New Members Info

Our National Crest:

The Kin Emblem, or Crest, shown above,  is composed of a Cross & Square intertwined, surrounded by ten Maple Leaves and two scrolls with the Kinsmen & Kinette names written on them. The cross is the St. Andrew’s Cross, which has been the symbol of service through personal sacrifice for centuries, and is the underlying principle of the Kin Association. The square has been the symbol of virtue and justice for even longer. This part of the emblem stands for integrity of character. The maple leaves and the name scrolls are emblematic of the ten Canadian Provinces, denoting the national scope of the organization.

Our National Motto is:

“Serving our communities’ greatest needs”

We also have a motto that serves our members, which is:

“Grow. Learn. Make friends. Have fun.”

As you spend time as a member of this organization, the import of both of these mottos will become clear to you.

A Brief Kin History

Founded by Harold Allin Rogers and ten other men on February 20,1920 in the Nanking Cafe in Hamilton, Ontario. This group formed our association’s first club… The Kinsmen Club of Hamilton. Next came a club in Montreal, then Winnipeg, then Vancouver.

As the association spread across the country, it came into contact with other like-minded organizations with which it found enough common ground to consider mergers. The most notable of these was the Eclectic Clubs of Saskatchewan. Eclectic’s primary aim was fellowship among men of good character under the age of 40. In the 1930s, a prominent member of this organization was John Diefenbaker, who was later to become Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Diefenbaker was a prime mover in the merger between Kin and Eclectic, and he ensured that the age limit, which was a crucial building block of his group, was preserved and entrenched in the new merged association’s Constitution.

Kinsmen wives started meeting together in the late 1920’s. Kinettes were formerly recognized as an auxiliary club in 1942.

In 1950 the Kin Supply House was established to handle a growing inventory of Kin memorabilia and office material.  The Kin Sales Division is an entrepreneurial wing of Kin that makes a significant contribution to the financial well-being of the association each year.

In 1965 Kin members adopted the construction of the Kinsmen National Institute on Mental Retardation as a national project. Five years later the institute located on the York University Campus in Toronto was officially opened.

In 1980, the National Headquarters building in Cambridge, ON. was opened. If ever you’re driving Highway 401 West from Toronto in the directoon of Windsor, you can’t help but see the big white building on the south side, as you pass Cambridge.

1988 saw “open membership” for the Kinettes, which meant that Kinette Clubs achieved equal status with Kinsmen Clubs, and were able to manage their own affairs. It also meant that a woman no longer had to be married to or living with a Kinsmen to be a member in her own right, and that a Kinette Club could be chartered in a community even if no Kinsmen Club existed there.

In 1995 the Hal Rogers Endowment Fund was established. In the fall of 1999 its name was changed to the Kinsmen & Kinette Bursary.

1994/95 Kin year saw the formation of our first Kin Clubs – clubs that may admit both male and female members.

At National Convention in August 1999 the upper age limit, which was by this time 45,  was removed, thereby allowing Kin of any age to become active members, capable of holding any office in the Association.

As of February 28, 2002 There are 414 Kinsmen Clubs, 262 Kinette Clubs, and 28 Kin Clubs. Total 704. Our total number of active and active life members is 11,051.

For further Kin History please read the books, “The Cross and Square” or “Only in Canada – Kinsmen and Kinettes” or consult your new member’s kit.

Kin Partnership with Cystic Fibrosis

For over three decades, Kinsmen and Kinettes have led the fight against Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that affects the lives of thousands of Canadian children and adults. Club members have raised in excess of $30,000,000 for research that has resulted in some incredible strides towards finding a cure for this fatal disease.

On a National Level….

We support public awareness projects such as “Raise the Flag Day”, Celebrate Canada in the Capitals and other events celebrating the Canadian experience. The Association maintains a National Disaster Fund to assist in the event of emergencies in Canadian communities. In 1987 $10,000 was sent to assist the Edmonton area when the Tornado hit; in the spring of 1997 “Kin Ride to Low Tide” was set up to help the Manitoba Flood Victims; and in January 1998 we saw the inception of “Operation Thaw” to assist with the cleanup from the ice storms in the east. In 1949 the Association set up a Cancer Scholarship Fund to help train doctors in treating this dreaded disease. The Hal Rogers Endowment Fund, renamed the Kinsmen & Kinette Bursary in 1999, awards $1000.00 bursaries each year to High School students who are registered in a post- secondary program. This was established to assist young people in higher education.

On a Local Level….

Your club donates manpower and money that it raises to causes such as local hospitals, nursing homes, youth emergency shelters, women’s shelters, Christmas bureaus, minor sports and so on. Check with an experienced member of your club to find out what your club does in the community, and how you can help.

What Kin Can Do For You

Becoming a Kinsmen or Kinette is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fellowship with other men and women. In addition you will enjoy personal growth and will develop valuable business contacts. There is no feeling in the world like that of giving to others.

Kin is a valuable vehicle for personal development  to anyone who is interested in it. We participate in public speaking contests, learn valuable skills by chairing fundraising and manpower projects. If members choose, they may hold office on a local, zone, district or national level. The opportunities are endless and are there for the taking!

Kin can add many things to you and your family’s lives. One of the greatest things that this organization will teach you is that you need to take care of your family, then your work, and then finally Kin, or other volunteer work, in that order. As a member you are required to attend at least 50% of the meetings in each half of a year. In the event you miss a meeting, there are several ways to make up your attendance. Clubs have special provisions in their by-laws and house rules regarding allowances for work, special circumstances, and transfers.

Classes of Membership; The Family of Kin

  • ACTIVE MEMBER: Must be age 19 or older, of good character and community standing and must reside or practice their vocation or profession within the territorial limits of their club. Should not be a member of another service organization.

  • HONOURARY MEMBER: Elected for a period of one year in recognition of some distinguished task performed for the community or club. Any person can be elected to this category and may be re-elected from year to year. This person does not pay dues, but is entitled to all the privileges of any active member except holding office and voting.

  • LIFE MEMBERS: The Life Membership category recognizes outstanding contributions to Kin. A potential Life Member has to meet certain criteria, including the length of time served in Kin, to qualify for the honour, and the club proposing the honour must apply to the national headquarters to obtain permission to confer the honour. Life Members are greatly respected for their dedication and knowledge.

  • K-40 / K-ETTE: Is there life after you’ve done it all? You bet! Many clubs have a K-ette or K-40 Club, which is an auxiliary club composed of club alumni who would generally have reached the age of 40 when the association still maintained an upper age limit for active members. Those members may meet once a month and / or attend the clubs’ general meetings. Their expertise in the field is often called upon for either advice or as helping hands at functions. With the removal of the upper age limit there is a possibility of less activity in these clubs.

Awards Programs

  • MAPLE LEAF OF DISTINCTION AWARD: This award is for members in their first two years in Kin. To become eligible, you must earn points by doing a number of things, such as attend social functions, travel to other clubs’ meetings, speak at a meeting, work on a project, write an article for the bulletin, etc. The purpose of this award is to encourage new members to become involved in club activities early and often.

  • FOUNDERS AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT: This program is designed currently to challenge members of more than 24 months to be active in Kin. Participation in this program is more than an award – it is a meaningful experience. A member may enroll anytime after the first year of Kin, and the program monitors involvement over a three-year period.

  • GOLDEN GEM AWARD: This award recognizes any Kin who sponsors three new members within a 12-month period.

There are many other awards in Kin, some which must be competed for (for example the Public Speaking Award), and some which evolve from participation (Kin Member of the Year Award, etc.). We encourage our members to strive for awards as another way to become involved. Like life, the more you put into it, the more you receive.

Kin Structure

CLUB: The executive is elected to a one-year term. The Kin year runs from July 1 to June 30th. Club elections are held between April 1 and May 15 of each Kin year, and every active member is eligible for office after their first year (except for the position of President). A club executive typically consists of:

  • President: The person who runs the meetings

  • Past President: The person who ran the meetings last year

  • Secretary: Records the minutes of the meetings and reads the mail

  • Treasurer: Tells us how much we do (or don’t) have in the bank, pay the bills, keeps accurate records of the financial business of the club.

  • Vice President: Helps President, acts as his/her alternate in the event the President is unable to discharge his/her duties,  and potentially trains to be the next president

  • Bulletin Editor: Publishes the club news bulletin once a month, or however often the club dictates

  • Directors: Head various service committees and act as liaison between the executive and the membership

  • Bar Chairperson: Runs our bar and may administer dinner meetings

  • Historian: Takes pictures, Keeps records of club travels, functions, and fellowship

  • Membership: Makes the club’s name known in the community in various ways and promotes membership recruitment and development programs, makes new members, guests welcome

  • Sergeant-At-Arms: An unknown member who monitors us for “misbehavior” and will fine us accordingly.

The club executive typically meets before a regular meeting to prepare the program for general meetings, once or twice a month and to deal with the club’s administrivia. You are encouraged to attend an executive meeting at any time, as that is where much of the business is done and therefore the best place to understand how you club is run. These positions and meeting times may vary with each club.

MEETINGS: There are typically two general meetings per month for Kinsmen, and one general meeting for Kinettes from September to June. These meetings are held on a predetermined day of each month. Most clubs do not have regular meetings during July and August. Each individual club has the choice of having dinner meetings or not. Check with the club you are considering joining for information on how their club works.

ZONE: Generally comprised of one elected Kinsmen and one elected Kinette District Deputy Governor, who act as liaison between the clubs within their Zone and the District Council. When dual these people work together to provide information to both their clubs and the rest of the District on how things are running. In addition these people chair Fall and Spring Zone meetings and are members of the District Council. Each Zone has a set of By-Laws, which are specific to the clubs operating within a particular Zone.

DISTRICT: Comprised of one elected Kinsmen and one elected Kinette District Governor, who act as the chief administrative officers of the District and assist in member and project information, chair District Convention, and are members of the District Council, which implements District By-Laws. They are responsible for the running of the District’s business. The position of Association Director was created at National Convention in 1997. The Association Director represents his or her District on the National Board of Directors. The Association has eight Districts.

NATIONAL: Elected National Kinsmen and Kinette Presidents, up to two National Directors , National Kinsmen and Kinette Vice Presidents, up to two National Vice Directors, up to two Past National Presidents and eight Association Directors. These individuals make up the National Board of Directors, which sets Association strategy along with the Executive Director who is an ex-officio (non-voting) member.

Conventions and Conferences

NATIONAL: Our National Convention is held in August in a different location (typically alternating between east, west and central) each year. Kin from across Canada attend. It is a great way to meet Kin from other provinces and it is a lot of fun. This is where the policies and procedures for the whole Association are ratified.

DISTRICT: Canada is divided into 8 Districts. We are District 4, which includes all of Alberta and the Northeast corner of B.C., as well as the Northwest Territories. Each District has a convention or conference every year. District 4 typically holds its conference in May of each Kin year. Individual clubs in our District bid for the privilege of hosting District Convention.

ZONE: Each District is divided into Zones. For example: District 4, Zone 11 is comprised of clubs from Athabasca, Fort McMurray, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Lac La Biche, Slave Lake and St. Albert.
Twice a year (in some zones) meetings are held to deal with the business of the Zone. They are called Fall and Spring Zone Meetings. The various club Presidents give reports as to what and how their clubs are doing, by-laws might be changed, public speaking takes place and Zone Awards are given. These are mini conventions hosted by a club in the Zone and usually have a theme that a social event revolves around.

FALL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: FLC is a personal development and fellowship weekend. One “stag” FLC is held each fall for each of Kinsmen and Kinettes separately. It is usually held in October and is hosted by the club that wins the bid for it at District Convention.

Miscellaneous

NEW MEMBERS SCHOOL: Each year all new members are invited to a New Members School, usually held at the discretion of the Club or Zone executive. The members may be shown videos about Kin and given their New Member’s Kit (if they have not previously received one). It is worth your time to attend the school, as you will learn a lot about Kin history and the workings of the Association as a whole. It is also a mandatory requirement towards qualifying for the Maple Leaf Award.

DUES: All active and privileged members pay dues that cover the costs of running and administering an organization with national spread such as ours. Dues are based on the roster at Headquarters each year on a per member basis. Dues are levied by National and District. The District covers the expenses of the Zone. All dues are based on an annual budget and must be passed by the delegates at the respective conventions. Some clubs subsidize their members’ dues by making money in club fund-raising activities.