Kiwanis History

Founded in 1915 in Detroit and with headquarters now in Indianapolis, Kiwanis International is a thriving organization of service- and community-minded individuals who support children and young adults around the world. More than 600,000 Kiwanis-family members in 96 countries make their mark by responding to the needs of their communities and pooling their resources to address worldwide issues.

Through these efforts, Kiwanis International truly is "Serving the Children of the World." A typical Kiwanis club is a snapshot of its community, with members from all walks of life and at every step of the career ladder. They are unified in their belief that children and their communities benefit from the efforts of a proficient group of caring and involved volunteers.

In a typical year, Kiwanis clubs invest more than 6.2 million hours and US$100 million in communities around the world. Through these efforts, the Kiwanis organization truly leaves a lasting impression on future generations. Ontario-Quebec-Maritime District The Ontario-Quebec-Maritime District was organized on September 25, 1918, in Toronto, Ontario. At that time the district boasted four clubs: Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

At the first meeting, A.H. Fitzimmons of Ottawa was chosen governor, and he served until October 23, 1919. At that year’s convention in Hamilton, Dean C.E. Jeakins of Brantford was elected governor. On October 29, 1920, at a convention in Ottawa, E.J. L’Esperance of Montreal was elected and he served until October 7, 1921.

The first club in the district and the first club in Canada was Hamilton, which was completed November 1, 1916. Toronto was the second club completed on June 8, 1917. The first change of name for the district came on December 7, 1927, when Maritime was added making the name the Ontario-Quebec-Maritime District. Later, a request was made of the Board for a change of name to Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District to reflect addition of the Caribbean nations.