The Estevan Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs are looking forward to the centennial celebration for the service group, which is based entirely in Canada.
Feb. 16-22 was proclaimed as Kin Canada Week during Monday night’s meeting of Estevan city council. A flag-raising will take place Feb. 20 in front of city hall at 8:30 a.m., one of many flag-raisings to happen across the country that day in honour of Kin Canada’s 100th birthday.
“They want to do a flag-raising from east coast to west coast at 8:30, and then they’re going to do a film out of the flag-raising,” said long-time Estevan club member Susan Colbow.
Also, on Feb. 22, members of the Estevan Kinette Club will have their annual Day of Kin-dness. Kinettes will be circulating the community, handing out tickets to an Estevan Bruins game, and presenting carnations to residents of the Estevan Regional Nursing Home and long-term care at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
They will also place coins in the candy machines at the Estevan Leisure Centre and the Estevan Shoppers Mall, so that kids can get free candy, and they will visit with the pets at the Estevan Humane Society’s animal shelter.
Other activities could also be happening that day so that the Kinettes can show the people of Estevan how much they care.
Colbow said the club hopes to have some form of a centennial project in Estevan this year.
Reaching 100 years is a big milestone for Kin Canada. She hopes it will cause current and former Kin members to reflect on the milestone and the accomplishments for the service, and she is also optimistic it will cause people to consider joining their local club.
Colbow’s parents were both Kin club members, and her daughter Chelsey Istace has taken an active role in the Estevan Kinette Club.
“We are here to help the community and serve the community’s greatest needs, and that has always been our motto,” she said.
People can see the impact of the Kin clubs in the community throughout the year, she said, ranging from the Canada Day celebration at their playpark in the Hillside subdivision, to the Kinsmen selling Christmas trees each year, to their involvement with the playpark.
“It’s cool to see how Kin has impacted a lot of communities,” said Colbow.
Many small communities have a Kin park, and Colbow is proud to see the Kin name attached to many projects.
And, of course, in Saskatchewan, the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs put on Telemiracle each year.
Kin Canada was formed in 1920 when a small group of like-minded men gathered at a restaurant in Hamilton, Ont., to charter the first Kinsmen Club. Harold Rogers, who served Canada during the First World War, was looking for an opportunity for fellowship.
From there, word spread quickly across the country about the impact the Kinsmen were making and the camaraderie and pride that existed among its members.