Kiwanis Club of Ottawa to host the Kiwanis District Convention in August 2002

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is the official host of the E. C. & C. District Convention, to be held Thursday, August 1st to Saturday, August 3rd. Our fellow clubs in Divisions 12 & 13 will be asked to assist in hosting this event, and we will need the involvement of many members of our own club to host Kiwanians and guests from across our vast District.

The Convention itself will be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre, and the Official hotel will be the Westin Hotel. Rooms are being blocked in a number of other hotels in the area, offering delegates a choice of accommodation and pricing. Activities will begin on the Monday preceding, and the incoming Board of Trustees will go through two days of training sessions. The then current Board of Trustees will meet just prior to the Convention.

It is anticipated that 700-800 people will attend the convention, providing an opportunity to showcase our beautiful capital to Canadians and Kiwanians from the Caribbean Islands and as far off as Surinam.

A good convention combines the right blend of business, education, inspiration, and enjoyment. Hosting a convention gives host Kiwanians an opportunity to participate in this great Kiwanis experience, something many never do unless they be-come officers and directors.

Kiwanian volunteers will be needed to help on committees such as Registration, Credentials, Program, Hospitality, Facilities, Publicity, Sponsorships & Exhibits, Finance, Guest Pro-gram, and Youth Program. A number of our club members have already agreed to head up these functions.

The last convention hosted by Ottawa was in 1977, although Hull has served as host since that time. One of the unusual aspects of the 1977 Convention was that during the year the Governor, Jack Chivers from Montreal, died suddenly part way through his term, and the Immediate Past Governor, Ken Smith, had to come back and serve out the balance of the term.

Some personal memories of 1977 come to mind:

1) A few days before, we "adopted" two abandoned newborn kittens born under our cottage. My wife Nancy modified a doll's bottle to feed them and they needed frequent feeding, so we had to bring them to the convention in a carry bag. Many people at the spouses luncheon at the Chateau Montebello did not know what was in the bag, but the weak "mews" were the forerunner of the chirping cell phones of today!

2) Yours truly was asked to run the workshop for incoming Presidents. Rather than the typical lecture, I put together a team from my club (I was in Montreal) and we put on a mock Kiwanis meeting, demonstrating all the things you should not do! These were all gaffes and mess-ups I had seen in clubs, and unfortunately you see too many of them in clubs to this day. But it was a riot, and the audience sure remembered how NOT to run a meeting!

One of the current needs is to come up with a catchy convention theme - one that reflects our city and is easily adopted to French. Ideas such as "Ottawa 2002 -a Capital IDEA!" come to mind. What can you offer? A prize awaits.

Keith McGruer joined Kiwanis in 1960 Past President Montreal St. George Club Past EC&C Governor 1981-82 Life Member of Kiwanis