Ki­wa­nis Club of Car­bon­ear mark­ing 60th an­niver­sary

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

The Ki­wa­nis Club of Car­bon­ear is this year mark­ing its 60th an­niver­sary.

The Car­bon­ear club be­came the third Ki­wa­nis Club to be formed in the prov­ince, when it re­ceived its char­ter on April 17, 1952.

As they look back over their six decades of ser­vice to the town and re­gion, Ki­wa­ni­ans have a lot to re­mem­ber and cel­e­brate this year.

Over the past 41 years, the Ki­wa­nis Club of Car­bon­ear has per­haps be­come best known for its or­ga­ni­za­tion and spon­sor­ship of the an­nual Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. Ev­ery spring the hills sur­round­ing Car­bon­ear “are alive with the sound of mu­sic,” dur­ing fes­ti­val week. Now into its 42nd year, the fes­ti­val, which sounded its first notes in 1970, is still go­ing strong. This year’s event is sched­uled to get un­der­way on March 17.

While it re­mains the club’s most public an­nual event, the fes­ti­val is just one of the nu­mer­ous, suc­cess­ful events and projects Ki­wa­nis has been in­volved in over the past 60 years.

Tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence of the club’s con­tri­bu­tions to the town can be found through­out the com­mu­nity.

For ex­am­ple, the town’s swim­ming pool, opened in 1974, and the Car­bon­ear Re­cre­ation Com­plex de­vel­oped for the 1992 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games, both had their roots in early ini­tia­tives of the Ki­wa­nis Club.

The club’s in­au­gu­ral fundrais­ing ven­ture in 1952 was a public auc­tion to raise money for an out­door com­mu­nity swim­ming pool, built the fol­low­ing year in Pow­ell’s Brook, which runs by the re­cre­ation com­plex.

In 1954, the club ac­quired what was known as Pike’s field from its owner, Stephen Pike and con­verted the Val­ley Road site into a multi-pur­pose venue for soft­ball, soc­cer and other sports. In 1992, the same field was up­graded to be used for track and field sports at the Sum­mer Games.

Just af­ter Con­fed­er­a­tion, in the early 1950s, when then premier J.R. Small­wood was vow­ing to “dot Con­cep­tion Bay with new in­dus­tries,” the Ki­wa­nis Club lob­bied the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to at­tract some of that eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to Car­bon­ear. Their ef­forts paid off with the es­tab­lish­ment of New­found­land Tan­ner­ies in 1952, At­lantic Gloves Ltd. in 1954 and Gold Sail Leather Goods in 1957. The “glove fac­tory” as it was known cur­rently forms part of the Col­lege of the North At­lantic Car­bon­ear cam­pus. It’s in­ter­est­ing to note Ki­wa­nis had been a strong sup­porter of the es­tab­lish­ment of the Car­bon­ear Dis­trict Vo­ca­tional School, which opened in 1964.

589 Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron has the Ki­wa­nis Club to thank for spear­head­ing the drive to form an Air Cadet squadron in the town in 1954. Spon­sor­ship of the Air Cadet squadron was even­tu­ally taken over by the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Branch 23, Car­bon­ear, which con­tin­ues to serve as the spon­sor­ing body.

In 1958, the club spon­sored the town’s first Boys’ Club, which met in the build­ing va­cated by the glove fac­tory, when it closed the year be­fore.

Sup­porter of the arts

Years of lob­by­ing var­i­ous gov­ern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tions for some kind of arts and cul­ture cen­tre in the town fi­nally paid off in 1999 when the Princess Sheila Nageira Theatre opened in Car­bon­ear. The 380-seat theatre con­tin­ues to serve as a venue for the com­pet­i­tive por­tion of the an­nual Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Mu­sic Fes­ti­val as well as the grand con­certs.

The club do­nated the Yamaha grand pi­ano, which can be seen on stage dur­ing com­pe­ti­tions and con­certs.

The venue also hosts nu­mer­ous other mu­si­cal and the­atri­cal events through­out the year.

An­other Ki­wa­nis project, which bears the name of the leg­endary Ir­ish princess, is the Sheila Nageira Park on Pike’s Lane. Built around what, ac­cord­ing to leg­end, is her grave site on Pike’s Lane, the park was opened in 2001. Ki­wa­nis con­tin­ues to main­tain this park each sum­mer.

Projects are end­less

The Ki­wa­nis Club has been in­volved in many projects and sup­ported so many wor­thy causes over the past 60 years, they are too nu­mer­ous to in­clude here.

From send­ing lo­cal pee­wee hockey teams to On­tario and chil­dren’s bands to Ice­land, to spon­sor­ing a town map/brochure and adopt­ing a New­found­land Pony, Ki­wa­nis has made a great con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity it has served for 60 years. They cur­rently sup­port DARE Pro­gram in con­junc­tion with the RCMP; Builders Club, St. Fran­cis High School; Key Club, Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate; Jump Start & Swim for Life pro­grams and much more.


As part of Ki­wa­nis In­ter­na­tional, the Car­bon­ear club has also been in­volved with a pro­gram with UNICEF aimed at erad­i­cat­ing io­dine de­fi­ciency dis­or­der among the world’s chil­dren. They also sup­port HIV/AIDS and the Ma­ter­nal/neo Natal Tetanus Pro­grams.

Global or­ga­ni­za­tion

The Ki­wa­nis Club of Car­bon­ear is part of Ki­wa­nis In­ter­na­tional, a global or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mem­bers are ded­i­cated to serv­ing the chil­dren of the world.

With nearly 600,000 mem­bers, in over 8,000 clubs in 80 coun­tries, the in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion raises more than $107 mil­lion and ded­i­cates over 18 mil­lion vol­un­teer hours to serve chil­dren and strengthen com­mu­ni­ties.

Founded in Detroit in 1915 by Allen S. Browne, Ki­wa­nis adopted its name from an Amer­i­can In­dian phrase, nunc kee­ma­nis, which means, “we trade or we get to­gether.”

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