The Southwest Booster
Kiwanis Club of Swift Current - 100 Years of Building Part Five, 1961 to 1971
During 2021, the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current celebrates its 100th anniversary. This is the fifth of 10 articles summarizing club projects and activities during ten decades of service.
During the 1960’s, Swift Current began to transition from a city economy built around the railway to one reliant on the highway. The opening of the Trans-canada Highway spurred development of new motels, fast-food franchises, and gas stations which catered to motorists. The Kiwanis Club of Swift Current continued to serve the changing needs of the community.
The increasing number of seniors in the city created a demand for facilities. A Provincial Geriatric Centre (later renamed the Palliser Hospital) was built in 1963. Swift Current’s Kiwanis Club purchased a public address system for the new Palliser Hospital. The club also purchased materials for rehabilitation activities, serving wagons, wheelchairs, and furniture needed in both the Palliser and Pioneer Lodge.
In the 1960’s, Kiwanis continued to support the Elmwood Park Swimming Pool contributing to the costs of maintenance and wages. The Malta Student Exchange program continued to be popular and donations to the Union Hospital, Palliser, and Pioneer Lodge were sustained. Kiwanis Park was further beautified by the addition of flower beds and a fountain. The club donated $4,500 to the new Centennial Civic
Centre (now Credit Union iplex). The Kiwanis Minor Leagues Baseball Park was developed north of the Civic Centre with bleachers, dugouts, and chain-link fencing installed. A grant of $10,000 was approved for the new Sheltered Workshop (renamed the Kiwanis Centre for the Handicapped and now Saskabilities).
Several other initiatives were undertaken. The club sponsored a Farmer/rancher Night and hosted luncheons for teachers new to the city each fall and for the Ministerial Association during Lent. Students were sent from local collegiates to the opening of the Saskatchewan Legislature and academic bursaries were presented to deserving graduates. The club gave financial support to the Swift Current
Junior Band the year it won two major awards at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. They also supported the Golden Prairie Strings when that orchestra performed at Expo ’67.
The local Kiwanis club was active through the years in the affairs of Kiwanis International which, in 1962, expanded into countries outside of the USA and Canada. The local club regularly received awards in recognition of their service projects. Between 1921 and 1971, nine members of the Swift Current club had served as Lieutenant-governor of Division 4 (comprised of southern Saskatchewan clubs) within the Western Canada District.
Kiwanis International and, hence, the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current subscribe to the following defining statement: “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.”
Excerpts for this article were gleaned from “Fifty Years of Building” by J. Baden Campbell