Kiwanis - Serving the Children of the World
Swift Current
Serving the Children of the World

FIFTY YEARS OF BUILDING

(1921-1971)

A Story of 50 Years of Community Endeavor by the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current, Saskatchewan

by
Kiwanian J. Baden Campbell

 

"We Build" is the motto of Kiwanis International, and of the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current. International has established broadly stated objects, which are directed to humanitarian and altruistic ethics. All guide the deliberations of the officers of the more than 6,000 clubs in 39 countries. Major emphasis has been given social problems of national or international interest amongst which are Environment Control, Freedom Leadership, Work and Pray for Permanent Peace, International Goodwill, Unite Youth and Adults, and Operation Drug Alert. All have been action programs for all Kiwanis Clubs. 

ED McKENZIE
Charter Year President
1921
FRANK SMITH
Golden Anniversary Year President 1971

The Kiwanis Club of Swift Current was organized on June 7, 1921, and its charter presented on September 9 of that year. Ed McKenzie was the first president and accepted the Charter on behalf of the 51 members. Other officers were Roy Stirrett (vice-president), Fred Hayes (secretary), and Roy Ross (treasurer). One trustee and seven directors completed the executive. None of the Charter members belong to the Swift Current club at present, in fact, only 14 of the 51 were active after 10 years service. The Kiwanis Club of Moose Jaw sponsored the Swift Current club and assisted in its organization. 

Apparently Charter Night was a gala event. It was held in the Princess Royal Theatre (now the site of the Elks Auditorium). A banquet, speeches, entertainment and a dance initiated a program of service. On September 9, 1971, the Swift Current Club celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Charter Night. During that evening, charter members Al Longmore and Maurice Hesford joined Mrs. Susan McKenzie, the widow of Ed McKenzie, the club's first president, to recall amusing incidents and items of practical interest to entertain former and present members and guests in an evening as gala as that of Charter Night. 

Though the files of the 1920's are incomplete, it is evident that fun activities were important. There were golf, curling and bridge competitions between members of Rotary and Kiwanis. An item in a 1921 edition of the Swift Current Sun reports a Rotary-Kiwanis indoor baseball game in the basement of the Lyric Theatre, but it doesn't mention the rules of the game or the other activities that filled the evening and late-night fun. Undoubtedly other similar social events were undertaken. 
The first important club project was help to children of needy families. This work was vitally important for many years, and required much of the Charity Budget (later Trust Account) until most of the social support was provided by Municipal and Provincial services; there are still calls (1971) on the Club's generosity for special situations. The diversity of need is well illustrated by reports of committees. Among the items the Club supplied were eye-glasses, dental work, clothing, cod liver oil, vitamins, shoes, overshoes, milk, flour, Christmas hampers, tonsil operations, coal, school books and other amenities. 

But older people were helped also and in diverse fashions. A few examples from the reports are recorded. A widow with four children had her washing machine repaired. A hearing-aid was purchased for an elderly mail. A wheel chair was presented to a mother with arthritis so she could complete her household chores more readily. Graduation gowns were purchased for two Grade XII girls whose families could not afford such necessities. It should be pointed out that help was not required every year, but according to the demands of a changing economy. 

Many other projects were started during the 1920's, some lasted only one year, other have continued to the present. Annual cash donations have been made to the Scouts, Guides and Church sports (now minor sports). Later the Club supported the Air Cadet Band (now Swift Current Junior Band) of which Kiwanians Charlie Warren and Jim Culham were its first conductors. Other ventures for young citizens were supported when the Club's officers realized that individuals, families and organizations needed help or reassurance. 

KIWANIS SWIMMING POOL AT ELMWOOD PARK

A project that has been active since 1924 is the supervision of the swimming pool on Swift Current Creek at Elmwood Park. It was known as the Kiwanis Bathing Station for nearly 20 years. The late Bill Weaver (and his whistle) was the first supervisor for which he was paid $40 per month from mid-June to mid-September; by 1939 his stipend was raised to $60 per month, but the season was reduced to July and August only. Bill held this position until 1944 with the exception of two summers. It is difficult to estimate the number of girls, boys and adults who learned to swim and enjoy the sport in the Elmwood Park pool. In addition, life saving classes were directed by qualified instructors; a program that has continued since 1941. This is a project that is not expensive in terms of citizen participation and community service, because 25,000 or more children and adults have enjoyed its cool, clean water, and its improved beach, and the adjacent Elmwood Park each summer. Since the project started, the Club has improved the beach by distributing tons of sand and by rebuilding change-room facilities. The City of Swift Current has contributed to the yearly expense of the project, which has risen from less than $150 in 1924 to over $1500 in 1971. The present and new change-rooms bears a Kiwanis plaque to show our club's contribution to its construction. 

It was in 1922 that the Kiwanis Club announced that an annual "Better Farming" award would be presented to a district farmer. This project preceded the "Master Farmer" awards that are given by the Government of Saskatchewan today for competent farm management and development; however this project was discontinued in the mid-1930's, when local farmers were plagued by drought, with hordes of grasshoppers, and by wind erosion, poor crops, and hungry cattle. 

In its stead, the Club gave leadership to garden competitions and farm beautification throughout the Swift Current trading area. Shelterbelt plantings were encouraged, likewise farm gardens, as well as support to district horticulturists. 

The Kiwanis Park project was conceived about 1928. Though the basic concept was to preserve an area of undisturbed prairie in the city centre, the idea was modified by planting trees, shrubs, flowers and grass, and to develop an irrigation system to use the spring run-off and summer rainfall more efficiently. The site chosen by agreement with the City of Swift Current was south of the hospital ( now demolished), and between 4th and 6th Avenues North East. Plans for the park were prepared by Harold (Shorty) Kemp through the co-operation of the staff of the Swift Current Experimental Station. Shorty also supervised the earth-moving and the plantings. All members of the club contributed their labor to this project. By 1938 the park was completed and dedicated for community use. A granite rock, with bronze plate attached, was placed at the entrance of the park to commemorate the work that Shorty had planned and supervised. After Shorty was transferred from the city, the park was supervised by Kiwanians Norm Jewitt and Mike Neuhalfen who did much of the maintenance work themselves. 

Kiwanis work force at dedication of first Kiwanis Park 1938

The club maintained the park until 1959 when it was transferred to the City of Swift Current to provide land for hospital expansion, a site for an Armory (now Recreation Centre) and residences. After its transfer, the park was moved to include three blocks east of Central Avenue and between Ashford and Grey Streets. This area had been a deep coulee leading to Swift Current Creek, that was filled with earth from excavations for homes and business blocks being built at that time. The stone commemorating Shorty Kemp's contribution was moved to the south-centre of the new Kiwanis Park. The new Park is being developed in line with community needs, each year it becomes more and more a pleasant playground for city residents and visitors. 

First Kiwanis Park about 1950
 
Plaque and Monument Commemorating the Work of
Harold (Shorty) Kemp
[L to R] Norm Jewett and Bob Walker

One of the most popular social events was the Kiwanis Boxing Day party. This event was primarily for members and their families though guests were always numerous and welcome. Each yearly presentation featured a unique program of minstrel shows, choruses and variety acts. Kiwanians wrote the scripts and performed the acts to the delight of their families and guests. 

During the first decade of its work, the Club prospered and had an important influence on community activities. The Swift Current district was relatively prosperous, and the Kiwanis Club prospered also. Though many Charter members resigned (caused mostly by transfers of members who worked for national and international companies), there was enough recruitment to maintain the Club roster at about 45 members. 

If the 1920's was a decade of relative prosperity, expansion and enthusiasm, the 1930's were equally depressed and disappointing. Because the world trading price of wheat dropped to its lowest in 300 years (33 cents per bushel at Thunder Bay in 1933), it was natural that local business would suffer accordingly. But the hope for a better future did not decline and the enthusiasm of the community did not dwindle. As the city and district felt the effects of declining prosperity, so did the Kiwanis Club which had to change the emphasis of some of its projects. 

AL LONGMORE
President 1930
Lt. Governor 1946
FRANK DICKSON
President 1934
District Secretary 1937
Lt. Governor 1940

Decreased membership and declining income affected the Club's endeavors. Membership dropped to 30 by 1932; again largely because of transfer of members. In many cases, the transfers coincided with the closing of businesses, which in turn created more local unemployment. The Club's total annual income was less than $1000 from 1932 through 1938. In part this was caused by reducing the initiation fee to $5.00 and the dues to $10.00 per year. Also in part, there wasn't the local support for money-raising projects. Two examples will suffice to illustrate this latter problem: In 1929, proceeds of a Kiwanis sponsored dance were $458, whereas, in 1936, the Club lost $11 on the same event; likewise Apple Week, which was started in 1932, provided a net of less than $200 per year until 1940 with a low net of $117.05 in 1936. It is noteworthy to report that the lowest cash reserve at the end of any year was in 1932 when only $120.40 were left in the treasury. 

Naturally the reduced income affected the Club's program. Moreover the overall unemployment situation and depressed economy made it necessary to organize social services as a community project. During the first few years of the 1930's, the senior governments did not participate actively to provide social help; local relief was the responsibility of the rural and urban municipalities. In order to provide this service, the City of Swift Current organized an Emergency Relief Bureau. The Kiwanis Club donated most of its Charity Account reserves to the City fund; In 1931 the transfer amounted to $500, and an even greater amount was added before 1935 when the Federal and Provincial governments increased their contributions to ease the strain on citizens, service clubs and municipalities. 

Many projects were undertaken to raise money for the city relief fund. One, organized by the Kiwanis Club, was a mid-night movie held in the Lyric Theatre in 1931. The Theatre was donated for this event by the Swift Current Amusement Company (Kiwanian Jack Lundholm, President), The Fox Film Corporation donated the film, Kiwanians sold enough tickets to add nearly $200 to the Swift Current Emergency Relief Fund. 

Club members were active in the administration of Western Canada District of Kiwanis International. Following his Club Presidency in 1927, Jim Whyte was chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of International for Canada in 1929, Lieutenant Governor of Division 4 in 1931, and Governor of Western Canada District in 1932. Maurice Hesford was District Secretary in 1932, Club President in 1933, and Lieutenant Governor of Division 4 in 1937. 

JIM WHYTE
President 1929
Lt. Governor 1931
Governor 1932
MAURICE HESFORD
District Secretary 1932
President 1933
Lt. Governor 1937

Recruitment was excellent from 1937 through 1939, when 21 names were added to the roster. Only three of the 21 are members of the Club at this time - Jim Donnelly, Fred Herman and Ridge Booker. Bob Moore and Ray Newsom are the only remaining members of the 125 who had joined between 1921 and 1936 inclusive. 

The depressed economy of the early-and mid-thirties improved greatly toward the end of the decade. But the difficulties of the Club financing and the decisions as to which projects to continue or commence were determined largely by Canada's entry in the Second World War. The Elmwood Park Swimming Pool, the Kiwanis Park, and Child-aid were continuing projects that had first call on Club funds. Fortunately none was too costly. Other projects however, needed more community support, and new methods of raising money for social services were necessary. 

The Ice-guessing contest was started in 1939. It involved guessing the time when the ice on Swift Current Creek would break-up in the spring. Half of the total amount raised was awarded the winner who came closest to the second that the official clock indicated break-up. The other half, all raised by ticket-guess sales, was used by the Club to purchase and forward gifts to local men and women in Canada's Armed Forces. Nearly 1,000,000 cigarettes and other amenities were paid for by this project during the six years the war lasted. Kiwanian Dunc Cameron headed this short-term but important service. This money-raising project was tried until 1951, but did not have public support because the funds obtained were not directed to a specific purpose. 

The Swift Current Horticultural Society had discontinued its annual show in the mid-l 930's. None the less the Society's charter had been paid until 1940 by Shorty Kemp. In 1941, Kiwanians Stan Steed and Shorty Kemp decided to hold a horticultural show as a project of the Agricultural Committee. The Club was to pay the small charge to keep the Society's charter alive. Excellent shows were held in the Healy Hotel in 1941, 1942 and 1943, and demonstrated the interest of the community in this activity. In 1944, the dormant Horticultural Society was reactivated with Ernie Dodds as president, the father of past Lieutenant Governor Murray. The Kiwanis Club supported the Society both before and after it became part of the Frontier Days Organization in 1967. 

Though the exact year is not recorded, it was in the early 1940's that the Club incorporated under the Saskatchewan Societies Act. With incorporation our Charity account was renamed the Trust Account. In the 1920's the Charity account budget was often more than $1000 each year, but usually less than $100 from 1932 to 1937. Today, social services paid from monies raised for the Trust Account may amount to more than $8000 annually. 

KIWANIS FLOAT
Prize winner in 1941 Frontier Days Parade

The Club's membership increased to 50 by 1945 when the weekly Friday luncheon was moved from the Healy Hotel to the Piccadilly Cafe. A letter from International congratulated the recruitment program, but warned that the average age of the Club members was 48 and that younger men should be recruited. But most of the young men had left the community to serve in the Armed Services, and the Club had little choice about a candidate's age during those six years. What the executive considered were the leadership abilities and the community interests of the potential member. Notwithstanding the relative healthy economyof the City and the District, it was necessarv to provide medical and other service to some school-age children. The increased membership made it possible to maintain these services at a high level. 

The Kiwanis Christmas show was a social highlight during those six years of restricted travel and rationing. Usually these events started with a dinner, followed by a show and dance where Kiwanian Harry (Saxophone) Hem led the orchestra. But the show was always the highlight of the evening. The scripts for these plays (skits is a better word) were written by a frustrated playwright turned accountant - Kiwanian Maurice Hesford. Some of his titles were: Horatio at the Bridge (Game), a poem about a Kiwanis-Rotary bridge tournament (with apologies to Thomas Babington Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome); The Return from Saskatoon (Regina) following curling games against other Kiwanis Clubs - the plot was that some of the curlers were uncertain about their point of departure; The Beauty Parlor Blues had a plot based on the wives of Kiwanians having their hair set prior to the Christmas party; Maurice's Marching Orders was a skit developed by its similarity to Canada's Army Part II orders; Past Lieutenant Governor Ken Lewis was recruited as make-up artist. And Maurice had great talent available for casting. Jim Begg, Frank Dickson, Al Longmore, Cy Cowan, Edgar Burke, Fred Ironside, Roy Stirrett, Stan Steed, Ted Rice, A. B. Elliott, Jim Donnelly and others were all gifted not only with natural humor but, also with limited acting ability. Anyway, the thespians, and their families and guests, had Boxing Day evenings of fun and adventure. 

After the end of the Second World War, the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current had to review its interests, and to determine what projects could be curtailed because new demands on the Club's activities were becoming evident. Between 1946 and 1969, Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments were instituting new social policies. Our club had to consider the impact of those policies and to adjust its endeavors accordingly. 

  
HAROLD (SHORTY) KEMP 
President 1942 
Kiwanis Park designer
 
CLARENCE ORTON 
President 1946 
Lt. Governor 1952

The Budgets of the Underprivileged Children's Committee will illustrate the changes that were necessary. In the 1920's and 1930's, the budgets of this committee accounted for as much as 75 per cent of the Charity Account. By 1960, only 20 per cent of the Trust Account was allotted to this committee and by 1970 its budget was less than 10 per cent of the Club's expenditure. 

But 75 per cent of our Trust Account budget is still directed to the interests of youth. It was during the late 1940's that the Club became concerned with 4-H club support, increased its contributions to the Junior Band, Scouts, Guides and Minor Sports, and introduced new and exciting projects that were to benefit young citizens. Details of some of these programs are considered. 

The interest in new endeavors is well illustrated by our Club's support of 4-H projects. Not only did Club members work with the girls and boys in the movement, but our public relations with rural communities were enhanced. Farms were visited in the 4-H groups we sponsored at Yellow Lake, Riverview, Rush Lake and North Star. We saw their cattle, we inspected their grain and garden plots, and we presented cash prizes and trophies at 4-H Achievement Days and at the Frontier Days Shows. After the 4-H public speaking programs were introduced, we acted as judges at local and district competitions. More recently our Club has helped at the annual district 4-H Rally, the 4-H Bonspiel at the Stockade, and the 4-H Light Horse Show at Frontier Days. 

 
1960 HODGEVILLE 4-H GRAIN CLUB
Winner of Kiwanis Trophy
1969 BURNHAM 4-H
Kiwanis Award for Outstanding Community Participation
[L - R] Mrs. A. Sabine (Club Leader), Murray Ward (4-H Club President) Kiwanian Hank Anderson, Mrs V. Wilson (Club Leader

Another outlet for the energy of some of our members was the junior rifle club organized by Chief Roy Hart of the Swift Current City Police. Our club presented rifles and bought ammunition, and members helpedd Chief Hart at the regular training sessions held in the indoor rifle range in the Armory (now the Recreation Centre). Kiwanians Jim Ironside and Jack Brown were recruited to lecture about guns, hunting, and rifle range courtesy, and to supervise the range competitions. It is projects such as this that are forgotten readily, but which have a lasting influence on youth. Both girls and boys enjoyed this activity. 

A road race was revived by the Kiwanis Club in 1959 after a lapse of 25 years. Charlie Warren had won the event in the 1920's, and his interest in this sport led to its renewal. The event has been held in conjunction with the Southwest Saskatchewan Field Day, and young men throughout the region have run the 2.8 miles to compete for the Kiwanis Trophy. 

Baseball became a major entertainment shortly after the Second World War. The Kiwanis Clubs of the province organized junior baseball throughout Saskatchewan. The Swift Current club organized a league in the Southwest, sponsored a local team aud presented a trophy for league championship. It is unfortunate that this project folded after a few years of activity. To say that it folded is too generalized a statement, because the league became part of the city and district minor sport program. Kiwanian Dave Berezan headed this project during its inception. 

The Club moved into another activity involving young people. The Kiwanis Clubs of Malta, Montana, and Swift Current undertook a program of student exchange at the grade XI level of collegiate training. Each year since 1957, and for one week, four young people from Malta joined their confreres in the Swift Current collegiates, and four students from Swift Current have gone to Malta. But this exchange of students has been more than an opportunity for young people, because many Kiwanians of both clubs have become good friends during their visits across the International Boundary. 

FIRST MALTA EXCHANGE STUDENTS
[L - R] Laurence Hill, Pat Woychuk, Deanna Craig, Shawn Rooney

Undoubtedly the student exchange project has an important and lasting function. It is difficult to name all those concerned with its conception and administration. In Canada, Kiwanian Ralph Desbrisay has been one of its strongest supporters, and Kiwanian Frank Warder supported the idea as chairman of the local collegiate board. But probably the late Clarence Orton was the Swift Current Kiwanian who gave the most leadership during the early years of the program. Equally dedicated Kiwanians in Malta worked closely with our members. This Malta-Swift Current project has been copied by other Kiwanis Clubs adjacent to the International Boundary across Canada and the United States, and had been profitable for Kiwanians to appreciate the similiarities and the differences in each others cultures. 

Though the Club has supported the local Hospital since 1921, it was in the late 1940's that a definite support plan was announced. At that time it was decided to furnish the Pediatric ward in the new Union Hospital. Incubators, beds, refrigerators, books, toys, a T.V. and many other pieces of equipment were purchased and presented to ensure the health and happiness of the young patients. This is a continuing project and it is expected that many more dollars representing hours of work by Kiwanians and the generosity of the citizens of Swift Current will be spent during the next decade. The Club's contribution to date has amounted to more than $7,000. Included in this amount was $1,000 from an anonymous donor in memory of Brenda Treen, a city child who died accidentally. 

Because of the changing economic and social interests in the community, the Club undertook to support Senior Citizen hostels with amenities not available through Provincial and Municipal sources. Our support was moderate but realistic. The Support of Churches Committee arranged for Club members to drive men and women living in Pioneer Lodge to Church on Sunday and to other events. We bought a public address system and had it installed in Palliser Hospital. The Club purchased materials for rehabilitation activities, as well as serving-wagons, wheelchairs and other furniture needed in both homes. 


KEN LEWIS
President 1952
Lt. Governor 1969

MURRAY DODDS
President 1960
Lt. Governor 1963

Charlie Warren established a record of service in the year he was chairman of the Support of Churches Committee. Every month throughout the year, this committee sponsored and completed a different project. It is not necessary to list all the programs, but a few have become a part of our regular service to the community. For this excellent work, Charlie was appointed chairman of the Support of Churches Committee for Western Canada District, and served also as a member of the International Support of Churches Committee. 

There were disappointing projects. Not only did these projects often lose money, but there was little city and district interest. With Frontier Days we tried to introduce harness racing, but the sport was not supported by the community. We also sponsored the first Quarter Horse Show in City; a project that has been continued by the Quarterhorse Breeders in the area. Charlie Warren tried to organize Kiwanis Clubs in Gull Lake and Maple Creek: The endeavor at Gull Lake ended in failure. The regional seed fair that we organized in conjunction with Frontier Days died a natural death after a few successful years. 

Though some projects ended with disappointment, as many or more were successful. One of international interest was the erection of a Kiwanis Peace Cairn at Monchy on the International Boundary in 1957. Its erection involved both the Malta and Swift Current Clubs and was the 29th Peace Cairn dedicated by Kiwanis Clubs in the United States and Canada. Since the Monchy Cairn was built, 12 more have been erected at crossing points between Canada and the United States. Recently, a few are appearing on the Mexico-United States boundary after Kiwanis Clubs were organized in Mex ico. 

 
Plaque on Peace Cairn at Monchy 
at the International Boundary

Don Nicholson was president of the club in 1957. It was Charlie Warren and his family who supplied the 3000 lbs. of French Lisk (sandstone) for the column of the Cairn, and the granite plaque that commemorated international goodwill. Kiwanians from Malta laid the concrete base with help from Swift Current Club members Les McKenzie and Maurice Jeffrey. Stonemason George Bolle, one of Charlie's employees, built the Cairn and attached the plaque. The Saskatchewan Department of Highways has paved a small area around the Cairn which helps to control grass and weeds. When it was built, the Monchy Cairn was judged by International as the most beautiful of the 29 dedicated to that time. Both Clubs have met for Kiwanis picnics at the site during recent years. 


CHARLIE WARREN
President 1949
Lt. Governor 1955
District Committee Chairman

DON NICHOLSON
President 1957
Lt. Governor 1959
Club Secretary for 10 Years

 

Since 1960 the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current has continued to support its major projects. The Elmwood Park Swimming Pool has been improved each year with ever-increasing cost for maintenance and wages. The student exchange program has become more popular, with considerable competition amongst Swift Current students for the honors and privileges it carries. The Pediatric Ward in the Swift Current Union Hospital, and special help to the Pioneer Lodge and Palliser Hospital are projects that receive regular support, as well as the many activities directed to youth. The services to the community are well illustrated by the increases in the annual budget. In 1933, the total budget was only $800; by 1960 some $7000 was raised and spent; in the 1971-72 business year, the total increased to over $12,000. 

Where does the money come from? About a quarter represents that received from members, a good part of which goes to pay our share of District and International dues. The balance is raised by support for the Club's money-raising programs, including Apple Week, TV Talent Show, Cy Cowan's committee that promotes hockey and football pools, and a small grant from the City of Swift Current to help pay wages at the Elmwood Park Swimming Pool. In the 1971-72 business year, the Snowman's Festival, which the Club sponsored with Frontier Days, appears to be another project that will be supported by the city and district. Past President Frank Smith directed this fun-filled weekend. 

KIWANIS KAPERS 1950
Past Presidents Harry Shaw (1935)
and Jack Lundholm (1944)
President Archie Walkenshaw and
Secretary Les McKenzie at the
Fort William District Convention 1947

But there have been other methods of raising needed revenue. In 1945, the Club sponsored Lotts Hell Drivers and cleared $619.80. The Kiwanis Kapers radio show over CHAB netted about $1600 each year during 1949 and 1950; good local talent and some not-so-good talent performed before a microphone, and district people paid into the Club for their performances and antics. We also had the wildcat finance game; each Club member was given $5.00 from our General account and was asked to return twice the amount because our cash reserves were low. Doug Robinson and Bert Washington hosted a night club for selected friends- all the high spenders in the Club were invited. Ken Lewis sold bug exterminators which were two small pieces of 2" x 2" pine that were beautifully wrapped. Ken demonstrated his ability as a super-salesman with his underhanded and stealthy approach to his potential customers. These and other projects were fun and our Club members all added to our Trust account. 

There have been other projects. The Club meets the new teachers in the city schools each year at a noon luncheon in September, and has been host to the members of the local Ministerial Association during Lent. The Club sends students from the local collegiates to the opening of the Saskatchewan Legislature; a project organized and supervised by the Kiwanis Clubs in Regina. The Kiwanis farmer-rancher night has helped to consolidate urban-rural fellowship, and the mid-week Lenten gathering in one of the City churches is a project of the Support of Churches Committee. The Elmer Elephant safety program for the public schools leaves a lot of disappointed students when the Elmer Elephant flag is removed from the mast after an accident occurs in their school. The Club also provided supplies and presented a wood-working lathe to the Sheltered Workshop. 


KIWANIS SWIMMING POOL
at Elmwood Park

The new Kiwanis Park was further improved by the addition of a fountain and flower beds. We contributed $4,500 of our funds for the Civic Centre during Saskatchewan's 60th Jubilee year in 1965. Over $5000 were used to improve the Elmwood Park Swimming Pool. The Kiwanis Minor Leagues Baseball Park north of the Civic Centre was developed; bleachers and dugouts were installed, and a chain-link fence erected. More recently we have approved a grant of $10,000 for a new Sheltered Workshop (renamed the Kiwanis Centre for the Handicapped). Bursaries are presented to students in the Comprehensive School; other students are sent to meetings of young people. Nearly every year there is an other important project that requires all Kiwanians to work for Swift Current's betterment. 

1971 OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE NEW CHANGE-HOUSE 
Kiwanis Swimming Pool at Elmwood Park
[L-R] Kiwanians Frank Smith, His Worship Mayor Bob Dahl, Jackson Running, Jack Sutherland, Capt. George Prior, Al Lough (Lt. Gov. Elect, Division 4)

We had cultural interests also. The Swift Current Junior Band was supported financially the year when it won two major awards at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. Likewise the Golden Prairie Strings was helped when that orchestra performed at Expo in 1967. President Murray Dodds chaired the Saskatchewan Summer Institute when it was held under the Club's sponsorship in 1960, likewise the 1960 Saskatchewan Drama Festival. We added to the funds needed to help local flutist Lynn Shogan join the Canadian Youth Orchestra when it toured Europe in 1965. Kiwanian Jack Cocks chaired the committee for the World Travelogue Series in 1969 and 1970. Support for other cultural projects was never lacking, whether promoted by Kiwanis or another organization in Swift Current. 

The Kiwanis Club of Swift Current has been active in District and International affairs. Nearly every year since 1960, our Club has been awarded the achievement ribbon in the Silver Section of the Western Canada District. An achievement awarded for our record in 1968 (the year Ed Smith was President) was acknowledged by International: Ken Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of District 4 in 1969 accepted the citation on behalf of our Club at the annual convention of International in Miami. In addition to Jim Whyte and Maurice Hesford, the Club has elected seven other members to the office of Lieutenant Governor of District 4. In sequence these members are: Frank Dickson (1940), Al Longmore (1946), Clarence Orton (1952), Charlie Warren (1955), Don Nicholson (1959), Murray Dodds (1963), and Ken Lewis (1969), all had served as Club presidents prior to assuming District duties. 

 
1968 KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL AWARD
Club President Ed Smith
 
1968 KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL 
AWARD
Accepted by Lt. Governor Ken Lewis (right) at Miami in 1969

Though this story appears to be a record of work, nonetheless most members have had a lot of fun while Building. In addition to our Boxing Day show and dances, many of our Friday luncheons were fun-filled events. Humorists Jim Beggs, Al Longmore, Edgar Burke and Frank Dickson and many others exchanged quips about political affiliations, golf, food, clothes and curling. Maurice Jeffery and Don Whiteman are leading our present membership with humor in the traditions of 20 years or more ago. Though many weekly bulletins have been filled with humor, probably none was as consistent as the 50 bulletins written by Al Longmore when he was club secretary in 1947; fortunately all have been preserved. 

                     

Kiwanis Park 1971

Family interests have not been overlooked. Father and son and father and daughter luncheons have been held. Kiwanis has held family picnics and sports events. We have joined Malta Kiwanians for picnics at the Malta Peace Cairn. Father and son, or son-in-law, have served as Club Presidents: Ed McKenzie was president in 1921, his son Les held that position in 1963; Harry Shaw presided in 1935, Bob in the 1971-72 business year; Al Longmore was head man in 1930, Frank Warder, his son-in-law, in 1969. For many years, Sam Moore was our District Trustee, son Bob was the club President in 1951. During the 50 years of our Club's activity, many business and professional men served as executive with distiction.

As one reads the reports of the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current and the magazine published by International, the reader becomes appreciative of the stature of Kiwanis. On many occasions, Kiwanians from Regina, Moose Jaw, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Havre, Malta, Glasgow, Helena, and Great Falls have held meetings in Canada and the United States. The reports of the annual meetings of Kiwanis International read like an United Nations gathering, because Kiwanis has extended its "Building" philosophy from the United States and Canada to Mexico, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the East and West Indies. The basic motto "We Build" is a signpost to community betterment throughout the world. 

During the next half century, the City of Swift Current and Southwest Saskatchewan can expect the same community leadership and social service that the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current performed during its "Fifty Years of Building." 
 

-Presented by the Club History Committee 
Murray Dodds, Maurice Jeffery, Ken Lewis, Ed Smith, Frank Smith, Don Whiteman, Baden Campbell (Chairman)

BADEN CAMPBELL
Historian and Archivist