CIVITAN IN CANADA

 HISTORY 

Civitan was introduced to Canada in Hamilton, Ontario in 1925 thus making Civitan an international organization within eight years of chartering the first Civitan Club in Birmingham, Alabama. The Hamilton Civitan Club was chartered under Charter Number 153 on May 16, 1925.

 

The Hamilton Civitan Club membership was drawn from the medical profession, clergy and other professionals. The majority were returned veterans of the First World War. The Hamilton members represented a sophisticated cross section of the community life and were inclined to stress the companionship of the armed forces without the discipline.  The objectives of the Hamilton Civitan Club were to provide companionship, fun, recreation, charitable and community welfare efforts. Unfortunately, the Civitan International affiliation was shed to meet a general desire of the members for an organization free from strict rules, regulations and disciplinary action.  (The Civitan affiliation was shed less than two years.)

 

Civitan International was firmly re-established in Canada with the chartering of the Downtown Toronto Civitan Club, charter number 264 on January 29th, 1932.

The Downtown Toronto Civitan Club's membership was drawn from a group of dedicated professionals who had their meetings at lunch time. It was this club which was responsible for introducing the March of Dimes fund raising and were the founders of Variety Village. The club became the Mother Club of Canadian Civitan by sponsoring the West Toronto Club, charter number 564, on November 16, 1948. The West Toronto Civitan Club produced two Governors for Canadian Civitan, sponsored the first bus for challenged people and provided and maintained wheelchairs for MS patients.

On July 1, 1949, Canadian Civitan clubs became the Ontario District. Ernie Moore was the first Governor of this new District and went on to become the first President of Civitan International from outside of the United States.

 

On July 1, 1954, we shed the Ontario District name, having chartered our first club in Quebec on January 10, 1954.  David Urquhart was named the first Governor of the newly formed Ontario-Quebec District.  Civitan in Canada continued to grow, adding clubs in Scarborough, Sarnia, Port Credit, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Victoria Village, Burlington, Lakeshore, Cornwall and Pembroke.

 

On July 1, 1961, the Canadian District was formed under the direction of Governor J.R. Pearsall.  During the next four years Civitan grew at an unprecedented rate.  On July 1, 1965, the Canadian Civitan Clubs became a zone of Civitan International when divided into two districts.  They were given Zone 5 of which Gord Bates was named the first vice-president of this newly created zone.   The two districts were named: Canadian District East and Canadian District West.  Canadian District East consisted of 10 clubs and Canadian District West consisted of 20 clubs. 

Junior Civitan in Canada

Junior Civitan was established in Canada under Charter number 153, on March 26, 1957 as the East Toronto Junior Civitan Club. The East Toronto Civitan Club was the sponsor. A second junior club was not chartered until March 13, 1970. This club was sponsored by Midland. A Canadian Junior Civitan District was formed on May 14, 1974 at Midland, Ontario. Al Hunkler from the Brampton Junior Civitan Club was elected the first Governor of Canadian Junior Civitan.

Civitan International Foundation of Canada Formed

Civitan International Foundation of Canada was established in 1971. The Canadian Foundation provides the same advantages to Canadians as the International Foundation provides to the U.S.A. Registered with the Federal Government, we have a charitable tax number and are authorized to issue Income Tax Receipts for donations received.

 

Sno-Do Formed

The Kitchener-Waterloo Civitan Club introduced Civitan to Sno-Do in 1976, a 100-mile marathon structured on the basis of a run-a-thon; however, in the case of Sno-Do 100, the course is run on snowmobiles. The drivers are responsible for raising pledges and collecting money for each mile completed. A small percentage of the funds raised were originally used to support Canadian District West and the remainder of the funds deposited with the Canadian Civitan Foundation. The funds were then redirected to the charities of the individual participating clubs choice. Now all monies are forwarded from the Canadian Foundation to the Civitan International Research Centre. Sno-Do 100 has subsequently become a major Junior Civitan project of International scale with Junior Governors from all over North America taking part in this event each winter, which is hosted by the Canadian Junior Civitan.

International Conventions held in Canada

The first International Convention outside of the United States was held in Toronto on June 24-27, 1934.  International Conventions have been held in Toronto three other times; June 16-18, 1948; June 18-21, 1961 and July 17-20, 1994. Montreal hosted a Civitan International Convention from June 29 to July 2, 1969.  July 2003 marked the first time that Ottawa was the site of a Civitan International Convention.

At the Civitan International Convention held in Ottawa in July of 2003, William *Bill* Hiscott of the Mississauga Civitan Club was elected as International President-elect.  Bill has the honour of being the second Canadian in the history of the organization to hold the title of Civitan International President

At the International Convention in Tallinn Estonia, July 2012, Robert *Bob* Robinson of the Civitan Club of Perth was elected as International President-elect.  Bob became the third Canadian in the history of the organization to hold the title of Civitan International President. 

Canadian District East

On November 10, 2016 Civitan Canadian District East split into two districts. Canada True North & Canadian Northern Lights

Civitan Club of Perth Inc. 2019

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