The Young Fellows Club of Weyburn have been living out their motto of "We Serve" for nine decades, and are gearing up to celebrate that milestone over the May long weekend.
To help the club get ready, the City of Weyburn had proclaimed the week of May 14-20 as "Young Fellows Week" in Weyburn, and the official birthday celebrations will get underway from Friday to Sunday, May 18-20, with all events taking place at the Weyburn Curling Rink.
The weekend begins with registration and a social time starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Weather permitting, there will be a golf tournament at the Weyburn Golf Course on Saturday, followed in the evening by the main celebration of the weekend, the banquet on Saturday evening.
Cocktails are at 5, the supper is at 6, and will be followed by speeches and the presentation of a DVD on the history of the Young Fellows in Weyburn.
The weekend will wind up on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with a farewell breakfast at the Curling Rink.
"We've been planning this for a year and a half. We've been doing a lot of work on the history of the club, redoing the history book and doing up the DVD," said Scott Paxman, chairman of the anniversary weekend.
He noted out the 200-some invitations sent out to past members, 170 have confirmed they'll be coming with their spouses.
"We have members coming in from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Texas," said Paxman.
"I'm quite excited about the event. It's going to be a great opportunity to meet past members and share stories and experiences," said Kevin O'Neill, the current president of the Young Fellows.
He added he looks forward to comparing how things used to be done in the club to how they're done now, and noted part of that he's discovered by reading through the meeting minutes from past years.
"It's been neat reading through the minutes of the club; in the old days, they used to sing at the meetings. We don't do that anymore," said O'Neill.
He noted even with how events evolve, some things are the same, including maintaining the motto, "We Serve", as the basis for the club's activities in serving the community at large.
"I'm interested to see how that has evolved. At the end of the day, our priorities are to serve the community of Weyburn."
Asked what the secret to the Young Fellows' longevity is after nine decades, and still going on strong, O'Neill said he's thought about that question a lot, particularly when he hears about service clubs lacking in members or having to fold up.
One of the strengths of the club, he said, is that older members are good about passing on their knowledge to the younger members.
"They know what they need to do to get things done. They share their knowledge with the new guys in the club," he said, adding the past members also allow the new members to evolve the club to meet ever-present needs.
For example, what began as the Radio Auction became the TV Auction for many years, and this year became the Internet Auction, all with the same objective, to raise funds to benefit the community with their various projects. Most recently, the club just committed $100,000 towards the Triple C Centre over the next three years or so.
At events like the auction, too, past members come back to lend a hand, because "they know what works and what doesn't, and we're not afraid to change."
Another strength of the club too is keeping those things that work and don't need changing.
As far as clubs folding up, O'Neill said, "That's not something we like to see; we want all clubs to be available for all the different kinds of service they do."
The president added of his club, "We have a lot of fun, and there's a balance between work and play."
Summing up his enjoyment of being club president and a Young Fellows member, O'Neill said, "Being a member of the Young Fellows has made living in Weyburn even better. I've met a lot of great people in the community; it's a really great club to be involved in, and I'm quite proud to be a member."