Kinsmen 70th Celebration a Night to Remember
The Bridgewater & Area Kinsmen celebrated their 70th Anniversary on November 19, 2016 at the Royal Canadian Legion, with an evening of fellowship and celebration, that drew over 100 Fellow Kin and guests, to honor the club and it’s member’s work in the community.
The club was first chartered by the Liverpool Kinsmen Club back in 1946. The late Andy Gow was contacted by Arthur Hirtle, asking for him to arrange for six young men in Bridgewater to meet four Liverpool Kinsmen in the Fairview Hotel on Sunday November 24, 1946. The young men liked what they heard and the following Friday, November 29, 1946 the six, with friends had grown to 20. They met downstairs in what is now the Roman Catholic Parish Hall and the Liverpool Kin sold them on the idea of Kinsmenship. An application to become the Kinsmen Club of Bridgewater was completed that evening with duly elected officers and twenty charter members. The first President was Bob Rafuse.
The evenings started with Kinsmen Life Member and Town Crier Ozzie Styles leading the head table guests into the hall. Our guest speaker, the Honorable Chief Justice Joe Kennedy, a Kinsmen for 22 years, spoke about the numerous projects and friendships that were created over the years. He also took the opportunity to reflect on some of the good and challenging times.
Zone B Kin clubs were well represented, including, Liverpool, Halifax, Sackville, Kentville, and Dartmouth. Mayor Carolyn Bulivar-Geston from M.O.D.L. and Deputy Mayor, Andrew Tanner from the Town of Bridgewater, brought greetings and thank the club for their long history of generosity, “Serving The Community’s Greatest Need”. Zone B Deputy Governor Ernie Hunt from Sackville Kinsmen, brought congratulations on behalf of Zone B. A few of community representatives(including Lisa Weatherhead, Regional Executive Director for Cystic Fibrosis, Mackenzie Corkum from 2600 Bridgewater Kinsmen Army Cadets (which we have supported since 1973) and Gregory Croft from the Seahawks Football Club) who have benefited from the fund raising of the Bridgewater & Area Kinsmen were present.
Over 70 years the club has donated money for the children’s ward at the original Dawson Memorial Hospital, was instrumental in the creation of the Kinsmen Memorial Athletic Field, provided glasses and orthopedic care for children, purchased the first “Jaws Of Life”, presented the Mayor’s Chain Of Office to the Mayor John Hirtle in October 1973, celebrating 25 years as Bridgewater & Area Kinsmen to mention a few.
Recent contributions include donations to three local citizens who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis, Police Dog Davis, annually “Food For Families” providing food boxes for up to 80 local families in need of food, bursaries and local community needs. All the money we raise through Kinsmen Eastlink TV Bingo goes back into our community.
In the Kin Song, it reads; “They’re your friends, the finest in the land”. Emcee Kin Palma, suggested, “This speaks to the everlasting friendships within the Kin family, which has been clearly evident this evening”.
If you would like to give something back to your community, the Bridgewater & Area Kinsmen is for you. Visit our web page at: “www.bridgewaterkinsmen.net”