The Young Fellows Club of Weyburn, a service organization unique to this city, has left their distinctive mark on Weyburn in innumerable ways over the years, and on the weekend of May 18-20, they will celebrate their 90th anniversary, with many former members expected to be back in the city for the event.
With a humble start back in 1922, the Young Fellows has continued to thrive and serve the citizens of Weyburn over nine decades, and in 2012 they show no signs of decline or of slowing down.
This is particularly telling in an era of declining interest in the current and up-and-coming generations for volunteerism. Most recently, the service organization committed to providing $100,000 towards the Triple C Centre currently under construction at the Weyburn Comp School.
Besides being an organization where adult men can get together for fellowship and fun, they have long sought to better the community they live in, and one of their first projects was this city’s first outdoor swimming pool. What was truly remarkable about that was the timing, raising the funds for this huge project while the entire world suffered under the Great Depression, which threw thousands upon thousands of people out of work. Compounding that was an unprecendented drought on the Prairies, which was so bad that dust storms blew topsoil and drifted it into ditches and along fence-lines.
This was also the time that a young Baptist preacher named Tommy Douglas first came to Weyburn, and he did what he could to help people caught in the Depression — and indeed, he was so impressed by the work of the Young Fellows, he himself became a member before going on to a career in politics that included serving as Premier of Saskatchewan for many years.
Over the years, the Young Fellows have held a great many fundraisers, and all of the money they’ve raised have gone back into the community for facilities and organizations and projects, for everything from sponsorship of minor ball and hockey teams and associations, to the establishment of the Don Mitchell Tot Lot, and the addition of the water spray park in recent years, to major investments such as the outdoor pool and other places in the city. Virtually every corner of the city, and virtually every family in the city, has benefitted from the work this club does selflessly; they deserved the Golden Spike Award, and they deserve the admiration and support of us all.