In the winter of 1936/37 local citizens saw a need for a service club in Chesley. Early in March of 1937 15 local men and 3 members of the Owen Sound Kinsmen met for a dinner meeting at the MacDonald House. Here the Owen Sound members described the ins and outs of a service club’s operations and what affiliating with an association of service clubs offered rather than standing alone.
Later in the month a second meeting was held at E. B. Caldwell’s office to discuss the various types of service clubs including Kinsmen, Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions. On a motion by W. P. Krug seconded by J. B. C. Rumings a committee was struck to canvass for 30 members and bring forth nominations for a slate of officers in what became the Kinsmen Club of Chesley.
With many of the men interested in starting a service club over 40 years of age it was necessary for the committee to attract as many in the 21 – 40 year range to be able to hold office. This was successful and on April 30, 1937 41 members joined the Kinsmen Club of Chesley on Charter Night.
Below are highlights of the past 80 years:
- 1946 bought the John H Elliot house for $2,800.00 and donated it to the Hospital Board along with committing an additional $2,200.00 to the project.
- 1951 donated $5,000.00 to moving the then privately owned arena to the Community Park where the town would take ownership.
- 1977 donated $ to the building of the Chesley Community Centre and Arena project
- 1984 donated $ to the building of the new Chesley Hospital
- 1986 built the new playground at the community park at a cost of $6000.00.
- 1995 committed $50,000.00 to the Phase 3 addition at Chesley District High School adding a new gymnasium and resource center
- 1995 committed $100,000.00 to the building of the new Chesley and Area Fire Hall
- 2012 committed $20,000.00 to provide the Fire Department with the ‘Jaws of Life’
- 2015 replaced the playground equipment at the community park at a cost of $16,000.00
- 2017 started the building of a new pavilion at the community park at an estimated cost of $120,000.00