Kinsmen Club of Sackville - Our Story...



People, public and private institutions, and the land–all three are the basis for any community’s history. It is pioneers who forge a new settlement based on hard work and a vision for the future. Respect for neighbours translates into mutual support as a settlement grows into a hamlet, a village or eventually a town. Even as the founding days recede into memory it is that dedication to others and loyalty to the local community which provides meaning to our daily lives. Sackville in Halifax County was once a wilderness area transformed in the later 1700s into a farming and lumbering hamlet. In time it grew into a prosperous neighbourhood with its own institutions –churches, schools, social clubs, newspaper and basic local government. Throughout the 1900s that scene changed, especially following the economic optimism of the post-World War II era. These changes occurred in tandem with the growth of the provincial capital Halifax which resulted in increased rail and road traffic, urban expansion into the “suburbs” of Bedford, Waverley and Sackville, and subsequent dramatic changes in local businesses and population boom. Sackville in 2003 has become a world undreamed of by the founders of the colonial years.


         Each age brings its own responses to needs for community not met by or in the mandate of church or government. Citizens are called on to do for themselves to improve recreational facilities, sponsor charitable causes, and support celebrations which give identity to the community. Forty years ago, in 1961, the original charter was granted to the Kinsmen Club of Bedford, Sackville, Waverley. This group of local businessmen organized themselves to give back to their communities from their own resources both with funds and more notably by hands-on, personal involvement. They adhered to their motto, “Serving the Community’s Greatest Need.”


         The Association of Kinsmen Clubs is a uniquely Canadian creation. Its founder, Hal Rogers [1899-1994], was a distinguished veteran of World War I and successful Ontario businessman. He looked beyond the confines of his entrepreneurial office walls in 1920 to establish a new service club whereby other members of his town could give back to the citizens less fortunate than themselves. That service took on international participation with his steerage of the Kinsmen clubs to support Britain during the 1939-45 War, and reconstruction for Britain in the aftermath of the conflict. For his positive efforts Hal Rogers was awarded the honour of Officer of the British Empire [1948], and received further recognition for his contributions to Canada with membership in the Order of Canada [1980]. His was an imposing model to follow. Kinsmen throughout Canada well understood that it was not the size of an endeavour which mattered. The heart of the Kinsmen movement is fellowship and the will to act in service for others.


          The Kinsmen Club of Sackville [as it was renamed in 1967] continues to realize the value of the founding ideals of Hal Rogers. Service can be anything from picking up litter at the park next to the Kin Centre to fund raising for Cystic Fibrosis. No one member engages in work for self-promotion. Rather the Club seeks publicity to bring their efforts to the notice of other prospective members to ensure the continuity of service to the community. It is a record of that service and its dedicated members–both Kinsmen and Kinettes–which needs to be honoured in a history of past achievements. In celebrating the past the Kinsmen Club of Sackville can go forward proudly into the new century.


Chapter One

Sackville of 2002 is a sprawling urban community. There is very little discontinuity between it and Halifax as the highways lead from the latter through Bedford to Sackville proper. Everywhere new businesses and expanding housing developments are spread over the landscape. Within the last decade of the twentieth century all of Halifax County was transformed by provincial government mandate into the Halifax Regional Municipality. In theory that meant that all towns and villages prior to amalgamation ceased to exist. Citizens of those former communities, however, view matters differently. It is a condition of human existence in Western society that people create districts in which neighbours can function as an extended family–at least one of generally shared interests, ideas of how the surrounding should be shaped, and a vision for the future of that neighbourhood. Here in Halifax Regional Municipality the older municipal units had histories which extended back prior to each village or town’s own legislated incorporation as determined by the 1888 statute permitting creation of such self-regulating political entities.[i]  Many of the communities had histories which reached back before the creation of Canada itself in 1867. It is to the colonial days of the eighteenth century that one must look for the foundation of modern Sackville, and further still if one were to include the camping and burial sites of the indigenous Mi’kmaq. 


The history of Sackville and nearby Bedford are intimately connected to the early history of Halifax. Following the settlement of Halifax as a fortified British enclave in June 1749 the local military governing authorities lead by Governor Edward Cornwallis surveyed roadways and trails outward along the shores of Bedford Basin. The objective was to establish a communication route overland to the district of Pisiquid where Fort Edward was erected as the site later to be known as Windsor. [i] From there older Acadian and Mi’kmaq pathways were followed to the former capital of Nova Scotia at Annapolis Royal. [ii] It was decided to establish a military outpost at the head of Bedford Basin where the Sackville River entered the former. Fort Sackville has its own local historian as found in the late Elsie Churchill Tolson’s The Captain, the Colonel and me. (Bedford, N. S., since 1503). [iii] Originally Bedford was Lower Sackville prior to further developments along the old Windsor Road. Suffice to say that until the first decade after 1800 the main business in the district was to supply a stopping place for travellers at Fultz’s Tavern and Inn. [iv] Public service would continue as the theme of Sackville’s particular history.


[i]. Thomas H. Raddall, Halifax: Warden of the North rev. ed. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971): pp. 29-30; L. S. Loomer, Windsor, Nova Scotia: a journey in history (Windsor, NS: West Hants Historical Society, 1996): pp. 37-44.

[ii]. For an excellent account and illustrations on early mapping, trails, roadways, etc. see: Joan Dawson, The Mapmaker’s Eye: Nova Scotia Through Early Maps (Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum, 1988).

[iii]. Elsie Churchill Tolson, The Captain, the Colonel and me. (Bedford, N. S., since 1503) (Sackville, NB: Tribune Press, 1979).

[iv]. M. G. Parks, ed., My Dear Susan Ann: Letters of Joseph Howe to his Wife: 1829-1836 (St. John’s, Nfld: Jesperson Press, 1985): pp. 185-86. The so-called Ten Mile House tavern and inn operated by Mr. Scott was in Bedford: Tolson, The Captain: 96.

. See: Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia 1954 (Halifax, NS: The Queen’s Printer, 1954): pp. 367-77: Towns’ Incorporation Act.


Sackville is approximately twelve miles from the heart of downtown Halifax. In the 1800s it was primarily an agricultural and lumbering settlement with a few auxiliary activities such as milling [lumber, flour, woollens]. The first church, St. John’s Anglican, was erected as a separate parish in 1804 as the “Parish of Sackville.” It encompassed Hammonds Plains, Beaverbank, Lower, Middle and Upper Sackville. [i]  The pages of St. John’s Anglican Church register reveal the ethnic mix of the settlers as well as their occupations. The very first baptism recorded was for the child of a German couple–John and Mary Hafler of Sackville–who was administered the sacrament on 28 January 1813. That surname still survives in the name of Hefler/ Heffler nearly two centuries later. Other names indicate German, English and Irish immigrants, either directly from Europe, or from older settlements at Halifax, the Windsor district, or by way of Lunenburg overland through Hammonds Plains: Hiltz, Preeper, Shultz, Fultz, Haverstock, Roberts, Owens, Mitchell, Hamilton, Sullivan and McGivan.[ii] The baptismal registers listed fathers as farmers, labourers and as military men attached to Fort Sackville. The soldiers sometimes stayed on to leave descendants in the area while others came and went according to regiments’ orders. Early on the families who stayed intermarried. It was on 1 January 1814 that William Fultz took as his wife Miss Sarah Mitchell.[iii] This was the same Fultz family associated with Fultz’s Inn.[iv] William Fultz was by trade a wheelwright, as had been his father Anthony Fultz. It was Anthony’s father Johann Andreas (John) Fultz who was the original immigrant from Haslach, near Strasbourg; he arrived in Halifax in 1751. Following several adventures and moves (including Louisbourg) he obtained a grant of land along the road from Fort Sackville to Windsor in 1773. When Ambrose F. Church produced his series of county maps in the 1860s his Sackville showed several Fultz householders living in the settlement.( Descendants of the family in Sackville are still involved in the lumber trade in 2002.) Finally, the early wardens of the parish (1814-1838) likewise reflected the diversity of the population: Fenerty, Schwartz, Blair, Schultz, Robinson, Hiltz, Reynolds, Peverill and Fultz.


[i]. Tolson, The Captain: 73-75; Allan Duffus et al, Thy Dwellings Fair: Churches of Nova Scotia: 1750-1830 (Hantsport, NS: Lancelot Press, 1982): pp. 170-72.

[ii]. Dorothy B. Evans, Hammonds Plains: The First 100 Years (Halifax, NS: For the Author, 1993).

[iii]. Nova Scotia Archives [NSA]: Churches: Sackville, Halifax County: St. John’s Anglican.

[iv]. Lois Y. Kernaghan and Terrence M. Punch, “The Fultz Family of Sackville, Halifax County: A Case Study to 1881" Nova Scotia Historical Review 2, No. 1 (1982): 86-106.


“12 Mile House” as Fultz’s Inn was also known, was established during the 1820s. The building survived until destroyed by fire about 1900. [i] Here early Sackville residents sold their produce and supplies to the inn holder who in turn used his purchases to entertain and entice early tourists to visit the community. Haligonians, who included members of the Tandem Club, would travel by sleigh to Fultz’s to dine and dance in the ballroom. Newspaper man, poet and politician Joseph Howe was a regular visitor to the Inn during the course of his various travels.[ii]  Nearly two centuries later Sackville continues to offer dining and entertainment for the travelling public.


By the time that the 1838 census of Nova Scotia was taken, Sackville had attracted other settlers who supplemented the founders and expanded the number of occupations.[iii] These newer residents included, besides farmers and lumbermen, carpenters, shoemakers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, weavers, and a schoolmaster. All of these livelihoods were necessary components of a thriving village economy. They represented as well an integrated community of interest.


[i]. An 1871 watercolour of Fultz Corner, in the possession of Mrs. Murray Ritchey of Dartmouth, appeared as the cover for the Nova Scotia Historical Review 2, No. 1 (1982); this actually shows Ten Mile House in what became known as Lower Sackville (today’s Bedford).

[ii]. Tolson, The Captain: 127; Parks, My Dear Susan Ann: 185; M. G. Parks, ed., Western and Eastern Rambles: Travel Sketches of Nova Scotia by Joseph Howe (University of Toronto Press: 1973): 58-59.

[iii]. NSA: 1838 Census of Nova Scotia.


It was well into the twentieth century before Sackville ceased to be described as a village. Lovell’s Gazetteer of British North America in 1873 described it as, “a village in Halifax co., N. S., 12 miles from Halifax. Pop. 300.”[i] One passed through Sackville on the way to the Annapolis Valley or to Truro. The residents had to learn self-sufficiency and determine what local resources would yield a viable livelihood. As was typical of rural Nova Scotia, the residents of Sackville were united by bonds of kinship, shared faith in only two or three religious denominations, and the mutual support offered by neighbours. This is not to say that Sackville citizens were insular or isolated. The Windsor Road was a thoroughfare and a link to markets in Halifax. During the 1850s the first official train trip took passengers and officials from the Richmond terminal in Halifax all the way to Sackville. Five years later the Prince of Wales representing his mother Queen Victoria visited the British North American colonies. His party took the same train route through Sackville on its way to Windsor [the latter line being opened in 1858]. Sackville had in the railway an additional transportation route to export local products and to attract new business.[ii] Nearly forty years elapsed before another dramatic innovation affected local residents. The advent of motor cars to replace horse and wagon matched the railways in changes to transporting goods, and bringing tourists to the area.


[i]. P. A. Crossby, ed., Lovell’s Gazetteer of British North America (Montreal: John Lovell, 1873; reprinted  Milton, Ont.: Global Heritage Press, 1999).

[ii]. Marguerite Woodworth, History of the Dominion Atlantic Railway (1936):39; David E. Stephens, Iron Roads: Railways of Nova Scotia (Windsor, NS: Lancelot Press, 1972): 25-26.


The three hundred residents of 1873 Sackville were affected by expansion and tourism that was the legacy of the railway. Bedford itself was a military site which linked Sackville to Halifax. Both would serve as rural retreats for Haligonians not wishing to travel all the way to Windsor. Bedford (alias Lower Sackville) was a shipbuilding site in the nineteenth century which created its own spin-off businesses. Moreover, the latter community was the site of Windsor Junction–the location for the divergence of the rail lines, one going on to the Annapolis Valley, the other to Truro and the remainder of Canada. The shipyards at Fort Sackville drew on local labourers, timber processing at mills, and skilled workers in iron and wood. Increased economic activity there meant opportunity for Sackville citizens who could supply a market closer at hand than Halifax. [i] Nonetheless the essential rural character of small village life was maintained. It would take post-World War II developments to lay the basis for a dramatic shift in a way of life.


[i]. Tolson, The Captain: 131-33, 164-66.


Prior to 1939 change came to Sackville by increments. An important addition to local communications occurred in 1902 with the formation of the Sackville Telephone Company, to be matched in 1905 by a telephone company in nearby Beaverbank. [i]  Forty years later the area was considered by the Anglican Church as a suburban parish.[ii] Such a designation did not mean that farming and lumbering had ceased. It did signify that more and more of the population were adapting to the modern era with the installation of telephones, acquisition of automobiles, and growth of the idea of commuting longer distances to and from work. The quarter century from 1945 to the 1970s was a time of significant change for Nova Scotia as a whole. Thousands of returned service men and women needed new housing and employment. Housing boomed in peninsular Halifax, expanded along the Bedford Basin highway and on into Sackville.[iii] Government  and private entrepreneurs strove to restimulate the provincial economy on a peace time footing and in defiance of federal government concerns for an “underdeveloped East Coast.” Sackville became the place of residence for a new generation of suburban worker who were freed by the car and paved highways from living within walking distance of their jobs. Conversely, access to means of exporting products by way of road, rail and ships outward from Sackville led visionary business men and women of the late 1950s and 1960s to see the potential for the area. Sackville the village of 1873 changed into the suburbia of the 1960s then transformed into the shopping mall, townhouse and condominium, and small scale industrial complex of the 1990s.  



[i]. Tolson, The Captain: 206-207; Lauralea Lutes and David Peverill, comp., Source Book for Sackville History... (Sackville, NS: Sackville Heritage Society, 19930: By Laws: Sackville Telephone Co. 1902 Feb. 12 [Files of the Sackville Heritage Society]; NSA: Places: Beaverbank: Beaverbank Mutual Telephone Co.; NSA: Morning Chronicle (Halifax, NS) 1905 May 3: pg. 1: re: There are 30 phone companies in Nova Scotia. It should be noted that by 1850 the electric telegraph was operating between Halifax and Windsor with operators in the Sackville district: NSA: Novascotian (Halifax): 1850: pp. 354, 371.

[ii]. Duffus et al, Thy Dwellings Fair: 172: “During the first half of the 20th century, Sackville grew from being a country village to a fringe community on the edge of the ever-growing Halifax-Dartmouth metropolis. By the 1940's, it was considered a suburban parish.” 

[iii]. E. R. Forbes and D. A. Muise, ed., The Atlantic Provinces in Confederation (University of Toronto Press, 1993): 314-16.


Sackville’s accessibility by Halifax and Dartmouth residents was manifest enough in the 1950s that a number of businessmen led by the Cruickshank family established a race horse track. The Sackville Downs Raceway opened on 25 August 1955; over time it became one of the province’s best known institutions. By 1967 a new clubhouse and restaurant complex (the latter known as the Sulky Room) was open to the public.[i] 


During the 1970s the portents of things to come could be found in housing development schemes which offered the vision of subdivisions to provide homes for thousands of new residents. The Dartmouth Free Press [19 November] reported in 1975 that the Housing Commission had bought 434 acres of land west of the Beaver Bank road for a housing project to accommodate from 5,000 to 6,000 people.[ii] Two years earlier Clayton Developments and the Oland family interests arranged to develop 350 acres in houses for 10,000 people on land formerly owned by the Olands as “Lindola” farm.[iii] Both projects dwarfed the old Sackville and surrounding communities many times over. To meet anticipated needs what became known as the Sackville Downs shopping Centre was started in 1977 along First Lake Drive.[iv] As an indication of how quickly things were changing the Metro Bus Service which formerly served only peninsular Halifax-Dartmouth and adjacent suburbs added Bedford and Sackville to their runs on 1st March 1979 under a two zone system.[v] Within fifteen years that arrangement was changed to a uniform one zone fare system. Sackville had ceased to be thought of as a distant community beyond the outskirts of the capital. Creation of the Halifax Regional Municipality in the last decade of the Twentieth Century absorbed Sackville and Bedford into a legislated union. Further signs of changes occurred in

the 1970s. A new library was opened in 1975 to serve the growing community. In 1974 a local paper called the Bedford-Sackville News began its existence. This gave Sackville and area a voice outside the Halifax dominated dailies.


[i]. NSA: Mail Star (Halifax): 28 July 1967: pp. 12, 13. The Chronicle Herald (Halifax) for 5 February 1969 noted that the Sackville Downs operated for 84 days, held 675 races, and that $2,601,626 was wagered. This represented one third of all monies wagered at provincial race tracks the preceding year.     

[ii]. NSA: Dartmouth Free Press 1975 November 19: 2nd section pg. 9 re: Housing Commission buys 434 acres of land west of the Beaver Bank Road for $1.5 million. Will be used for new housing for 5,000 to 6,000 people.  

[iii]. NSA: Mail Star (Halifax): 4 June 1973: pg. 1.

[iv]. NSA: Mail Star (Halifax): 6 January 1977: pg. 22: re: $5 million shopping mall being built on First Lake Drive in heart of Sackville land assembly... [remainder of article concerns complaints of resident P. Lambert.]

[v]. NSA: Mail Star (Halifax): 1 march 1979: pg. 1: re: Metro Bus Service, on an experimental basis with federal funding, from Halifax to Bedford-Sackville, started March 1, 1979. Two zone system of fares came into being. 

No community consists solely of buildings and transportation routes. It is the people who both live and work there that provide the entire substance to the place. Sackville had grown dramatically resulting in an increased demand for services such as schooling for children, recreation facilities for young and old alike, positive social outlets and service clubs which filled the gaps between family and government. Providing for children has often served as the catalyst for community action. On the other hand other members of society need encouragement as well to foster the beneficial intangibles of life. By the mid-1990s one could find among clubs and organizations identified with Sackville the following which covered various age ranges and needs: Sack-a-wa Canoe Club, Sackville & Beaverbank 50 Plus Club, Sackville Boys and Girls Club, Sackville Heritage Society, Sackville Ladies Ringette Association, Sackville Lady Acadians Softball League, Sackville Legion Seniors Recreation Club, Sackville Lions (EME) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps #3036, Sackville Masonic Lodge, Sackville Nova Scotia Christian Women’s Club, Sackville Photography Club, Sackville Rivers Association, Sackville Sport Heritage, Sackville Toastmasters Club #4588, and the Sackville Seniors’ Advisory Council. Where there is a need an outlet will be found.


Businessmen as potential leaders in a community look for avenues to channel their ideas and volunteer efforts. Sackville was no exception. Young professionals who were not necessarily interested in political terms on municipal or village councils looked for a means to offer their volunteer time in company with like minded individuals. The Kinsmen Clubs of Canada offered an excellent model. Formation of a club in Sackville would permit as well the continuance of the old Sackville tradition of local community drawing on the talents of its own citizens to assist each other. The spirit of community had found a way to re-invent itself. Kinsmen look to the needs of the broader community rather than responding to one special theme or cause. A number of the societies and clubs previously mentioned would themselves be the beneficiaries of the generosity of the Sackville Kinsmen Club during the forty years after its founding.



Chapter Two

Forty-two years ago a group of like-minded men met to discuss the possibility of forming their own Kinsmen club. Representatives of the Dartmouth Kinsmen Club sponsored the formation of this suburban effort by supplying information and moral backing. The meeting on 24 April 1961 at the Riverside Restaurant in Sunnyside can be taken as the beginning of the Club with its formal charter of incorporation. Individuals came from the communities of Waverley, Bedford and Sackville.[i] The names of members reflected the history of settlements from the early 1800s as well as more recent newcomers. Diversity was and remains an important aspect of the Club. Those original twenty-two founders should be properly memorialized in a roll call: Clyde Beals, Jim Nichols, Chuck Jennison, Clary Briggs, John MacDonald, George Compton, Royce Heffler, Jim Haverstock, Ross Brown, Doug Patterson, Dennis Baxter, Art Vogt, George Williams, Doug Gallupe, Wilt Lynds, Basil Miller, Jack Young, Bill Gardner, Lloyd Dalrymple, Allan McKenzie, Doug Lively and John Payzant.[ii] These members were not to be found in the pages of The Canadian Who’s Who or in subsequent compilations of biographical sketches such as A. Marble’s Nova Scotians At Home and Abroad.

Their strength lay in their backgrounds as ordinary men of business and the professions who cared about their fellow citizens. They came out of the communities which they hoped to serve, so possessed intimate knowledge of the special needs of their neighbourhoods.[iii] As businessmen they were committed to their respective entrepreneurial goals which translated into long term involvement and residence in Sackville, Bedford and Waverley. Each of these aspects strengthened the formation of the Kinsmen Club which could draw on a body of dedicated individuals and their respective talents.


[i]. “25th Anniversary Sackville Kinsmen”: The Daily News 1986 April 25: pp. 21-24; Neil Richter, “A Brief History of Kinsmen club of Sackville, N. S.” (c.1990).

[ii]. 25th Anniversary Dinner Brochure: Sackville Kinsmen Club: 1986 April 26: pg. iii: reproduction illustration of original club charter and list of charter members.

[iii]. Interviews with members of Sackville Kinsmen Club 2001, 2002.


The projects which the founders and succeeding members took on reflected both the needs of a growing suburban environment, and participation in broader provincial and national causes which were realized at the local level. Homes, businesses and growing families meant that each community needed services which added an enlarged quality of life. The Kinsmen Club of Bedford, Sackville, Waverley launched into these undertakings with vigour. In 1967 when the name of the Club was changed to the Kinsmen Club of Sackville that same tradition was carried on with a focus on Sackville and surrounding areas. Projects included such undertakings as the Sackville Sports Stadium, Sackville Leisure Centre, Taiso Gymnatic Club, Sackawa Canoe Club [ie Sackville and Waverley], Murdock MacKay Memorial Kinsmen Park; fund raising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded; and sponsorship of teen dances and seniors’ “Fifty-Plus Club.”

Several of these projects have been long term commitments, notably the support given for Cystic Fibrosis research. [i] The latter cause has had tangible results for all to see over the course of the past four decades with the dramatic increase of life expectancy and quality of existence for CF individuals during the course of research and medical innovation in Canada. One recent article noted that: “When the Canadian CF Foundation was formed in 1960, the median survival age of a child born with CF was four years. By the early 1980s, after Canadian researchers figured out that CF patients flourished on a high-calorie, high-fat diet, median survival had risen to 21 years. Today, CF adults who grew up knowing they might not survive childhood are having children of their own.”[ii]  Kinsmen support has been an important part of that dramatic story. That commitment remains undiminished.


[i]. Sackville Kinsmen Club: Archival Records: Executive Minutes, Annual General Meetings, newsletters, newspaper clippings, letters, etc. Access to these records was generously provided for the writing of this history.  


[ii]. “CF patients surprise experts with gains in life expectancy” by Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press, Toronto: Mail Star (Halifax, NS): 2002 May 27 pg. C10. “Kinsmen work so kids can play” by Joel Jacobson: Mail Star (Halifax, NS): 2002 Nov. 15 pg. A8 : “Kinsmen, with other mens clubs in Dartmouth and the Sackville area, and Kinette clubs in Halifax and Sackville area, may not get the recognition of other, perhaps larger, service organizations. But, Ross says, “we’re small but mighty. We do a large project each year.” [John Ross, Halifax Kinsmen]. 


Projects and general fund raising all call for innovative ways to collect donations. Raffle tickets bring in funds but the range of promotions used by the Kinsmen Club reflect that strong suit of the Club–fellowship. In this case that means fellowship among Kinsmen in the fund raiser, and fellowship by participation of community citizens themselves. The method of fund raising in effect becomes as important as the ends. Over the years the Kinsmen have sponsored “gas-a-thons,” spring bulb sales, Christmas tree sales [a perennial favourite], Monte Carlo Nights, Jog-a-thons, and the Kinsmen Summer Fair. Bingo, sale of licence plate holders, and raffle tickets round out the agenda.[i] Visibility at fund raising events and promotion of special projects reinforces the positive contributions of the Club while serving to advertise for new recruits. Constant renewal is crucial to Club vitality. Senior members offer guidance to novices while the latter can relieve the former from having to shoulder all of the work.

The fund raisers are events which permit Kinsmen and Kinettes [the latter created in 1963 for wives of Kinsmen as a parallel supporting organization] occasion to build and strengthen personal bonds. Working side by side in a hands-on fashion cements the membership of the Club. That creates the reciprocal function of fund-raisers–to support worthy charities while at the same time invigorating the Sackville Kinsmen Club fellowship. It may well be added that nothing succeeds like success–visible harmony among Kinsmen encourages other potential members to join.


[i]. 30th Anniversary Dinner Brochure: Kinsmen Club of Sackville, N. S.: 1991 February 2: pp. ix-xi: “Sackville Kinsmen: Thirty Years of Service and Fellowship.” Sackville Kinsmen Club promotional brochure [1990s]: “Fund Raisers: Kin Community Fun Fair, Thursday Night Bingo, CF Shopping Spree, Moosehead Speedway 50/50, Christmas Tree Sales, Hall Rentals, Bar-be-ques and more. Beneficiaries: Local Community, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Scouts Canada, IWK Telethon, Children’s Trust Fund...” 


The Sackville Kinsmen have kept excellent minutes over the decades [both general and executive meeting minutes] which offer an historical memory for the Club in reviewing its past. Here are preserved detailed accounts of the Club’s many activities. One year’s schedule–from September 1988 to June 1989–provides a sampling of that broad range of service and social conviviality: September: Zone Ball Tournament; Get Acquainted Barbeque; October: Monte Carlo Night; Fall Leadership Conference; Hallowe’en Dance; Kids Hallowe’en Party; December: Christmas Dinner and Dance; Kids Christmas Party; New Year’s Dance Project; January: Kinsmen New Year’s Day Ball Game; Bridgewater Mid-Term (Dart Tournament); February: Kinsmen Hockey Tournament; Founders Night (Wine & Cheese); Heritage Day; March: Spring Zone Conference (Yarmouth); April: Charter Night; May: Campaign Dance; June: District Convention (St. John’s); Installation Night. All of the foregoing is in addition to regular executive meetings, general Kinsmen club bi-weekly meetings, and the work of various individuals and committees on special projects. Remember that these were businessmen with their own operations to run and promote! Time management was and is everything. The Kinsmen Club of Sackville exemplifies the saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”[i]


[i]. Coverage of a number of these events can be matched with notices in the local newspapers to supplement the Club’s history.


From its beginnings with twenty-two men in 1961 the Kinsmen Club of Sackville grew steadily. Between the founding year and 1992 that number had more than trebled to reach seventy-five. During a period of decline in many organizations membership in the Kinsmen held its own so that in May 2001 the Club could claim fifty-one regular members and twenty-eight K-40 members for a total of seventy-nine, and in addition the Kinettes were twenty-five strong. Kinettes began as the women’s corollary to the Kinsmen with the same dedicated aims of community charitable causes and professional collegiality. Originally Kinsmen had to be under the age of forty years; it was a significant change to permit the continuance of membership beyond the forty year ceiling–this strengthened the cumulative knowledge of the club locally [as it did nationally] as well as acknowledging that individuals maintained active business and volunteer lives well beyond the old “retirement age” of the first clubs.[i] Seen in another light, the Sackville Club grew at a rate of ten members per decade of existence. Not a bad track record! Three of the Charter members were subsequently made Life Members: Royce Hefler, John Payzant and Dennis Baxter.


[i]. Robert Tyre, The Cross and the Square: The Kinsmen Story 1920-1970 (1970): pg. 51. The original aim of the Kinsmen as a young men’s service club did give rise to debate in the founding decade and in subsequent years over an age ceiling. The Kin-40 as the senior wing of Kinsmen without voting or executive position rights was the compromise until the last decade of the Twentieth Century.    


Writer and historian Elsie Tolson did not neglect the Club in her Bedford history, The Captain, The Colonel and me [1979]. After duly noting that the Bedford-Sackville-Waverley Kinsmen Club was set up in 1961 she presented a brief listing of ambitious projects: “Bedford playground and beach at Waverley; followed by the preparation for use of Second Lake Beach in Sackville; provision of equipment for the Boy Scouts; and transportation of a Sackville crippled child. Money was raised through sales of Christmas trees, flower bulbs and a Gasarama when members took over management of a service-station.” [pg. 250]. In one sentence she encapsulated the attention of Kinsmen to community interaction through recreation, support of youth, assisting the handicapped and willingness to do hands-on work. And remember that Tolson wrote this account twenty-three years ago during the mid-point of the Club’s history yet it remains a valid summary.


Experience is a valuable gift to new members of the Kinsmen Club of Sackville. The knowledge, for example, needed to organize a Christmas Tree Sale required how to access supplies of trees, determining the best price for original procurement so that the selling price to the public might realize a good profit for the club’s donations fund, and how best to arrange a roster of volunteers to keep the sale running. Members with background in earlier tree sales could add insight into the market for trees among the public. Fund raising for the Kinsmen brings together astute business practice and best service for the customer. It enables young men to see how such operations can be undertaken [the essential behind the scenes training] while offering examples of entrepreneurship which might be models applicable to their own businesses or professional careers. Fund raising projects become, under those circumstances, practical methods workshops.[i] That which distinguishes the Kinsmen from strictly business operations is the goal of raising funds for worthy causes; altruism is the guiding light.


[i]. Robert E. Kelley, Consulting: The Complete Guide to a Profitable Career (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981): pg. 235: “Successful consultants continue their education.... To stay on the leading edge of their profession, they attend university courses, seminars, lectures, and professional meetings.”    


A decade after the club’s founding an indication of the range of activities in which the Sackville members participated can be found in the minutes of December 4th, 1972. There was correspondence with Kinsmen in Kingston/Greenwood (Kings County) about their endeavours to build a new Kin Hall. Individual Kinsmen Clubs keep in regular contact with one another in the province through district and zone organization. This networking assists in coordinating Kinsmen nationally, and in particular in regard to causes supported by all clubs coast to coast such as their long standing support for Cystic Fibrosis research. Other business that December 4th included Life Member Graham Sullivan’s report on the Christmas Tree Sale. At that time prior to the dramatic growth of the area the two sales sites were at the Bedford Sunnyside Restaurant and at Knox United Church. At the same time the personal side of the season was to be made real to each member with the Christmas Miracle project–providing gifts for children which were to be delivered by Kinsmen on December 22nd. As the minutes stated, “It is a rewarding experience for all to see the twinkle of Christmas in a child’s eye.”[i]


[i]. Tyre, Cross and the Square: chapter 3; “the house of kin” re: organizational structure. In the age of the Internet one may also consult various Kinsmen/ Kinette websites for summary information on structure. The main site in 2001 was which noted the headquarters at 1920 Hal Rogers Drive in Cambridge, Ontario. 


That same December in 1972 it was recognized that the members needed positive fellowship to carry them through the work that lay ahead. Both the Kinsmen and Kinettes agreed to a joint meeting on the 16th to be followed by a meal and dance. Their own party was to be followed in turn by a children’s Christmas party with a tree and gifts. Still with an eye to the community was the outdoor rink to be set up once the weather was cold enough. It is in these seemingly little events that the spirit of community is maintained.


It takes hindsight to realize the significance of records in the overall history of an organization. Among the items of new business for the club in December 1972 was a motion moved and carried that Deputy Governor Murdock MacKay be nominated, “...for the office of Governor of District 7 at the District Convention in ‘73 at Charlottetown, P. E. I.” MacKay was a highly respected member of the club. Fortunately for posterity the same minutes included a “history” of MacKay offered by Kin Denny Baxter: “Highlights were, he served as Bulletin Editor and won the Junior Bulletin Award for the club. He also served as Vice President and President of our club. He has chaired the park committee and also chaired the Children’s Christmas Parties for three years. He has also contributed to the restoration of Kin Hall. So all in all Deputy Governor Murdock has done one heck of a job for our club.” [See further on MacKay in Chapter 3] It should be noted that MacKay was nominated for Governor in 1973 but was defeated by Len Simms who went on to become National President. The Club ran MacKay again in 1974 and this time he was elected Governor of District 7. 

A decade later as revealed in the minutes for 25 May 1981 the Kinsmen Club of Sackville was busier than ever. At that point a particular concern was the competition in Sackville between smaller bingo venues and a giant bingo operator. The former included smaller fund raisers–the Kinsmen among them who obtained upwards of 80% of its income from bingo. These were funds raised from the public which were returned to the public for the benefit of the local community. Over twenty years later bingo continues to be an important source of club revenue in spite of government sponsored lotteries, VLTs, gambling casinos and Internet gambling. The latter two siphon money away from the province while funds from the others are too widely disbursed for residents of Sackville and area to see any tangible benefits. It is the Kinsmen who keep the public informed through the local media about the various charitable and community causes for which the bingo funds help support.[i]


[i]. Interview with Sackville Kin Gerry Archibald and Kin Richard Hawboldt: 2002 February 11.


One regular feature which appears over the years in the club’s minutes concerns sports. The focus has been facilities for young people and children, or providing the means to participate in events [eg. transportation costs, uniforms, etc.] Certain projects benefit the entire community, such as the Kinsmen Park. Overall the purpose has been to support healthy, positive activities. That need has not diminished over the years; if anything, there is an urgent need to promote sporting and physical exercise outlets [eg. nature hiking trails]. Burgeoning Sackville and Waverley possess a steadily increasing suburban population that is a challenge for the Kinsmen Club of Sackville’s combined resources and talents. At the end of the Twentieth Century minutes of the Club provide ample evidence of the on-going support for this area of public need. Again, a brief listing is not out of place to illustrate that situation; the 1998-99 year included the following causes: Canadian Diabetes Association for Camp Maxwell and Camp Morton; Sackville Heights Junior High School trip to Montreal and Quebec; Sackville Waves Aquatic Team; Nova Scotia Lung Association’s children’s camp; Kids Help Line Foundation; and a donation to CP Allen High School’s fund raiser to attend Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Kamloops, British Columbia. The last cause had as its goal a common link with Kinsmen values.[i] Young people who are shown that adults care about them and encourage initiative combined with self-development will in time be potential members of the Sackville Kinsmen Club.


[i]. Within five years of joining the Kinsmen organization, Gerry Archibald as a member of the Sackville branch became a successful speaker in 1980 competitions which assisted in bolstering his public speaking skills and self-confidence: E-mail message from G. Archibald: 2002 June 25. Sackville Kinsmen Club brochure [1990s]: “Benefits: Personal Development; Life Long Friendships; Business Contacts; Personal Satisfaction; Recognition of Efforts; Learn Parliamentary Procedures; Socials & Fellowship...” Gananoque Kinsmen Club Website: 2001 May 28: Under “Objects and Aims of Kinsmen”: ...they may be improved and educated in modern business and professional methods and ethics...constitutional authority may be upheld....


The emphasis so far in this history has been on local causes although Kinsmen are involved nationally in special support for Cystic Fibrosis research. In today’s world the meaning of community can bring together people who are geographically separated by oceans and continents. Hal Rogers rallied fellow Kinsmen to assist in rebuilding England following the Second World War with funds for special projects. He had utilized Kinsmen unity during the War to raise over three million dollars to purchase over fifty million quarts of milk for Britains– a tremendous achievement. [Tyre, pg. 118] Today the Kinsmen of Sackville are reminded that people from Sackville through careers in the Armed Forces–army, navy and air force–and special aide agencies can find themselves in distant lands as United Nations Peacekeepers or relief workers. Hence in 1999 the Sackville Club through the Canadian Red Cross made a donation to the Kosovo Relief Fund. Few Nova Scotians would have known at the time that Canada would bring Kosovar refugees to this province to live until the political situation permitted them to return to Europe. Under these circumstances and other unforeseen events the Kinsmen of Sackville have shown themselves to be innovative and able to respond to new needs as they arise.


Modern society brings its own problems or variations on old ones. Two causes supported by the Sackville Kinsmen speak volumes even though entering into the records only as being recipients of donations. One was the Nova Scotia Darts against Drug Abuse Program. Certainly this program fits in well with the Kinsmen’s support of positive, life-enhancing goals. At the same time it shows that members acknowledge the real need to encourage any conscientious group which strives to combat an all too prevalent problem. Similarly the Kid’s Help Line Foundation addresses the issues of children and teenagers needing to find help outside of the home setting. Stewardship of funds at its disposal in any of these and related concerns is the way for Sackville Kinsmen to ensure that donations are channelled through reliable agencies.


Sackville Kinsmens’ forty years of service has balanced large scale community needs and special individual aide. Community support has covered the entire age spectrum from pre-school care to seniors’ events. Part of the genius of Kinsmen Clubs has been attention to a diversity of needs. Members are exposed to the whole of their society’s constituents. Businessmen and professionals can be isolated from certain segments of society due to the very nature of their employment which may result in interaction with a narrow social or economic class. Kin work takes members outside those confines to connect with a wide world. This is part of the educational process that assists Kinsmen to grow through experience.


Voluntarism through the Sackville Kinsmen Club permits Kin to see the skills and talents of fellow Kin in action. That exposure can include examples of organizational skills, creativity in advertising and fund-raising ideas, customer and public relations, and leadership qualities. Kin learn as well to draw on latent talents–building, painting, cooking and entertaining among others. Part of this latter development arises from identification of a cause or need, and determining how best to meet the challenge. Time and again Kin will say, “I didn’t know I could do that!”


 Working together with a group of like-minded individuals does provide motivation and encouragement to tackle challenges which might otherwise be passed by. On the other hand most of the projects which the Sackville Kinsmen have taken on for themselves to accomplish cannot be done by one person alone. Cooperative pooling of talents by many persons is the only way to handle a Christmas Tree Sale or creation of a recreational park. For example, in the mid-1980s the Club organized community groups to establish the Taiso Gymnastics/ Sackville Leisure Centre.[i] This happened as a response to the competition from the giant bingo operation referred to above. In this case, Past President Fred Gallop had a dream which many thought would be impossible: a comfortable common facility for all community based groups in which to run their bingos. His determined collaborative approach succeeded with seven separate community organizations signing long term agreements to use the facility. The Center opened its doors in 1988 and it has served the groups well since that date. [See: Kinsmen Club of Sackville Minutes: Executive Meeting 1988 May 16; General Meeting 1988 June 20.] Later the Club was a key supporter in helping to  realize the building and completion of the Sackville Sports Stadium. The name of the Club was placed on the bottom of the swimming pool as a public acknowledgement of Sackville Kinsmen being the largest, non-government contributor to the Stadium.[ii]  In addition to leadership in community financial support, Kinsmen Past President Ab Frizzle became the Chairman of the community committee established to make the Stadium a reality-- another example of Kinsmen personal growth and development benefiting the whole community. Clear definition of what is needed and the means to achieve a particular goal enables Club members to more effectively focus their efforts.  


[i].E-mail message from G. Archibald: 2002 June 25: — Archibald recalled mid-1980s support by the Sackville Kinsmen for the Taiso centre; Minutes of General Meetings: 1984 January 6: Request by Taiso (Gymnastics Club) for equipment funds; voted $2,000 for crash mats.


[ii]. E-mail message from G. Archibald: 2002 June 25. 


Sometimes the means of reaching a goal can have greater consequences than anticipated. Kin Neil Richter in his sketch of the Kinsmen Club of Sackville (c.1990) related the building of the Club’s first permanent home following many years of meetings at various restaurants and facilities in the local community. An opportunity presented itself when Venturers gave up building a hall on the Old Beaverbank Road. Richter gave a lively account of what happened:


The membership had dropped quite low by that time, and there were a lot of mistakes made by the original builders that had to be corrected. A lot of midnight oil was burned in completing the building by Kinsmen members led by one Murdock Mackay, but finally, in the early 1970's the job was complete, and the Kinsmen had a home! So, for that matter did the Cubs and Scouts, because one of the stipulations made when the Kinsmen took over the building had been that it must always be made available for the use of the Scouting movement.....


With the completion of Venture Hall, the club got a new burst of energy, and excitement. There was now a place to hold teen dances as well as our own functions, to hold blood donor clinics, and to sponsor the seniors to start a “Fifty-Plus Club.” The new premises increased the club’s profile and recognition within the community and membership began to increase. It increased so much that before long, Venture was too small and the Kinsmen again began looking for new premises.

Sometimes the means of reaching a goal can have greater consequences than anticipated. Kin Neil Richter in his sketch of the Kinsmen Club of Sackville (c.1990) related the building of the Club’s first permanent home following many years of meetings at various restaurants and facilities in the local community. An opportunity presented itself when Venturers gave up building a hall on the Old Beaverbank Road. Richter gave a lively account of what happened:


The membership had dropped quite low by that time, and there were a lot of mistakes made by the original builders that had to be corrected. A lot of midnight oil was burned in completing the building by Kinsmen members led by one Murdock Mackay, but finally, in the early 1970's the job was complete, and the Kinsmen had a home! So, for that matter did the Cubs and Scouts, because one of the stipulations made when the Kinsmen took over the building had been that it must always be made available for the use of the Scouting movement.....


With the completion of Venture Hall, the club got a new burst of energy, and excitement. There was now a place to hold teen dances as well as our own functions, to hold blood donor clinics, and to sponsor the seniors to start a “Fifty-Plus Club.” The new premises increased the club’s profile and recognition within the community and membership began to increase. It increased so much that before long, Venture was too small and the Kinsmen again began looking for new premises.


Chapter Three

The Sackville Kinsmen at their chartering in 1961 were not the first club in Nova Scotia. That honour is shared by Amherst, Halifax and Sydney each of which received their charters in 1937. This was during the latter phase of the Great Depression when enthusiasm and energy were very much in demand to combat the long hopeless outlook of the decade.[i] Indeed, the Kinsmen movement spread across the country during a decade when other important initiatives were born in response to the special needs of the time. Here in the Maritimes one has only to remember the Antigonish Movement begun by Reverends Moses Coady, and J. Tompkins—a co-operative organization to assist local entrepreneurs and improve economies from the grass roots. This work had been preceded in the 1920s by the so-called Maritime Rights Movement when leaders of the day looked to Maritime initiative for proper integration into the greater Canadian economy.[ii] That spirit of self-reliance continued into the 1930s in spite of the global economic distress.[iii] The aspiration for something better had to be projected out into the community. Each Kinsmen club across Canada needed that combined commitment to assist in moving the country and individual members of the Kinsmen movement forward to an era of promise. That enthusiasm in the country was given a tremendous boost with the 1939 royal visit by their majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.[iv] When that sense of elation turned to grim determination once war was declared later that year [September] the Kinsmen clubs responded with equal determination to aid in the support of the country. Members such as the founder Hal Rogers who were veterans of the First World War knew that sacrifices had to be made–in time, talent and hard work.[v] Those three traits were inherent in the Kinsmen beliefs. They continue to be essential to the prosperity of all clubs at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


[i]. E. R. Forbes, “The 1930s: Depression and Retrenchment” in The Atlantic Provinces in Confederation edited by E. R. Forbes and D. A. Muise (University of Toronto Press, 1993): pp. 272-305.  

[ii]. Ibid. pp. 288-93; 252-58.

[iii]. One Nova Scotia community with roots as old as Sackville similarly started a revival during the 1920s and 1930s under the visionary inspiration of industrialist Roy A. Jodrey for which see: Allen B. Robertson, Tide & Timber: Hantsport, Nova Scotia 1795-1995 (Hantsport, NS: Lancelot Press, 1996; repub. Milton, Ont.: Global Heritage Press, 2001):pp. 98-108. The comparison is apt given the importance of lumber in both Hantsport and Sackville.

[iv]. R. B. Fleming, The Royal Tour of Canada: The 1939 Royal Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Toronto: Lynx Images, 2002)

[v]. It is a curious fact that as late as 1951 service organizations were not given their proper due in national reference works. The 1949-1951 edition of The Canadian Who’s Who (Toronto: Trans-Canada Press), for example, does not have an entry for Hal Rogers, founder of the Kinsmen movement. 


It was during the War years that the essential auxiliary of the Kinsmen was formally recognized. Wives of Kinsmen had been meeting in various cities since the 1930s to form local clubs meant to pursue similar goals to the mens’ group. Robert Tyre noted in his history of the Association that it was the wives who moved to the forefront when husbands enlisted to serve overseas or were engaged in home defence activities [Tyre, Chapter 5: “the good companions”]. They played no small part in the “Milk for Britain” campaign together with related charitable fund raisers here in Canada. It was that devotion which led to Kinsmen officially approving the necessary bylaws to institute what became named the Kinettes. The National Constitution was amended to read: “...any Kinsman Club in good standing may, with the approval of the National Executive Council, sponsor the formation of a Kinette Club...” Precedent for such auxiliary bodies existed long before this in both other service groups and charitable organizations. The I. O. O. F. [Independent Order of Oddfellows], for example, had as its women’s auxiliary the Rebeccas. The core values of Kinsmen fellowship are not gender specific. They appeal to all citizens who have a conscious regard for their country and local community. As will be seen in later accounts, the Kinsmen Club of Sackville in time gave rise to its own very active Kinettes Club. 


Historians have neglected to provide extensive examination of service clubs in twentieth century Canadian history. Consequently the history of such a group as the Kinsmen must be developed from the one national history to date by a club member, that by Robert Tyre [1970], and small booklets or articles generated by each club.[i] The Sackville Kinsmen Club’s own past is recovered by remembering the earlier clubs in Nova Scotia on which its foundations were laid. From 1939 to 1946 several Kinsmen clubs were organized in Nova Scotia. These included Pictou [1943], New Glasgow [1943], Liverpool [1945], Truro [1946], and North Sydney [1946].[ii] The war and subsequent events–Korea and the Cold War–fostered Kinsmen club growth. Young businessmen who remained at home or fathers of service men and women overseas were able to pool their talents for dedication to home front progress. Returning veterans followed the path of Hal Rogers by looking to an organization which did not dismiss the varieties of experience these men had as they attempted to reintegrate into civilian life. A growing optimism in post-war Canada suited the Kinsmen Clubs’ own mission statement.  


[i]. National organizations which fall outside the designation of service clubs yet which contribute to national debate and promotion of regional leaders in the arts, politics and economics also find themselves without proper historical attention except by that which they create themselves. Cf. Russell R. Merifield, Speaking of Canada: The Centennial History of The Canadian Clubs (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1993). 

[ii]. Robert Tyre, The Cross and the Square: The Kinsmen Story 1920-1970 : pp. 216-22.

Tyre noted that it in a response to a plea from Halifax, Kinsmen and Kinettes across Canada were mobilized to collect magazines for men in the Merchant Navy. That one project resulted in 22 million publications being sent to Halifax during the course of the war.[i] It was no exaggeration, as stated at the beginning of this chapter, that Kinsmen helped to mobilize the nation! That same cooperative spirit has pooled the fund raising efforts of the national Kinsmen organization during the past few decades in its mission to assist in seeking the alleviation of the symptoms of and possible cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Sackville Kinsmen need to recall that their own campaign in that regard has precedent. It was that earlier enthusiasm which continued the expansion of Kinsmen clubs in Nova Scotia after the war: Bridgewater [1947], Shelburne [1947], Dartmouth [1955], Barrington [1959], Yarmouth [1961] and Sackville [1961]. The Sackville Kinsmen emerged at a time when all of these towns were trying to attract new business, schools were expanding to accommodate the post-1945 baby boom, highways were being converted into paved communications routes and local populations grew fuelling a dramatic increase housing construction. It has been observed in Chapter One that Sackville began to undergo important changes by the 1950s and 1960s.[ii] Gradually it became more integrated with both Halifax and Dartmouth as a “bedroom” community. By the latter part of the century that changed to new suburbia and local entrepreneurship linked with unprecedented construction for both housing, retail space and industrial sites. At the national level Canada was engaged in the creation of the trans-Canada highway system, a national oil pipeline and improved air service. The subsequent changes both altered town life and challenged the newer generation of community leaders to meet the needs of fellow citizens who fell outside government programmes or assistance.


[i]. Ibid.: pg. 126. The Kinettes had been originally formed in Ottawa in 1939 so very soon proved themselves as effective as the men, a tradition that continues to the present day: Cf. Dan Walsh, “Kinettes help make Christmas miracles: Join project between Halifax Kinettes, Kinsmen raises funds for needy families.” Sunday Herald [Halifax, NS] 2002 Dec. 8 pg. B8. 

[ii]. Cf. Margaret Conrad, “The 1950s: The Decade of Development” and Della Stanley, “The 1960s: The Illusions and Realities of Progress” in Forbes and Muise, Atlantic Provinces in Confederation : pp. 382-459.


The composition of the Sackville Kinsmen founders exemplified other clubs in Canada. Local businessmen and entrepreneurs banded together to serve Sackville and area while expanding their own horizons. At the same time the expertise of each member and their diverse business links meant the pooling of tremendous resources. Knowledge of how to get things done, and who to contact for donations or other forms of support existed from the very formation of the Sackville club. Added to the foregoing were professionals who wanted to contribute their talents beyond their own careers. Consequently the backgrounds of the Sackville founders included school teachers, an insurance agent, florist, garage owner, hardware merchant, aviation employee and lumber businessman. Seventy-five per cent of the members resided in and worked from Sackville. Each of the members were in a career which called for developed communication skills and a knack for interacting with the public. Those traits helped to bond the charter members together.


The Sackville Kinsmen charter members and subsequent members over the ensuing forty years were men who were in the prime of their lives and business vocations. Kinsmen originally had a ceiling of forty to forty-five years after which one had to retire from the executive membership (which meant only that they could not hold any elected office.)  This rule promoted the active encouragement of new members to keep the club constantly supplied with new Kinsmen adding fresh energy, ideas and more radiating contacts into the community at large. Continuity of knowledge and procedure has been lately restored with the removal of the age limit. Kinsmen founder Hal Rogers himself continued his involvement with clubs and the Association until he was past his 90th year. His later efforts were primarily as an ambassador, story teller and visitor. He visited the Sackville Club on two occasions, first to help celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1986, and five years later for the 30th anniversary. Unfortunately on his first visit he had a fall at the hotel where he was staying [formerly called The Sheridan but now the Casino Hotel] while on the way to the celebration banquet. An overnight stay at hospital for a broken collar bone cancelled his evening engagement. Hal Rogers did cut the ribbon to officially open the Sackville Kinsmen Park  earlier on the day of the accident. Consequently when the Sackville Club looked to celebrate its 30th anniversary its membership was anxious to have Rogers return which he did so in 1991 as their guest speaker at age 92, indomitable as ever! 


The Kinsmen Club of Sackville has had many dedicated members over the years. One whose loss was keenly felt had served for twenty-one years during which time he left a memorable legacy. Murdock MacKay joined the club in 1968. Three years later he was President for the year 1971-72; Deputy Governor in 1972-73; and Governor of District 7 in 1974-75. His dynamic leadership was recognized by his fellow Kinsmen when they made him a Life Member in 1982. Kinsman Gerry Archibald noted of MacKay that his, “...leadership skills were an inspiration to his fellow Kin and indeed all who he touched in the community. He was always an innovator and a clear thinker, able to untangle jumbled thoughts and create order in the face of confusion. He was dedicated to his many community efforts whether through Kin, County Council, Minor Hockey or one of the many groups or individuals he helped. Murdock served Kin and our community with pride and enthusiasm and always considered it an honour to be a volunteer or to represent volunteers.”[i]


[i]. Gerry Archibald, V. P. Kinsmen Club of Sackville: Letter to The Association of Kinsmen Clubs, 1990 re: renaming Kinsmen Park as Murdock MacKay Memorial Kinsmen Park. Ron Hefler & Gerry Archibald, “Life Member Murdock MacKay: A Tribute” [1990].


MacKay’s role as a County Councillor meant that he had to retire from the Kinsmen to meet the obligations of elected office. [County Council met the same night as the Sackville Club.] Nonetheless he continued to keep an interest in the Club, supporting it in Council while in turn being supported by Kinsmen with regular invitations to join in special occasions. This was fitting since the Kin Centre was in no small part the result of Murdock MacKay’s enthusiasm for building the Centre to host the Club and other deserving groups in the community. It should be noted that he was born and raised in Sackville; from that background his support of the citizenry of Sackville was a natural consequence. The Kinsmen Club of Sackville offered an excellent venue for him to realize his sense of social responsibility. It enabled him to share that dedication with like minded men and in an organization which fostered service and fellowship.[i]


[i]. David Rodenhiser, “Kinsmen want to rename park after late councillor.” Bedford-Sackville Weekly News 1990 March 21 Wednesday pg. 1: “...The Kinsmen have asked Halifax County council to support the tribute and become involved in the renaming ceremony. Warden Laszlo Lichter says he expects a motion of approval to be passed unanimously by council. ‘I was delighted to hear about this plan,’ Lichter says. ‘Murdock was a very hard working councillor, and I know he worked very hard in the Kinsmen Club also. MacKay’s friend and fellow Sackville councillor, Bill MacDonald, says he has been trying to think of a fitting memorial for his late colleague and none could be better than the renaming of the park.” It should be noted that Lichter was also a Kinsman who joined the Sackville club in 1971 when MacKay was president.  


A lasting tribute to Murdock MacKay took place a year after his sudden death [1989]. Kinsmen, County Councillors and the public joined in the ceremonies to rename the six acre Sackville Kinsmen Park as the Murdock MacKay Kinsmen Memorial Park. MacKay’s life exemplified the values and qualities which the Sackville Club promoted. County Warden Laszlo Lichter stated that, “It (the centre) reaffirms our nation-wide reputation as a club...And that all begins with Murdock.” [Lichter had joined the Kinsmen in 1971 when MacKay was president: The Bedford Sackville Weekly News 1990 May 30: “Park renamed to honor MacKay” by Ryan Van Horne.] Similarly Ron Hefler who had served as national president of the Kinsmen noted, “I was accused many times of following in his footsteps...because a lot of the things that I did with the Kinsmen... were based on MacKay’s ideas and the example he set.” [i] The opportunity remains for his successors to follow in that tradition of service.


[i]. Ryan Van Horne, “Park renamed to honor MacKay” Bedford-Sackville Weekly News 1990 May 30 pg. 1.

Another member of the Sackville Club who demonstrated the busy professional and private lives of Kinsmen was Graham Sullivan. Devotion to the Club’s aims won for him recognition as a Life Member in 1985. He brought special gifts to bear in various aspects of his voluntarism. His steady support of the Sackville Club was matched by his commitment to helping others. The latter involved Sullivan’s work with mentally and physically handicapped children to teach them water safety. Behind that work he brought his Royal Life Saving Society Award of Merit and later a certificate of appreciation from Governor-General Ed Schreyer on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross Society, “to honor this distinguished citizen and humanitarian.”


Somehow Sullivan found the time to actively support the Boy Scout movement for which dedication he received the Twenty Year Pin. Subsequent Scout involvement led to his work as a Venturer Advisor. His busy schedule did not prevent him from serving as a coach for Beaver Bank Minor Hockey [1969-1971], and as a soccer coach for over ten years. It should be noted as well that Graham Sullivan was interested in the Canadian Paraplegic Association especially in regard to wheelchair athletes. Each of these endeavours exemplified again and again how Sullivan was committed to helping others to build a positive image of themselves, to reach for achievable goals, and how to grow in team spirit. It is no wonder, then, that he was a valuable member of the Kinsmen movement. In turn, he worked through the Kinsmen to participate in the Kinsmen Park, 50 Plus Club, Kin Education, and a host of offices. The latter included service as Vice-President, President, Director and numerous committees.[i]


[i]. Life Membership presentation speech for Graham and Dorothy Sullivan: 1985; Letter 1985 June 11 by Dorothy Sullivan to Gerry and Nancy Archibald re: Graham’s career. Sullivan [known to friends as “Sully” had been a radar technician in the air force, and held a management position with the Department of National Defense.


Similar to Murdock MacKay’s public roles, Graham Sullivan [“Sully”] was a director of the Sackville Advisory Board, and served on the Public Participation committee [Municipal Planning Strategy]. His work with the Kinsmen was part of a larger web of community involvement. Nonetheless, Sully’s membership since 1971 in the Kinsmen Club of Sackville has remained one of his proudest achievements. Hands on participation through voluntarism remains his motto, one readily recognized and supported by Kin values. It is fair to say that both Murdock MacKay and Graham Sullivan have been exceptional Kinsmen. Their activist spirit nonetheless is duplicated among the membership over the years as each Kinsman in turn put his shoulder to the grindstone for the community. Like minded individuals naturally gravitated toward one another in the Club. Camaraderie and boisterous fellowship offers a much needed boosting of morale for each member. It is that mutual support which provides the strength and momentum to carry on with the many excellent projects of the Sackville Kinsmen.


Chapter Four

The Kinsmen Club of Sackville history would not be complete without hearing from the members of the club itself. A snap-shot in time took place on 27 May 2002 when the assembled Kinsmen jotted down their personal connections to the Club: years as a member; when first heard of the Kinsmen; why joined; and most memorable recollection. Thirty-seven responses together told far more than the individual Kin may have thought possible. The historian’s assessment shows how thoroughly the principles of Kinsmen has been exemplified among the membership. Founders of the Sackville club would be deeply gratified to learn of the strength of those ideals forty years after the creation of the band of fellowship.


It is appropriate that the names of the Kinsmen who shared their memories in 2002 be listed as the new century moves ahead: Alan Barrie; Hugh Yorke; Victor Sampson; Steve Wilson; Don LaViolette; John MacIntyre; Wade Dooly; Ron Olsen; James Dahr; Ray Durzng; Brian Green; Leo Melanson; Dwayne LaViolette; Adam Holley; Mike Hiscock; Jeff O’Brien; Martin Parson; Andy Hoar; Kevin Carther; Ron Doull; Gerard MacKenzie; Gary Delorey; Jason Grandis; Dan Walker; Jeff Ainslie; Hunter VanLeeuinen; Bruce Van Feggeren; Graham Sullivan; Ron Hefler; Mark Stiles; Paul Burns; Larry Dowling, Richard Hawboldt and Gerry Archibald. Membership totalled over 242 ½ years! Two had 31 years experience, two were entering their third decade, four had 10 to 18 years membership, and the remaining eighteen had from 1 to 6 years each. The figures show a young club with enough experience to season the whole for continuity of history, how to do and how not to do “know how,” and sufficient vigour to get things done once the means of attaining a set goal were identified. The Kinsmen Club of Sackville exhibits the fulfilment of Hal Rogers founding vision and adaptation to changes over the years.

Members of the current Club responded to the question of how they first learned about Kinsmen with a variety of personal insights. Some encounters occurred early in life through the community activities of Kinsmen in Sackville and area which touched children and teenagers alike. Sporting events and sponsorship of community sport centres played an important role. As one Kin phrased it, “It has been a part of my life since I was 16 years old by playing hockey. When I turned 28 it was my turn to give back from what I had taken.”[i]  Twelve years after initial contact with the Sackville Kinsmen one young man knew how to give back to his community by becoming a part of the organization which had had such a big impact on his life. Kinsmen often see the short term result of fund-raising, for example, with the purchase of a particular piece of medical diagnostic machinery. It is the long-term influence which is unforeseeable. Nonetheless the foregoing Kinsman’s story illustrates the saying that, “No good deed goes unrewarded.” The helping of one person has yielded a volunteer member who now works to help the many with his fellow Kin. Nor was he alone as the comment of another Club member shows: [Why joined?] “To give back to the community what I received from it when I grew up here.”[ii] And parents are not the only family members to promote Kin ideals: “My brother-in-law introduced me and he inspired me by the great work they do and the terrific community within the group.”[iii]


[i]. Paul Burns.

[ii]. Jeff Ainslie.

[iii]. Mark Stiles: 1 year membership.


Family participation in the Kinsmen association has its share of influence in the households of the membership–both Kin and Kinette. Parents serve as role models in a way which contemporary society too frequently overlooks. The activity of Kinsmen voluntarism is visible at home as well in the wider community. Kin who became aware of the Club through a parent or were induced to join the Club by a parent’s influence could be said to have had that experience summed up in one Kin’s statement : “My father has been a member of Kinsmen for 35 years and has had nothing but great experiences across Canada with Kinsmen.”[i] Or as another Kin said, “... my family has a long history of voluntarism and community support.”[ii]


[i]. Jason Grandis.

[ii]. Ron Doull: 14 year membership.


Friends are so often the means of convincing someone to join an activity or society. We listen to them because we trust their judgement. If a friend’s interests are quite similar to our own then we are more likely to be attentive when he or she states that we would enjoy a group like the Kinsmen. Indeed friendship is a theme which we will return to shortly. One member of the Sackville Club said that he joined when, “...I was asked; because I was recently married. My wife and I were looking to make new friends. We were also both looking to make business contacts.”[i] A new stage in life meant that one Kin was looking to join a group which he and his wife could enjoy while furthering their business vocations. Hal Rogers’s Kinsmen Club met those needs in its founding statements. The Kinsmen Club of Sackville held faithfully to that original mission statement. Again, another Sackville Kin wrote, “I joined Kinsmen because two of my friends were involved and when they told me about it, I liked the idea and came to a meeting. From there I completed my membership requirements and became a member.”[ii] Better than one friend have two friends work to convince you to join a club! Another Kin said much the same thing: “D. Smith and D. Walker were already members for a year and they talked me into joining. Thank You Dan and Don.”[iii]  Similar sentiments were given by another member: “New to the community; my neighbour was president; [I] always wanted to join [but] never had opportunity to [do so] till moved to Nova Scotia.”[iv]


[i]. Alan Barrie: 14 year membership.

[ii]. Steve Wilson: 5 year membership.

[iii]. Ron Olsen: 5 year membership. 

[iv]. Mike Hiscock: 3 year membership. 


One theme keeps repeating itself in the responses of the Sackville Club members: friendship. This is an intangible quality of the Kinsmen Clubs without which they could not survive. It is that spirit of comradeship which feeds the enthusiasm to reach out to and help the wider community. At the same time it is a characteristic of the Sackville Kinsmen Club which draws in new members. The threads of friendship are woven into the cloth of the Club as evidenced by the many variations on that aspect given by members: “Meet new friends”; “Fellowship”; “Friendship”; “...make many new friends”; “make friends”; “To get to meet others of my own age and interests”; “ meet new people”; “...looking to meet like minded people for fellowship”; “Good Fellowship.” Testimonials to the richness of Kin fellowship show what underlies all of the effort and tireless support of community fundraising. Three brief commentaries epitomize the heart of Kin spirit:   

“I joined for good fellowship and to help less fortunate people. I was unemployed when I joined and my money was short in supply. Through the Club with a donation of time I was able to help provide much larger donations than I could possibly afford. Because of this I am proud to be in the Kin family.” [i]


“Sometimes I wonder why I am still here and this card is too small [to give all the reasons] but briefly: friendship, helping, loving, living.”[ii]



“My most memorable moment was my first meeting. I will remember this moment the rest of my life. It is as memorable as my wedding day. I could not think it was possible to have a group of people who get along so well, offer so much to the community they care so much about.”[iii]


[i]. Bruce van Feggeren.

[ii]. Paul Burns.

[iii]. Hunter van Leewnen.

This is an appropriate place to quote another Sackville Kinsman who was drawn to the fellowship tempered by understanding: “I joined because of another Kin who said that they don’t expect all of your time but what time you could give.”[i] That Kinsman’s available time to offer as a volunteer may have been very limited yet the Club still offered a means to serve and join in the comradeship of membership.


New members continue to be drawn to Kinsmen through the Club’s unswerving devotion to community service. That theme could not be missed in the members’ survey: “To serve Sackville”; “I enjoy doing good for my community...”; “Help the community”; “I wanted to help people less fortunate than myself...”; “To get involved in the community by devoting my time and effort...’; “ others in need”; “I joined Kinsmen because I wanted to be involved in my community, to meet new friends, and make my community a better place to live”[ii]; “After attending a Kinsmen social function as a guest and realizing what can be accomplished through fellowship I became a member”[iii]; “I joined Sackville Kinsmen because I wanted to make a difference”[iv]; “I joined Kinsmen because I loved to help people. Through the Kinsmen I can do this and I plan on doing this for a long time.” Similar sentiments were expressed by two members, one of whom had twenty-two years membership and one who had been in for six years; both offered similar comments which grew out of fellowship and service:


[i]. Larry Dowling: 2 years membership.

[ii]. Gerard MacKenzie: 5 years membership. 

[iii]. Graham (“Sully”) Sullivan: 31 years membership. 

[iv]. Mark Stiles.


“Before joining Kin I knew many members of the Labrador West Kinsmen Club. Thus I attended all Kin functions in the capacity of guest. I enjoyed the fellowship and quickly learned of the fantastic service which they carried out in the community. I liked the idea of “Service through fellowship” and it was inevitable that I would eventually join. I did that in 1980.”[i]


“The highlight of six years of membership was being voted president of a 52 member strong club. I was coerced into attending a meeting and regret not finding this gift of Kin much sooner. This is a family of choosing not birth. Every project I have worked on with members of this new family is a highlight, none more than the other. Fellowship and belonging to something larger than oneself is gratification enough.” [ii]


[i]. Martin Parsons: 22 years membership. 

[ii]. Dan Walker: 6 years membership.


The “family of choosing not birth”[i] could be another motto of the Sackville Kinsmen Club. Fellowship, mutual support, encouragement, sharing in like-minded goals, voluntarism, working to make a difference in the community—these commitments need a tightly knit social group. The heraldic emblems of Kinsmen Clubs—the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross for service by personal sacrifice, the square for uprightness–together with the title of Kin with its fraternal message of fellowship regardless of race, creed or colour—are amply displayed in the living membership of the Sackville Kinsmen Club.



Daily living has its many pressures; that is no less the case for individuals involved in professional careers. Being a Kinsman offers an outlet for positive reinforcement for the soul as well as a sense of accomplishment in contributing to a better world. To quote one Sackville Kin: “I joined Kinsmen because for me it is a great release from everyday problems. And I like how I feel after I have helped someone out (for example, raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research, MS, etc.)”[ii] Making a difference has as much an effect on the volunteer as it does for the recipient of fundraising causes.


[i]. Ibid.

[ii]. Adam Holley.

The recognition by fellow Kin and the opportunity to serve in leadership roles are additional benefits of membership. There is a great sense of satisfaction in receiving the endorsement of other Kin who wish to acknowledge or encourage a Kin’s abilities. Even the responsibilities of leadership on the local, zone or national executives are ameliorated by the knowledge that everyone is united together for mutual support and public service. Sackville Kinsmen let those aspects of membership be glimpsed in their survey responses: “My most memorable time is when I was voted Kinsman of the Year two years in a row...”[i]; “Most memorable event was receiving with 49 other Sackville and area recipients a Halifax Regional Municipality Volunteer of the Year award for community participation (2000)”[ii]; “[Most memorable event]: Receiving life membership for my efforts to the community on behalf of the Club”[iii]; “My most memorable event is the MS walk. I always have fun at that function whether working the barbeque or walking...”[iv]; “National Convention...[and] meet Founder Hal [Rogers.]”[v] These comments, as all of the foregoing have shown, indicate that the Sackville Kinsmen Club is living up to the high standards set by Hal Rogers, its members live Kin Fellowship daily, and all of the responses combined show why this continues to be such a dynamic organization.


[i]. Steve Wilson.

[ii]. Kevin Carther: 6 years membership. 

[iii]. Graham Sullivan.

[iv]. Three Kin remained anonymous in the survey but their comments were no less valuable for this history.

[v]. Hugh Yorke: 12 years membership. 


One member of the Sackville Kinsmen--Gerry Archibald–has belonged since 1978, though his Kinsmen commitment began in 1975 in Truro.[i] His personal Kin history reflects much of the foregoing comments by his fellow Kin of the Sackville club. Initial contact with the Club came through the enthusiastic reports of a work colleague in Truro who was serving as President of the Truro Kinsmen. As Gerry stated, “Every Monday I would hear all about the project and/ or party that took place on the weekend.” Soon it was a two-pronged promotion with the Kinsmen President’s wife extolling the virtues of Kinsmen and Kinettes to Gerry’s own wife. So it was that in 1975 Gerry joined the Truro Kinsmen for its social side, and the “bonus” of doing good work. Involvement with the club since that time changed the “bonus” to an equally important aspect of Kin work.


[i]. Gerry Archibald: Personal communication 2002 June 25.

Three years after joining the Truro club Gerry in a move of residence transferred his membership to the Sackville club. From there on it was a rapid promotion of a young, enthusiastic member who was recognized by his fellow Kin for his abilities and devotion to the Kin movement. He entered the club speak-off in 1980 to build his own confidence in public addresses. Gerry went from the club level to Zone level and then to District. That three tiered move up was a great boost for his sense of confidence—one of the realizations of Hal Rogers’s original vision of Kinsmen. Gerry said of the speak-off that, “this helped me to cope with a very serious problem I had in expressing my feelings and presenting my point of view.” His success obviously received the close attention of his fellow Kin in the Sackville Club for the next year [1981] he was elected as club President. As he said of it, this “trial by fire” was a great learning experience in dealing with and leading people. He left unsaid the fact that his constituents were all supportive in true Kin spirit. It could be added as well that every member of the club knew that he might in turn be called to serve in the leading role; preparation for that possibility meant paying careful attention to club structure, business and meeting procedures, and the talents which needed to be honed to fulfill the demanding role of President. Gerry Archibald, as with previous presidents and those who followed him, served as the model in turn for that position.


It was during his time as president and continued involvement in the Sackville Kinsmen that the club organized the community groups of Sackville to create the Taiso Gymnastics/ Sackville Leisure Centre. This activity had the added bonus of ungirding the Kinsmen bingo–its major fund raiser at the time. This tremendous boost to community services recalled Gerry was followed up with the Club’s major contribution to the Sackville Sports Stadium.


Gerry’s own Kin development was advanced in 1988 by his election to the office of Deputy Governor. Four years later he was elected to the position of Vice Governor, and as Governor in 1993. The support from his fellow Kin and the strong backing of the executive at all three Governorship levels is duly acknowledged by Gerry as making his time of service one of personal fulfilment, deeper appreciation of Kin values, and the great bonus of expanding friendship and contacts in the province, eastern Canada and nationally. Gerry Archibald was recognized at the national level for his leadership skills with his appointment in 1995 to the National Personal Leadership Development Committee, followed in 1997 to promotion as Chair of that committee. He noted that, “this allowed me the opportunity to share some of enthusiasm and vision of Kin with members from coast to coast.”


Gerry Archibald’s Kin career as told above is only a brief summation of all his work and duties. His own commentary, however, is typical of other Sackville Kinsmen’s reminiscences—a reluctance to boast of any personal accomplishments while wanting at the same time to wax eloquently as to the virtues of Kinsmen fellowship. One question not asked in the 2002 survey was how many new members did each Kin bring into the Sackville Club. Gerry and others mentioned the importance of personal testimonies to the virtues of the Kinsmen Clubs in leading them to join. Undoubtedly that same influence radiated out from each new member to their own friends and work colleagues duplicating once more their own conversion to the Kinsmen cause for prospective new members.

This chapter began with the statement that the Kinsmen Club of Sackville would not be complete without comments from the membership. Equally important is the need to fully acknowledge the important role of the women’s branch of this Canadian community service organization. In the beginning Kinettes were the women’s auxiliary wherein wives of Kinsmen could serve as an additional support group for the aims of the Kinsmen Club itself. The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a dramatic swing in Canadian social and business life as women moved to the fore with men in all fields on enterprise. It would be more appropriate now to think of Kinettes as one wing of the national Kinsmen movement to balance the men’s contributions.



The Kinette Club of Sackville traces its origins almost to the same founding date as the Kinsmen Club of Sackville. As with the latter, its geographic name included Bedford, Sackville and Waverley. The founding club was chartered 12 November 1963. The first president was Doris Nichols, while the founding Charter members were Marg Balmforth, Marg Gardener, Bev Grace, Edith Hefler, Lois Miller, Jean Patterson, Shirley Payzant and Pat Thornton. In Centennial Year (1967) the Kinettes ably assisted the Kinsmen to host the national convention in Nova Scotia together with the Halifax and Dartmouth clubs. Subsequently both of the clubs changed their names respectively to the Kinsmen and Kinettes Clubs of Sackville. The latter also shared the temporary meeting venues until the move to the Kin Centre on the Old Beaverbank Road. The January 26th, 1979 opening of the Kin Hall on First Lake Drive likewise meant that the Kinettes had a proper place in which to meet, hold events and continue working toward the goals of the Kin spirit.

The beginning of a new century offers an opportunity for reflection and reexamination of future goals. Sackville Kinsmen can be proud of forty years of service to the community. They have held to their motto, “Serving the Community’s Greatest Need.” New challenges await them. During the 1960s the Sackville Kinsmen Club came to grips with a rapidly changing Sackville. In the new century society itself has become a challenge both to voluntarism and demands on family life. An increasing number of households are headed by working parents who have little time to devote to concerns other than their children during whatever spare time is available on weekends or throughout the work week. Computer literate youth through the use of the Internet are losing personal social communication skills. Kinsmen have to convince the current and next waves of young adults that community matters.

Traditional fund raising events face competition from government licenced lotteries, gambling establishments and on-line [Internet] gambling. Bingo, whether televised on local cable television or not, lacks the technological appeal of the competitors. On the other hand not all is lost. Kinsmen have been innovative and can still draw on a diversity of expertise within their own membership. Charity auctions backed by donations from business concerns [which in return obtain publicity] do bring in much needed revenue to maintain support for various charitable causes. Bingo offers the one thing missing in the competition–social outing and the opportunity to assist worth while social needs. Kinsmen deep the public informed about the beneficiaries of their donations. Keeping the purpose of the fund raising before the eyes of the public reinforces community support in the future.

Recruitment for new Kinsmen was traditionally based on service and fellowship. A third objective has been added at the national level, or rather it has revived an original platform and enlarged on it to attract young professionals who with so many demands on their time may ask, “What can I get out of it?” Personal development through workshops and public speaking competitions are offered now by the Sackville Kinsmen. At Zone and District Conference levels workshops are a recurring feature of meetings. Leadership courses emphasize communications and problem solving. Kinsmen can draw on the resident expertise of its members for such seminars or bring in outside professionals. The end result should be heightened awareness of the needs of others.


The Kinsmen Club song originally composed in the 1920s by Micky Heath of the Hamilton Club is now dated by its phrasing and shows its eighty and more years. Yet the spirit remains–volunteers meeting to enjoy fellowship and realizing that together they can accomplish far more than standing each apart and alone. Sackville Kinsmen continue to look to the future with that same inspiration.


Here we are together once again

One and all a happy bunch of men,

Leave your cares and troubles for a while,

Let your face break forth in smile.

Look around-grab someone by the hand,

They’re you friends, the finest in the land,

Now, all set. Let’s shout to beat the band.



[i]. Robert Tyre, The Cross and The Square: The Kinsmen Story 1920-1970 [1970]: pg. 25.