Kiwanis Club of Sydney
The Kiwanis Club of Sydney was organized on November 24, 1923 when it had its inaugural meeting at St. Andrews Hall. Although the club was the 22nd organized in the Ontario-Quebec, Maritimes District, it was the first club in the Atlantic Provinces. It was born only 8 years after the first Kiwanis Club was organized in Detroit, Michigan. Our club was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Quebec City.
The first officers and directors were Arthur MacDonald- President, Dr. J.G.B. Lynch-Vice President, Gerald Murphy-Secretary, Jordan Purdy-Treasurer, Dr. J MacDonald-District Trustee, Colin MacKenzie, Dr. Jack Leadbetter, Frank Morse, Will Torey, Frank Murphy, and Fred Bishop. Total Club membership was 27. The Club made an impact on community life almost immediately.
The first major project of the Sydney club was Camp Mira. The camp was started in 1926 and ran for 30 years. Thereafter, approximately 45 boys and girls attended camp for one-month intervals at alternate months each summer. Over its life, approximately 3,000 children benefited from the summer camp experience, which would remain with them for the rest of their lives. During the camp, Kiwanians would visit the camp and host games and entertainment for the children.
On October 6, 1925, the Sydney Kiwanis Club sponsored the first of four new clubs in its history in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Other clubs which were sponsored by Sydney were St. John's, Newfoundland in 1950, the Sydney Academy Key Club in 1960 and the Cape Breton Golden K in 1984.
Over the years the Club has contributed significant funding to needy individuals in the community. The need was especially great when there was not the social safety net with universal medical and family benefits. Even now, the Club contributes to requests from individuals who fall between the cracks in our social system.