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Kiwanians mark 96th anniversary of their charter

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer


Members of the Kiwanis Club of Pembroke gathered Saturday evening to mark 96 years of community service during its annual anniversary and charter night.

The evening dinner, held at Anthony's Italian Grill, was an occasion to mark the many decades of service to the area as well as honour those members who have made outstanding contributions. The Kiwanis Club's charter night marks the moment when the club first organized on April 25, 1922, and was chartered June 6 of the same year.

One of the special highlights of the dinner was the presentation of the Mel Osborne Fellowship to past-president Raghavan Vijay and past-president Doug Fee. Named for Kiwanis International past-president Mel Osborne, the Fellowship is awarded to Kiwanians and individuals for outstanding service and dedication and for those whose efforts have contributed to the growth and work of Kiwanis.

Vijay and his wife, Vidiya, immigrated to Canada in 1968 and began his work as an educator in 1971. Over 32 years, he taught English at Fellowes and Champlain high schools serving as department head for nine years.

“His love of the English was surpassed only by his dedication to his students,” said past-president Bob McLaughlin, who was joined by past lieutenant-governor Mac Plaunt in presenting the Fellowship. “He is admired and respected by his students, their parents, and his colleagues to this day.”

Vijay joined the club in 2002 and served as president from 2011 to 2012. He also chaired the field house committee and has co-chaired the Kiwanis Music Festival since 2014. On Oct. 1, 2018, Vijay will begin a two-year term as division lieutenant-governor following in the footsteps of other Pembroke Kiwanians Bob Pilot, Joyce Moore-Cowan, Jay McLaren and Plaunt. Known for his eloquence and mastery of words, Vijay found himself nearly speechless when accepting the honour.

“This makes me feel very humble,” he said. “I accept this with much humility.”

Fee, an engineer and former CEO of Ottawa River Power Corporation, joined the club in 2007. He soon became a director and served as president from 2015 to 2016. He later took on the role of treasurer and club bulletin editor. Fee also initiated and organized the Great Pembroke Turtle Race and has co-chaired the Kiwanis Music Festival.

“He supports all club fundraisers and service projects,” added McLaughlin. “He has done all this quietly, competently, unassumingly and in a seemingly effortless manner, all the while supported by his charming wife, Sheila.”

Thanking the membership, Fee said it was quite an honour noting how important the Music Festival and the Turtle Race have meant to the community.

The club also presented the Legion of Honour Award to six Kiwanians who have achieved 25 years of membership or more. Past-president Gerry Binhammer, who served in that role in 1968, and past-president Gene Murphy, who led the club in 1976, were honoured for 55 years of service. Past-president Larry Fisher, who served in that capacity in 1981, was recognized for 45 years of service. Past-president Bob Pilot, who served in that role in 1993 and is a past lieutenant-governor, was recognized for 30 years. Scott Edmonds and Tony Donnelly were also recognized for 30 years.

The evening also featured a solo by vocalist Luna Nordholt, accompanied by Schroeder Nordholt. Luna, who completed at this year's Kiwanis Music Festival, later received the Labine Printer Trophy and Fraser Sports Association Award and Medal of Excellence. There was also a string performance from Bobbi Lavoie, who also competed at this year's festival and received the Medal of Excellence. Renee Kong played the piano and later received the Harvey and Myrtle Forrest Trophy, the Pembroke Legion Trophy, the Kiwanis/Marjorie Ford Award and the Medal of Excellence for her accomplishments at the Kiwanis Music Festival. 

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