In February the acting mayor Mario Feldhoff proclaiming February 16 to 21 as Kin Week with Kinsmen Sharole Bell

Kitimat Kinsmen have long history in the town

For almost 60 years the Kitimat Kinsmen club have provided a community service.

Perhaps you can just call them the fellowship of the Kin.

Kitimat’s Kinsmen’s Club has been one of the fixtures of Kitimat for decades.

The local club itself formed in 1956. Now, 59 years later, the club continues to be an active centre which is responsible for a number of events from the supermarket sweep raffle to the lead organizers of the annual Canada Day parade in Kitimat.

The current club President Marie Striker has held the position so far just for this year and has been a member for three but has found the Kinsmen a valuable club.

“I know a lot of the members. I’ve been wanting to join a service group for some time,” she said. “So…a friend of mine said ‘do you want to join Kinsmen with me?’ and I said yes.”

Striker has a family history of joining community groups, such as her dad who was a long-time Elks member and later a member of the Gyros club.

The Kinsmen, she said, is about joining in a social circle to do good work.

“Kinsmen is a type of family organization,” she said. “One of our biggest [causes], nationwide, is cystic fibrosis.”

“Locally, we help out a lot of the local charity organizations too, especially the food bank and the food share program,” she added.

Last year the club bought enough food for the food share to feed 50 families.

They also organize the Canada Day parade each year, and have started hosting a Kitimat Easter Egg hunt.

There’s a lot more the club does too, which is impressive in that the club right now has about seven active members.

“We are always looking for new faces,” said Striker, who says people can always flag down a Kinsmen member to bring them to their meetings.

The meetings themselves are the first Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the lunchroom at Viking Construction.

“We try to get in, we try to do things for the community,” said Striker, noting the club also lends a hand to other community groups when needed.

The bottom line though is that being a part of the Kinsmen, for her, is rewarding and offers her the opportunity to meet people. She said community groups like Kinsmen are great ways to get involved and to meet people.

“To me it’s a great way to meet people… You meet people, not just in your hometown, you meet people all across the province if you’re doing conventions and stuff like that.”


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