1942-1987. — 70 cm of textual records, 350 photographs.
The Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie was chartered in 1942 under president Tommy Blair. The object of the club was “to promote and direct fellowship among young men of good character” in order to educate and encourage them regarding ethical business practices, the welfare of their community, tolerance and acceptance of all peoples, and service work in their community. The motto of the club was “Serving the Community’s Greatest Need.”
The original club was made up mostly of men in their late 30s and 40s, but as the local boys returned from the war, they were quickly taken into the club. During the war years they formed a War Charities Trust and raised money for the Milk for Britain Fund, Aid for Russia, and Greek and Chinese Relief.
Meetings and Conventions formed the base of the Kinsmen year. Regular supper meetings were held every two weeks, with Conventions in Spring and Fall, Kin Week in February, and Installation Night in June, when new executives were installed and yearly awards given out.
The first large community project was started in 1946—raising $24,000 for a swimming pool which was then turned over to the town. The next project was raising $75,000 for a new arena, built in 1948. Over the years the Kinsmen worked on and raised money for many community recreational facilities: Bear Creek Park and its facilities, Bear Creek Swimming Pool, and the Grande Prairie Recreation Complex, as well as organizing the senior hockey club and sponsoring minor hockey. In 1980 they constructed the Kinsmen East Hillside Community Centre.
While the club put much effort into large recreational projects, it was not their only focus. Many organizations benefitted from time, goods and money donated by Kinsmen: the hospital, the fire department, municipal government, Sea Cadets, the City’s Marching Band, the Victorian Order of Nurses, Alberta Special Games for Handicapped Children, Cystic Fibrosis and Swan Industries. The Kinsmen raised money through personal pledges, raffles, radio auctions, carnivals, bingos, and cultivating a Christmas Tree farm.
The Grande Prairie Kinsmen, in Zone 1 District 4 of the Association of Kinsmen Clubs of Canada, was active throughout the Peace Region, chartering the Peace River Kinsmen in 1944, the Dawson Creek Kinsmen in 1950, the Spirit River Kinsmen in 1952, the Valleyview Kinsmen in 1961, and the Beaverlodge Kinsmen in 1974. Two provincial governors were elected from Grande Prairie—Keith Adams in 1960 and Gerry Fischer in 1965, and the club hosted the Alberta Convention in 1960, 1966, 1975 and 1982.
Records were collected by the Grande Prairie Kinsmen Club and donated to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives by Roy Borstad in 2001, and accruals were donated by Pat Kirton in 2011 and by Pat Olson in 2012.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of minutes, financial and membership records, organizational and activity files, Milk for Britain promotional tool-kit from World War II, a large collection of photographs, news clippings, scrapbook, and material from associated national and fraternal organizations.
Table of Contents
|Series 139.02||Financial Records|
|Series 139.04||Organizational Files|
|Series 139.05||Activity Files|
|Series 139.07||News Clippings and Posters|
|Series 139.08||Associated Organizations|
|Series 139.09||Kinsmen Scrapbook|
|Series 139.01||Minutes. — 1942-1987. — 21 cm of textual records.
The charter meeting of the Grande Prairie Kinsmen Club was held on July 2, 1942 , and Vic Lloyd, District Governor, presented the charter to twenty-six members. By that time, the group had already been active for some time, with Tommy Blair as president and Buster Murphy as secretary, and had raised more than $1500 for the Milk for Britain fund, a project promoted by the Association of Kinsmen. The minutes were compiled into a wooden binder by Deane Toews on the 25th Anniversary of the Grande Prairie Kinsmen Club in 1967, and later updated to 1975. Later minutes were kept in rough form in a coil notebook.
The series consists of the minutes of the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie from 1942 to 1975, and a notebook of rough minutes from 1985 to 1987. Minutes include lists of members, lists of accounts, details of correspondence, summaries of discussions, descriptions of club projects, and motions carried by the club members.
|Series 139.02||Financial Records. — 1942-1987. — 6 cm of textual records.
The earliest financial records from the Kinsmen were kept, before the club was chartered, in the back of an old hospital ledger when they were raising funds for the Milk for Britain campaign. Milk Bottle Drives were conducted in stores and post offices, Concerts were presented, Radio Dances were held in schools and community halls, and donations were received from groups and individuals all across the Peace River Country: Canadian Red Cross, Junior Red Cross, Women’s Institutes, Girls Clubs, Elks, I.O.D.E., Stagettes, Sports Clubs, Community Clubs, Church Groups, Schools, and Students’ Unions. This was indicative of the long arm of the Kinsmen in the Peace Country, and the resulting chartering of clubs across the Peace.
The series consists of the first financial ledger detailing the Milk for Britain Fund drive, ledgers of accounts from the club’s formation in July 1942 to December 1944, an annual report for 1944, cheque stubs for 1948-49, annual reports for 1967 and 1968, financial files for 1969-70 and 1974-75, accounts book for 1979-1980, and miscellaneous financial records for 1981-1987.
|Series 139.03||Membership. — 1950-1988. — 7 cm of textual records.
The series consists of membership rosters, lists of committee and executive members, member responsibilities, and social events to assist Kinsmen in getting to know one another. It includes newsletters printed by the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie to communicate with its members. A certificate identifies Rudy Cepela as a Life Member.
|Series 139.04||Organizational Files. — 1942-1987. — 6 cm of textual records.
The series consists of files containing information pertinent to the operations of the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie: By-laws, Correspondence, Insurance and Policies and Procedures.
|Series 139.05||Activity Files. — 1942-1987. — 18 cm of textual records.
The series consists of files relating to projects, events and fundraising which the Kinsmen undertook in their aim to serve the greatest needs in the community. Some of these include the Milk for Britain Campaign, the 1960 and 1982 conventions, Blood Donor clinics in cooperation with the Canadian Red Cross during the 1970s, Holiday lotteries and Car Awards, bingos and casinos, the Cystic Fibrosis Radiothon, the Christmas Tree Farm and the construction of the Kin Centre. There are also smaller, miscellaneous projects.
|SubSeries 139.05.01||Milk for Britain. — 1942-1943. — 1 cm of textual records.
“Kinsmanship—the fellowship and the obligation, implied, of service to others—was founded in the organization of Kinsmen in 1920, by veterans of the War of 1914-1918…. With the outbreak of another Great War in 1939, the interest and work of these men—still of a fighting age—logically turned again to War Service as the dominant objective of their kinsmanship. One of the first projects was Milk for Britain, under which Kinsmen Clubs promised British parents 1,500,000 quarts of milk in 1942.
The sub-series consists of a Milk-for-Britain Portfolio sent by the Kinsmen National War Service Committee as a “tool-kit for club presidents and war service chairmen for the management and promotion of National Kin War Services”. It contains an informational booklet, pamphlets, posters, paper artefacts such as tags and tickets, suggestions for fund-raising, certificates, bulletins, and testimonials.
|Series 139.06||Photographs. — 1948-1982. — 353 photographs.
The yearly cycle of the Kinsmen Club is reflected in its photograph collection. The Kin year started in September with regular supper meetings held every two weeks, interrupted by Fall Conference (which was men only) and Spring Convention for Kinsmen, Kinettes and Kin Wives from the entire district. In addition, there was Kin Week in February, which welcomed new members and included Past Presidents Night and Family Day, and the Installation Night in June when new executives were installed and awards such as Life Membership and Kinsmen of the Year given out.
The series consists of photographs of regular membership meetings, conventions, Installation Night awards dinners and activities during Kin Week. There are two large group photographs of past presidents of the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie taken in 1960 and 1980 and a photograph of the members in 1968-69.
|SubSeries 139.06.01||Membership. — 1960-1980. — 88 photographs.
The series consists of photographs of members used for the 1961 Slave Day fundraiser, regular supper meetings at local restaurants such as Heidi’s Restaurant; awards and new executives at Installation Night in June; special events such as the K-40 banquet in 1975; and initiation of new members. An accrual in 2012 includes a photograph of the members in 1968-69.
|SubSeries 139.06.02||Conventions. — 1966-1981. — 152 photographs.
The series consists of two slides of the Arabian costumes and one photograph of the train trip to Dawson Creek for the 1966 convention; one of the wooden train engine which was the Kinsmen float for convention parades; and a series of photographs of the 1975 convention, Timber Takin Daze, held at the Grande Prairie Regional College. These show the Kinsmen parade down Richmond Avenue, the campaign for election of District Governor and other convention events. The series includes a set of slides on Grande Prairie and area, most likely part of a bid package for the 1982 convention.
|SubSeries 139.06.03||Kin Week. — 1960-. — 57 photographs.
The series consists of group photographs of Past Presidents in 1960 and 1982; a series of photographs from Kin Week 1969; of new Kinsmen being welcomed into the club, and of family events during Kin Week.
|SubSeries 139.06.04||Kin Activities. — 1948-1982. — 56 photographs.
The series consists of photographs showing Kin major projects such as the Memorial Arena, the Bear Creek Pool, Bear Creek Park development, the RecPlex Arena and Pool, and building the Kin Centre. There are also photographs of activities such as playing on the Kinsmen Hockey Team, fundraising events and presentations; the Annual Car Award, and special events such as the Father, Son, Daughter Banquet in 1975 and the Kinettes and Kinsmen cooking for community breakfasts and Bar-b-ques. An accrual in 2012 includes 2 photos of the Kinsmen Radio Auction.
|Series 139.07||News Clippings and Posters. — 1957-1982. — 2 cm of textual records.
The series consists of newsclippings and posters containing photographs and news clippings of the activities of the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie. Subjects include executives as they are sworn in; the 1960, 1966, 1975 and 1982 conventions; the Edson Kin trek over the Edson Trail and the train chartered to Dawson Creek for a BBQ during the 1966 convention; Kinsmen of the Year awards; projects such as the Christmas Tree Drive, Grande Prairie Arena construction and the 1969 fire, Bear Creek Pool Construction, Red Cross work, sports events such as the 1969 Curl-O-Rama, Radio Auctions and Community Breakfasts, Bingos and Fashion Shows; and social events which included the entire family.
|Series 139.08||Associated Organizations. — 1943-1986. — 10 cm of textual records.
The series consists of publications and information about associated organizations: the National Association of Kinsmen Clubs, the District Four Association, and the Kinettes. Information and communications regarding the K-40 Club for older Kinsmen is found throughout the records.
|Series 139.09||Kinsmen Scrapbook. — 1959-1960. — 3 cm of textual records. — 12 photographs.
The series consists of a scrapbook created by Roy Borstad, a member of the Kinsmen club in Grande Prairie. The scrapbook contains 12 photographs, various news clippings of events the Kinsmen were involved in, two bulletins, a ticket book with ribbons from the Grande Prairie convention, and a history booklet for District 4.