The Association of Kinsmen Clubs is an organization of young business and professional men gathered together in clubs throughout Canada for the purposes of service and fellowship. By service we mean the rendering of aid and comfort to those of our fellows in need of assistance and by fellowship we mean the bonds of friendship arising through the mutual participation of club members in service activities.
The Association was founded in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, on February 20th, 1920, with Harold A. Rogers as founder. There are now hundreds of clubs and thousands of members. Throughout the years the service achievements of the clubs, both on a local and national scale have been most significant.
The Kinsmen Club of Wallaceburg was founded in 1932 by Jim Burgess, of the local Wallaceburg Brass Burgess family. Burgess was a business contact for the founder of Kinsmen Hal Rogers who coincidently "invented" and designed the flying W initially for the Brass Factory but it became the Town's symbol for many years
Hal Rogers was born January 3, 1899 in London, Ontario. In 1916, at the age of 17, he enlisted with Hamilton's Argyle and Sutherland Battalion but later served in France with the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
In January, 1919, he returned to Canada to start what was to be a successful and varied business career. He founded his own publishing company and later became chairman of the Ontario Telephone Authority, president of the Ontario Development Corporation, Canadian Telephone Rentals Ltd., T.R., Services Ltd., and Beaverton Boatel.
In February, 1920, he founded the Association of Kinsmen Clubs, now known as Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Canada. During World War II, he chaired the National War Services Committee. After the war he was made an Officer of the Order of British Empire in recognition of his leadership and the war efforts of Kinsmen and Kinettes.
He was chairman of the Forest Hill Village Board of Education from 1944 to 1951. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to secondary school education in Ontario, the secondary school teachers of the province made him the first recipient of their "Lamp of Learning".
In 1967, he was awarded the Canada Confederation medal. Later, in 1978, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of Kin service work throughout the nation and abroad. Subsequently, he was made a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction, and, in 1992, when he was 93 years of age, he received the Canada 125 medal.
Hal Rogers passed away on September 15, 1994 at the beginning of the 75th year of the Association of Kinsmen and Kinettes of Canada.
The Name of Harold Rogers new service club was suggested by his father, Charles Rogers, who had been reading an article in the "Saturday Evening Post" which stated that Mark Twain had stayed at a literary club in New York City called the Kinsmen Club. "Pop" Rogers felt that Kinsmen would make a good name for the service club. The original name of the organization was the "Association of Young Business Men's Clubs" and was changed to "Kinsmen" on March 23th, 1920. The Kinettes name evolved from "Kinsmen Wives", "Kinsmen Ladies Club" and "Kinsmenettes" and was formally adopted in 1942.