Category Archives: Initiatives

National Bursary Award Winner

Kinsmen president Cory Friesenhan, left, presents a symbolic bursary check to graduating student Katie Cornett.  Katie graduated this year from Ladysmith Secondary School and plans to attend Vancouver Island University this coming fall.

The bursary, for $1,000, is part of the Kinsmen founder Hal Rogers Foundation Fund. This year the national program gave out 70 bursaries across Canada to students who plan on continuing their education in many different fields.

Downtown Washroom Project – Award Winner!

It might not be something that every BC community would like to brag about, but Ladysmith has just been named a winner in the field of bathrooms. We all know the town is a winner but in this situation it’s the new downtown public washrooms that have earned top honours. Well, top honours amongst the Kinsmen Clubs of BC. This past weekend the Kin and Kinette Clubs of District Five (B.C.) held their annual provincial Kinvention in Duncan. During the year clubs and members, as well as doing community work, compete for various awards. The highest, most sought-after award is the District Governor’s Service Shield, which is presented to the Kin or Kinette Club that has been determined to have done the best community service project in the province. The purpose of the award is to encourage service projects, judged on a basis which assess true value to the community, its citizens and to the Club in such a manner that all clubs, new and old, small and large, may compete equally.

Outgoing Ladysmith president, Cory Friesenhan, said, “We were surprised and hugely proud when our project was announced. Our members felt we had a good chance at winning but we also were in it with every other club in BC so can’t take anything for granted.” There is over 60 clubs in B.C. and almost 1,200 members in the province. The local club has 16 members. “The one thing that we know,” stated Friesenhan, “is we know we can finish the job. When we take on a project with the community, it might take us longer, but we’ll do the best dam job we can till we get it done.”

“This isn’t the first time our club has achieved this honour,” project co-chair Duck Paterson said. “When we built the spray park, at Transfer Beach, we got the top marks then and in 2012 we re-built the Kinsmen Park (Brown Dr.) playground and not only did that win the provincial service award but it also won the Canadian national service award,” he went on. “The biggest thing we have on our side,” said Paterson, “is we have the community working with us. The support we get from local businesses and other organizations, as well as the Town, really makes it possible for our members, and other volunteers, to help make a difference. We can’t do these things on our own, we’re cool at cooking hot dogs, but going beyond that we are always looking for additional help and Ladysmith steps forward.”

As part of the submission, the club had to send to the district awards committee was a detailed budget along with the plan and program on how the project was completed. Kinsmen Mike Richardson, project co-chair, said, “We could do the submission pretty quickly, but when it came time to do the actual costing, that was almost impossible,” he said. “We had so many hours donated by many businesses and contractors as well as equipment time and a huge amount of the fixtures, so what the washrooms did cost and should have cost is quite a bit different,” he said. The amount of money the club spent to build the washrooms was almost $100,000. “If we had just gone out and hired a contractor and built the washrooms the regular way the price tag would have been over $147,000 plus,” said Richardson.

The Kinsmen started talking about constructing downtown washrooms in 2018. After a couple of years, the club got serious when Covid arrived, it really showed the need to have public accessible washrooms downtown. “What we wanted to do,” said Paterson “was to make them different. We wanted them to be unique so that they would add to the Ladysmith experience,” he said. The washrooms have a blue sky with fluffy cloud ceilings and also a ‘window’ that has a view of the water, as well there is a planter out front with flowers and a bench plus a water bottle filler/drinking fountain. All the fixtures are motion activated and there is a utility room so that town staff can keep all supplies, etc right at the building for efficiency.

The club’s winning project will now go to Kinsmen National where it will be viewed along with the other nine district winners. The winner of the Canadian competition will be announced at the association’s annual Kinvention in Halifax in mid-August.

Podium for Ladysmith Secondary School

The Ladysmith Kinsmen present the Ladysmith Secondary School with a new podium.  Over the years, especially for the June grad ceremonies, the school has called Kinsmen to see if they could find a podium that the school could borrow for their annual graduation ceremonies.


This past spring the Kin members decided that it was about time that the club rectified this problem so they bought a new podium from local company Madill the Office Company and had local signmaker Spyder Graphix put the school name and logo on it.

Kinsmen members Al Moore and Brian Bancroft were on hand to present the podium to L.S.S. principal Dave Travers and vice principal Laura Harrison.

Photo by Duck Paterson.

Kinsmen Donate to Ladysmith Museum

Pictured are Kinsmen members Duck Paterson (left) and Mike Richardson (right) being socially-distanced from Museum president Quinten Goodbody (centre).

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Ten years ago the Ladysmith Kinsmen were approached by the Ladysmith Historical Society to see if they could help to build a wheelchair ramp for the Museum. They had been approached by some visitors who could not access the facility because of the stairs-only entrance. Almost ten years later the Museum folks have again approached the Kinsmen for help.

The lower portion of the Ladysmith Museum, as well as the window trim and the access ramp is in much need for a fresh coat of paint. After receiving an ask, from the Museum, the Kinsmen decided to donate $500.00 to the museum so that they could so their improvements to the Town’s museum.
The museum volunteers will be doing the painting, while the museum is closed behind the Covid curtain, the volunteers are making some changes and improvements to some of the displays inside as well as an entirely new exhibit as you enter the facility.

Kinsmen President, James Delcourt, said:

“The club is really impressed with what the museum volunteers are doing. The time they put into the museum, as well as the quality of the exhibits we have in our museum, are great.”

Delcourt went on to say:

“We were pleased to be able to build the ramp for the museum back then and we’re happy to again being part of improving this marvellous gem of a museum.”

Ladysmith Lightning Fastball

Members of the Ladysmith Lightning Fastball team show off their new uniforms that the Ladysmith Kinsmen helped to sponsor.

The Kinsmen members believe in helping young people to be able to participate in sports and a healthy life style.  The club assists many youth groups and clubs in the Ladysmith area.

Pictured with the Lightning players are Kinsmen Chris Saunders, Steve Dinsmore and Mike Sumptner.

Ladysmith Orcas

This picture was taken at their wind-up practice, for the summer, at the Frank Jameson Community Centre.  The Kinsmen are a great contributor to the Orca Swim Club and this past Kin Year, members donated $500 so the swimmers could get more training and more time in the FJCC Pool.

As one of the many youth organizations the local Kinsmen sponsor, we are very proud of the members of the club.

Kinsmen believe in young people getting involved in sports and other activities where it gives them a better opportunity for a healthier lifestyle as well as to use their minds.

Little League Scoreboard

Ladysmith Baseball Association

The Ladysmith Kinsmen Club donated an electronic remote scoreboard to the Ladysmith Baseball Association. The club purchased the scoreboard for $7,500 and then provided $3,000 to the Baseball Association to cover some of the cost of the installation.

Ladysmith Baseball Association

B.C. Hydro donated the new hydro pole to bring the power into Little League Park and two Hydro employees volunteered, on their time, to come down and dig the hole and set up the pole.

The Kinsmen also provided power to the Ladysmith Community Gardens so they could have electricity for their project. DC Installations did the bulk of the work as well Howie Davis volunteered to fix-up and clean the 10×10  beams to hold the sign. M.R. Richardson Construction donated the time and material to setup the posts and all the concrete was donated by Mayco Mix Concrete.

“This is the second time the Kinsmen have invested funds in a scoreboard for Little League Park. Ten years ago the club spent $9,000 to have a remote scoreboard installed but unfortunately the company went bankrupt the the club lost all the funds…  so now it’s second time lucky” according to club spokesman Duck Paterson.

“Our members are very happy that it has now happened and Little League Park now has more of a professional look for the kids to play on”.  Paterson said.

“What this community does for it’s young people is fantastic, and our club really appreciates the help we received on this and also to all the coaches, parents and everyone involved in working with the kids”

Ladysmith Secondary School Donation

Ladysmith Kinsmen Treasurer, Mike Richardson (left) and Club President, Jason Kelland, present a check for $2,000 to Ladysmith Secondary School Vice Principal, Liliane De Oliveira, and School Counsellor, Sandra Milne.

Treasurer Mike Richardson (left) and President Jason Kelland (right)

The funds were donated to help support the school’s lunch program so that students in need can be guaranteed a full healthy lunch while at school.

Nutsumaat Syaays Welcoming Figure

The Ladysmith Kinsmen Club recently donated $1,000 to the Nutsumaat Syaays Welcoming Figure project at Ladysmith Secondary School.

Nutsumaat Syaays Welcoming Figure
Kinsmen Treasurer Mike Richardson, Coast Salish artist John Marston, Kinsmen President Jason Kelland and Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone

The Nutsumaat initiative is a multi-phase project with students learning traditional weaving, language as well as local history and Stz’uminus culture.

The Welcoming Figure is, at present, being worked on by John Marston and students in the foyer of Ladysmith Secondary.  It is planned to have the figure finished by September and a special “unveiling” will be held at that time.