The Southwest Booster
Kiwanis Club of Swift Current - 100 Years of Building Part Six, 1971 to 1981
During 2021, the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current celebrates its 100th anniversary. This is the sixth of 10 articles summarizing club projects and activities during ten decades of service.
The 1970’s saw technological advancements such as an Apollo moon landing, the introduction of Apple computers, and the first commercial Concorde flights. It was an era of unrest: Canada’s FLQ
Crisis in Quebec, protests against the War in Vietnam, a hostage crisis at the Munich Summer Olympics, and the beginning of the “Troubles” in Ireland. At home, Swift Current and its local Kiwanis Club continued to forge ahead with new initiatives. The newly formed Allied Arts Council launched Stars for Saskatchewan and several multicultural festivals were held. Swift Current hosted 1,500 athletes for the 1976
Saskatchewan Summer Games. Many Kiwanians served to organize and run the Games.
The Kiwanis Club of Swift Current celebrated its 50th Anniversary in September, 1971. That year annual dues were $35 and apples were sold for $4 a box during the October fundraiser. In 1972, the club was one of the largest clubs in the Western Canada District at 90 members.
In addition to fundraising and organizing service projects, Kiwanis held many social events. Annual Executive Installation nights were gala affairs and families looked forward to each year’s Boxing Day Dance. Spouses were invited (women not yet accepted as members) to a Sweetheart Luncheon each Valentine’s Day. In 1973, the weekly meetings moved from the Skyline Hotel to the Horseshoe
Lodge where the smorg cost $2.50. Meetings were, and still are, held 52 weeks a year and, in addition to business items, offer varied and interesting programs. In 1978, a band named the Kiwanis Kords was established by Kiwanians with a few Rotarians and Lions added in. As many as a dozen members provided programs at nursing homes, hospitals, retirement homes, and Kiwanis club events in Regina, Malta, and Moosomin. An attempt to form an adjunct singing group of Kiwanians failed, presumably due to a dearth of vocal talent.
The Swift Current Club sponsored a new club in Shaunavon and inter-clubbing was popular. Delegations would travel to visit clubs in Shaunavon, Medicine Hat, Regina, Moose Jaw, Malta, and Havre. Some Kiwanian snowbirds even visited clubs in Mesa, Carefree, and Tempe, Arizona. September 14, 1979, a Golden K Club, the Prairie
Pioneers, was formed in Swift Current.
During the 70s, the Kiwanis Talent Festival was held annually, with winners eligible for further provincial competition. Kiwanis organized the first, and only, Snowman Festival in 1972. Can’t count on snow in Southwest Saskatchewan. Kiwanians began delivering Mealson-wheels in the 70s and continued to sponsor the Swift Current Junior Band. Christmas tree sales continued to be a major fundraiser and, in 1980, raised a record $7,000 thanks to the citizens of Swift Current.
In response to intensifying Halloween vandalism in the city, the Kiwanis club organized the first Spookerama in 1978. Before long, local teens viewed Spookerama as the place to be and the notion of mayhem on Halloween night disappeared.