Bill Mitchell Memorial Trophy

Bill Mitchell was the owner of a lumber yard in St. Catharines. He was a bachelor and a very popular person. He was well liked by everyone and he could fit in with any type of company.

As a charter member of the St. Catharines Kiwanis Club, he gave freely of his time and although he never became a Director of Officer of the Club, he was involved in all projects and in everything the Club did but always quietly and in the background.

The Club, in its early days, was more or an integrated and hardworking fun group than it is today. Members knew each other very well. They worked together during these tough times of the 30’s on many projects which involved labour and considerable time and as a result, much sociability. Bill Mitchell was always around for every Chairman whenever he was needed by them.

He was missed at his death in 1940 and as a result, the Club set up the Bill Mitchell Memorial Trophy in his memory with the idea that it would be awarded to the Kiwanian who worked quietly and unheralded on all Kiwanis projects. The winner was to be a “real” Kiwanian who worked behind the scenes on all projects, whether they were Kiwanis or community projects. The winner could not be an Officer of the Club, and was preferably not to be a Director, although Directors were not ruled out completely.

As the Club had only about 40 members, everyone pretty well knew who the winner would be in any given year, but it is to be emphasized in those days that there were no hard or fast rules laid down as to whom the winner would be. Times change however, and we now have a Club of 85 members with many of these members on the move from job to job, city to city, and with a reasonable turnover of members and with new members continually coming in, we find that the intimate overall Club feeling is difficult to maintain.

The Bill Mitchell Memorial Trophy has in the past few years perhaps wandered from the real intent of the original donors and we should therefore in the year 1968 learn from and honour the past, but we must live in accordance with the social climate of the day. Therefore, may I respectfully submit the following rules for the granting of the Bill Mitchell Memorial Trophy be reduced to writing. They are as follows:

1. Any active member of the St. Catharines Kiwanis Club, except an Officer of the Club (which shall include the past president) shall be an eligible recipient of the trophy.

2. Preference shall be given to members who are not Directors of the Club, but Directors shall be eligible.

3. The Board of Directors shall appoint a Committee of three past presidents who by September 1 st in each year shall report to the Board of Directors the names of the three people who shall be nominated for the Bill Mitchell Memorial Trophy.

4. A committee so appointed by the Board of Directors shall select three Kiwanians from the St. Catharines Kiwanis Club who in their opinion best live up to the objects of Kiwanis International in their day to day life in St. Catharines as a whole community but more particularly, with regard to their activities in the St. Catharines Kiwanis Club.

5. The Board of Directors may add or subtract from the committee’s choice the names of any person or persons who they feel should be added or deleted from the committee’s report and the Board of Directors will by secret ballot make the final selection of the recipient of the trophy, always keeping as their guide that the winner should be a Kiwanian who in their opinion best subscribes to the objects of Kiwanis International.

Dated at St. Catharines, this 26 th day of November, 1968.

Bill Mitchell Recipient List

1979-1980 Tom Vint
1980-1981 Ron Kane
1981-1982 Harry Thorstein
1982-1983 Jack Pearce
1983-1984 Cliff Hollman
1984-1985 Ralph Mason
1985-1986 Jack Birnie
1986-1987 Jack Nelson
1987-1988 No Winner
1988-1989 Steve Farner
1989-1990 Len Bates
1990-1991 Harry Cavers
1991-1992 Bob Tothe
1992-1993 Steve Shoemaker
1993-1994 Brian Kerley
1994-1995 Ian Ransberry
1995-1996 Bob McCann
1996-1997 Dave Thomas
1997-1998 Jack McKiernan
1998-1999 John McGilvray
1999-2000 Sandie Greenhalgh
2000-2001 Pat Durocher
2001-2002 Len Bates
2002-2003 Dave Murphy
2003-2004 Bill Irwin
2004-2005 Michelle Basciano
2005-2006 Gerda Huyzers
2006-2007 Jane Wood
2007-2008 Bonnie Hall

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