Theresa Johnston, Ponoka Kinettes president, speaks to the gathering of current and former Kinsmen and Kinettes at the 100 year recognition ceremony for the Kinsmen on Feb. 22. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka Kin clubs celebrates Kin Canada’s 100 year anniversary

A club known for its community service work and being instrumental in supporting civilians in Britain during WWII has just marked 100 years as an organization.

Kin Canada, better known as the Kinsmen, turned 100 as of Feb. 20. That’s why the Ponoka Kinsmen and Kinettes hosted a celebration at Hudson’s Green on Feb. 22 for all current and former members.

Around 30 people attended to enjoy some fellowship and absorb some of the history through some videos and books that commemorate what the local club has done throughout its time in Ponoka. Some of the former members even shared some of their own memories from their time with the Kinsmen or Kinettes.

The deputy zone governor from Rocky Mountain House, Dustin Bisson, was also in the audience to bring greetings on behalf of the rest of the zone.

“Let’s celebrate this 100 years. It’s pretty amazing what’s been done and there are still a lot of things we can do. It will be awesome to see what the future holds for this organization,” he said.

District governors Darren and Christina York presided over the event with the two Ponoka presidents — Mike York of the Kinsmen and Theresa Johnston of the Kinettes — expressing a few words to the crowd.

“Clubs across the county, on Feb. 20, host an event to recognize Founder’s Day,” Darren York said.

“As it has been a couple of years since the Ponoka club has done something, and it being a milestone anniversary this year, the thought was we would try to go all out for an event.”

He added that a big celebration, with former members welcome, will be held at the national convention this summer in the place where it all began in 1920 — Hamilton, ON.

The Kin flag was raised at the Ponoka Civic Centre as well to commemorate the anniversary.

The celebration also coincided with the local group’s Kin Kindness Day, where volunteers bring various first responders donations of coffee and goodies — this year it was donuts.

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Many of the about 30 people that came to the celebration checked out the books on display that had photos and clippings about the service club’s activities since it started in Ponoka in 1941. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

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