On Saturday evening, January 21st, the Civitan Club of Almonte celebrated its 45th anniversary with a dinner and special recognition presentations.

It was on Saturday, January 22, 1972, that the club president Bill Ritchie received the club’s charter plaque and the 33 charter members received their charter pins.  Constable Ron Pettem, a former charter member of the Perth Civitan Club in 1965, along with a handful of interested individuals, were instrumental in forming the club, which was sponsored by the Carleton Place Civitan Club.

Charter member Peter Guthrie, President Mike Keffer, Past President Ron Pettem and Charter member Paul Cooney. Missing is Charter member Grant Chaplin

With over 100 in attendance, the club’s current President, Mike Keffer, spoke of the many activities and responsibilities that the three active charter members, Paul Cooney, Grant Chaplin and Peter Guthrie, have undertaken in the past 45 years. Paul and Peter were presented with beautiful framed photographs of the Almonte area created by JemmTale Photography. At a later date, a presentation will be made to Grant, who was unable to attend the anniversary dinner. Also in attendance were 11 past presidents, representatives from the Aylmer, Carleton Place, Lanark and Pakenham Civitan Clubs, and the Governor of the newly formed Canadian Northern Lights District, Mark Wright.

Eleven of the Past Presidents, plus a potential President-to-be

The club is as active today as it was in 1972 with members volunteering their time to support many community activities, as well as organizing events to raise funds to support organizations, festivals and special projects. Members can be seen helping at events such Canada Day Celebrations, Celtfest, Puppets-Up, Santa Claus Parades, the North Lanark Highland Games, the NLAS Annual Fair, Fairview Manor parties and Bingos, and the Adopt-a-Highway project. Popular annual club events include the Junior Civitans spaghetti suppers, Apple and Cherry Pie and Tourtiere Days, New Year’s Eve dinner and dance, and Lobster Fest. In addition, the club delivers, sets-up and takes down canopy tents for use during special events and has a good inventory of used medical equipment, such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers and canes, for loan, free of charge, to anyone requiring this type of assistance.

President Mike Keffer, Paul Cooney and Peter Guthrie

As a member of Civitan International, the Civitan Club of Almonte continues to fulfill its mission to build good citizenship by serving individual and community needs with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.