After 82 years of service to the community, the Hanover Kinsmen Club has folded.
It was with heavy hearts and mixed emotion that the Hanover Kinsmen made the very difficult decision to disband.
Dwindling numbers and aging members made it impossible to continue going.
By the time the club folded on June 30th, there were only 12 members left, three of who had announced plans to resign due to advanced age.
Member Pat Murphy says the Kinsmen Club had been struggling with the decision to disband for a year now.
He says it was not an easy decision, but it came down to the fact that without fresh blood the organization could not survive.
Murphy says the only way to resurrect the Kinsmen Club would be if the younger generation stepped forth with the same intensity that the Kinsmen have always had.
As for the annual Kinsmen Club Santa Clause Parade, which the Kinsmen have been hosting since 1963, the torch has been passed to the Hanover Rotary Club.
Former Treasurer Carl Holst is grateful the Rotary Club has been willing to take over the parade, but admits it will be bittersweet attending the event this December after all of the years of Kinsmen involvement.
Like Murphy, Holst echoes the challenge of not having enough young members to keep the Kinsmen Club going.
He says the younger generation is quite busy and volunteering with a service club can be challenging for many.
Over the years the Kinsmen Club has played a very positive role in the community.
Murphy notes they have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support various project including: the original Kinsmen Pool, the Kinsmen Ball Diamonds, the original community centre and the Aquatic Centre to name just a few.
Both Holst and Murphy have been active members of the Kinsmen Club for almost 30 years and view their time as Kinsmen as both an honour and privilege.