On March 5th, 1935 the first two service clubs in Cornwall, the Kiwanis Club Inc. and the Kinsmen Club Inc., held a joint luncheon meeting with the guest speaker being Captain W.C.C Innes. The topic of that address was, “Federal Income Tax and how it may be abolished”. These two Clubs continued to meet, twice a year, and were joined in 1940 by the Cornwall Lions Club.
Sometime in 1945 the “Cornwall Service Club Council” was formed, with the first President being Kiwanian Mac Good. Mr. Good was largely responsible for organizing this event. The Clubs that made up the Council were the Kiwanis (chartered in 1927), the Kinsmen (chartered in 1933), the Royal Canadian Legion (chartered in 1939) and the Lions (chartered in 1940). The objective of this Council was to co-ordinate the fund raising activities, as to timing, of these different Clubs within the City.
The name today is the “Cornwall and District Service Club Council” which has varied in size from 19 clubs to its present 14 clubs.
As well as the original four clubs the Knight of Columbus Council 755 (chartered in 1903), the Catholic Woman's League (chartered in 1926, Kinette Club (chartered in 1942), Cornwall Optimist (chartered in 1948), Royal Canadian Air Force Assoc. -Wing 424 (chartered in 1950), Cornwall Rotary (chartered in 1950), Army, Navy & Air Force-Unit 342 (chartered in 1960) , Lancaster Optimist (chartered in 1987), The Cornwall Seaway Lions (chartered in 1980), and Cornwall Rotary-Sunrise (chartered in 1989) make up the Council. The latest Club to join the Council was Club Richelieu.
At some point in time or perhaps at the beginning, member Clubs of the Council drafted a constitution that consisted of a President, Vice President, Secretary and a Treasurer. Member Clubs would hold these positions and its representative would run the activities of the Council. This constitution has been amended several times, the latest being in the year 2003.
The Constitution of the Cornwall & District Service Club Council allows Clubs of the Council to appoint two (2) members from each Club to represent it at the Council table. Regular monthly meeting are held at the Legion to review correspondence and make others aware of the different fund raising activities to see that none are in conflict. The Council does not meet in July and August, unless the President deems it necessary to hold one.
It is the responsibility of the Club that holds the Office of President to have its representative conduct meetings of the Council and host the Annual Service Club Dinner, which would be held in Brotherhood Week.
It is the responsibility of the Club that holds the Office of Vice President to organize the Council’s Annual Curling Bonspiel, which takes place early in the New Year, before its representative became the New President of the Council at the Annual Dinner in February.
A rotation list exists of the Clubs of the Council which is amended as the new officers of next years Council are sworn into office at the Annual Dinner meeting. A Club that turns down the office of Treasurer goes to the bottom of this the rotation list and any Club that does not proceed through the chairs goes to the bottom of the rotation list.
In 1948, the Service Club Council assumed the operations of the Cornwall Children’s Christmas Fund. This Fund has a Board of Directors that controls its operations, but does report to the Council after its A.G.M. The Children’s Christmas Fund has been the only common fund raiser for all Clubs of the Council.
In May of 2000 the Clubs of the Service Club Council voted to assume the Sponsorship of the Santa Claus Parade. A committee of Council was formed to operate this activity and does report directly to Council on its activities.