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Civitan International marks centennial, Pembroke chapter honours 60th

By Celina Ip


2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Civitan International along with the 60th anniversary of the local chapter here in Pembroke.

SUBMITTED 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Civitan International along with the 60th anniversary of the local chapter here in Pembroke.

Civitan International has been serving communities around the world with acts of kindness and goodwill for the past 100 years.


In 1917, exactly 100 years ago, that the first Civitan International service club was founded in Birmingham, Alabama.

As stated on the Civitan International website, the organization was built around the global mission to “build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving individual and community needs, with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities”.

Over the years, the organization branched out globally with clubs popping up all over North America, in West Africa, in the Philippines and in Norway.

By 1957, 60 years ago, Pembroke was honoured to open the doors to the city’s own local Civitan Club.

Ever since its inception, the local club has undertaken an extensive and ever-growing list of projects to offer support wherever it’s needed most within the community.

Annually, the club hosts their 13th Monkey Paintball fundraiser event in support of Camp Buckle, they host free monthly Bingo events for the residents at Carefor, they donate hundreds of Christmas cards to Carefor and Miramichi Lodge and they make regular donations to the Salvation Army and the St. Joseph’s Food Bank.

“Our annual donation to Camp Buckle is very important. It’s a camp devoted to kids who have suffered from burns. It's an awesome camp where these kids get to go and they get to be kids. They don’t get teased or scrutinized or they don’t have to hide. When you first get there they always have their hoodies and long pants on, but by the end of camp they’re running around in their bathing suits and having a great time,” said Tarrant.

The club has also shaped and beautified the city’s landscape by funding Riverside Park’s mini-golf range and the lighting above the ball park, along with donating a gazebo to Pansy Patch Park.

With 2017 marking both the 100th anniversary of Civitan International and the 60th year of the Pembroke Civitan Club, celebrations are in order.

To honour both milestones, the Pembroke Civitan Club will be engaging in an act of charity that will pay tribute to the anniversaries while also living out the Civitan International mission of serving individual and community needs.

According to Pembroke Civitan Club president-elect Bonnie Tarrant, later this year the club will be donating 160 Teddy Bears to emergency response services in the area.

“We wanted to do something to celebrate those 100 years and to also make a statement for us being 60 years old. So we went to a couple local businesses to see if they could help us purchase bears at a reasonable price and Dizzy Lizzy's was more than willing to help us out with that,” said Tarrant. “

The bears will be divided up among ambulance, fire and police services. When the paramedics, firefighters or police officers encounter an individual who is sick or in distress, they will support and comfort the victim by offering them a Teddy Bear.

“For example, if a child is in distress because they were in a car accident and their parents were hurt but the child wasn’t hurt, then that’s what the bear is for – giving them something to hold onto and cuddle,” said Tarrant. “We chose Teddy Bears as opposed to any other animal stuffies because the Teddy Bears are known to provide a calming reflex. Kids are more apt to take a bear than they are to take anything else. So we're getting different types of bears but they're all going to be bears.”

The club will also be honouring their 60th by hosting a celebratory dinner on May 27th at the Pembroke Knight of Columbus.

According to Tarrant, more details and ticket information will be publicized over the next month.

“It’s an important milestone to celebrate because the Civitan Club has done so much to benefit individuals and the entire community,” said Tarrant. we may be a small club but the amounts we do donate would be missed and whatever we raise we put it back into the community.”

For more information on the Pembroke Civitan Club or to become a member, contact or

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