Founder Hal Rogers

Hal_Rogers_rs275x372The founder of our Association was H.A. (Hal) Rogers. Founder Hal was born in London, Ontario on January 3, 1899. For a time he worked in a bank before moving to Hamilton to take up employment in his father’s plumbing sales business. The family business did not prevent seventeen-year old Hal from enlisting in 1916. Hal Rogers had a distinguished military career with his regiment, the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders. Hal returned to Canada in 1919 along with thousands of his fellow soldiers. After re-entering the plumbing business, Hal applied for membership to the Rotary Club but was rejected. Since his father was a member, the Club already had a plumbing salesperson representing that vocation. Rotary’s loss was our gain. Hal decided to start his own service Club. As Hal saw it, young men should preserve in peace the ideal of service to Canada. Encouraged by his father, Hal invited 11 young men to the Namking Cafe in Hamilton to start the first Kinsmen Club. This first Kinsmen meeting was held on February 20, 1920 and from there the Association grew. Hal served as President from 1920 – 1923. He kept his interest in the Association in spite of moving to Toronto and starting his own career as owner of a publishing house. During World War II, Hal chaired the Kinsmen “Assistance for Britain” committee and was instrumental in the Milk For Britain program. In 1948 he was made an “Officer of the British Empire”. In 1959, he was made a Life Member of the Association. This was presented to Hal in Prince Albert by a prominent past Kinsman, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. In 1980, Hal was made a member of the Order of Canada in Ottawa. On September 15th, 1994, Founder Hal passed away at the age of 95 years. The life of the Canadian nation has been enriched by the good idea of “Kinship” spread and served by Founder Hal Rogers 0.B.E., 0.C.