928. Since then, over 700 young men have enjoyed the fellowship of the Chatham Kinsmen Club. As of today, we are the 5th oldest club in the Association with a proud and diverse past. The Kinsmen club of Chatham has had a proud tradition of accomplishments in our community and with the Association. In the thirty’s and forty’s we hosted National Conventions and had club members on the National executive. We have had two members as District Governor’s and many on District and Zone councils. Some of the contributions we have made to the community over the years have been:

The formation of #294 Kinsmen Air Cadet Squadron in 1942 and shortly after, the Air Cadet Glider flight training facility – one of the first of its’ kind. The donation of the Drill Hall thereafter known as the Kinsmen Auditorium to the city of Chatham in 1945. Many successful District Conventions were held here and other functions and fundraisers.

The Kinsmen Pee Wee baseball league and park in 1947-8 and formation of the Kinsmen Minor hockey league at about the same time.

In 1951 past president George Nuttall fashioned Elmer the Safety Elephant out of chicken wire and paper mache and visited all the local public schools. This was the only Elmer program in existence until the 90’s. Other suits have been adopted and Police van’s were purchased as public awareness vehicles over the years.

A major contribution was made to ARC Industries on Park Ave. which led to an addition to the building.

Other than property we were the largest contributor to the Chatham Seniors Centre on Merritt St. with over a $50,000 donation.

We purchased the Zamboni for the Thames Campus Arena when it was built. In 1985-86 we assisted in the funding of the then Northside Arena which resulted in our Kin Club room and an additional hall and kitchen. In 1998 a further addition and renovation was also organized and funded by the club. Some of our activities include the Kinsmen Community Festival (Fair) in June and our Fireworks sales in May with all proceeds going back into the Community.