visits GF-W club
Max Porter recognized
with Life Membership
Traveling from an island in the Caribbean to Canada’s most easterly province—part of which is surrounded by icebergs and cold Atlantic water for the better part of April and May, can be a bone-chilling experience. However, when Kiwanis Governor Hope Markes of Jamaica arrived in the central community of Grand Falls-Windsor Thursday, May 23, she was given a warm welcome that more than made up for the damp weather and seven-degree temperature.
Weeks before, news had been received that the governor for Kiwanis Eastern and Caribbean District (EC&C) would be making a visit and, immediately, planning began for her arrival—under the direction of local Kiwanis president Wendy Houlihan and social chair Jackie Connors. The end result was a banquet at the Golf Club with some 50-plus Kiwanians and their wives/guests in attendance. Traveling with the governor was Lieutenant-Governor of Division 21, EC&C, Eileen St. Croix and her husband, Lloyd White. Both are members of the Gander Kiwanis Club.
Highlights of the evening included the presentation of reports by the president and the various club committee chairs. These reports outlined what the goal of each committee was and a status report given.
The president gave an overview of the various activities of the club, which today boasts a membership of 50. She noted that besides the major undertakings of the year, such as the Central Newfoundland (Kiwanis) Music Festival, Beaumont Hamel Army Cadet Corps, Radio Auction, Calendar project, Turkey Raffle, and school breakfast program, the club was involved on a number of other fronts, such as the Santa Claus Parade, Seniors’ Fair, Community Food Bank, and Corduroy Brook project.
Mrs. Houlihan noted as well the numerous support projects that the Kiwanis Club is involved with throughout the year i.e., Scouts, Red Cross, Cancer Society, local hospital etc. She commented that last year donations by the club totaled $19,000.
Governor Markes—introduced by the lieutenant-governor—commended the club committees on the work they were doing and noted that she had heard a lot of “good things” about the club and the service it was providing in the central area of the province. As well, she underscored the work of the club in terms of what it had achieved over its 50-year history.
The governor challenged the club membership to continue to expand its reach in terms of its “good work”; noting, around the room were to be seen (three) Honours banners that
were of themselves an indication of the spirit of the club and the commitment of the membership.
During the evening the governor, who is the second Jamaican female to serve as governor, and the fifth to do so overall, presented a Governor’s Pin to Elmo Hewlett for his work as a Kiwanian. Mr. Hewlett is a very active member of the Grand Falls-Windsor club, and has been instrumental in initiating a number of new undertakings, complementing other work he does in the community. (This year, as a result, he was nominated by the club’s membership for the town’s Citizen of the Year Award.)
An unexpected announcement was made by Governor Markes when she awarded, on behalf of Kiwanis International, Life Membership to Max Porter, who has served as the Kiwanis Club’s first president in 1959, and in 1961 as chairman of the club’s and area’s first music festival. It proved to make for both a welcomed and an emotional moment for the membership; perhaps summed up in the words of the president, “…a most deserving tribute to a wonderful Kiwanian.”
Mr. Porter, in accepting his award, commented how appreciative he was of such recognition, while at the same time he paid tribute to “those early Kiwanians” who made it possible for him to achieve what he had. One such person he singled out was the late George Anderson, who assumed the presidency of the club during the year Mr. Porter himself was chairman of the first festival.
In 2015 Mr. Porter will serve as Honorary Chairman of celebrations making the 50th anniversary of the Central Newfoundland (Kiwanis) Music Festival. Well-known music teacher and choir director Maxine Stanley will be chairman, the second consecutive year she will have held the position.
Governor Markes was thanked by first vice-president Gary Brinston and presented with a gift on behalf of the club.