Kiwanis - Serving the Children of the World
Twin City, Winston-Salem
Serving the Children of the World
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NOTE:  The late Bill Glance (right photo), a long-time member of Twin City Kiwanis Club and director of the Public Information office at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine/N.C. Baptist Hospital Medical Center, wrote the following TCK Club history.  (Bill Glance passed away on March 4, 2011.)

This club history first appeared in the club's 2004 printed directory, but it most likely was written earlier.  An earlier draft begins:

"(Club member) Bill Roberts tells a story about Burton Rights going to the Middle East on a research mission.  While there, he came across a scroll written in Sanskrit. With some difficulty, Burton was able to make out the following series of letters:


                                 T T C K C I T G K C I T W

Which he took to mean:  "The Twin City Kiwanis Club is the Greatest Kiwanis Club in the World."  Our club still uses this slogan at its weekly meetings.

 

 


We call ourselves the Greatest Kiwanis Club in the World and in many respects that might be accurate.

The whole truth is, however, the greatest Kiwanis Club in the World probably would never have come into being if Carl Stewart had had a convenient place to make up a missed meet­ing.

Stewart moved to Winston-Salem from Shreveport, La. in November 1955 after purchasing the Buick and Dodge dealerships here. He was a past governor of the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee Kiwanis District, and he brought with him 17 years of perfect attendance.

On arrival in the Twin City, he joined the Winston­-Salem Kiwanis Club, but he was sorely disappointed that there was not another Kiwanis club nearby where he could make up a meeting.

In December of 1955, he was invited to attend a board meeting of the Winston-Salem Club at the Robert E. Lee Hotel. At that meeting membership applications for two young business men were presented. Both were turned down because their employment classifications, a parameter set by Kiwanis International, were full.

Stewart complained, "This is really bad to see two capable young men who want to be Kiwanians turned down for this reason."

Club president Herb Thomas asked, "What's the alterna­tive?"

“Organize another club,” Stewart replied. To which the almost unanimous response from the board was, “Winston-Salem isn’t large enough for two Kiwanis Clubs.”

“Well, let’s think about it,” Stewart said.

The next morning he got a call from the club president. “Carl,” Thomas said, “You have been named chairman of the New Club Committee.” Serving with him on that committee were Zell Taylor, Jake Henry, John Gold, C.T. Leinbach and Ben Willis.

A few days later, at the club's regular meeting, Stewart announced that a new club was being organized, and he asked the members of the Winston-Salem Club to identify outstanding young men in their companies who had the potential and desire to become good Kiwanians. (Only men were admitted to Kiwanis membership at that time.)

Perhaps the most glowing recommendation came from both the president and the board chairman of Unique Furniture. They both said that Dewey Bowman, secretary-treasurer of the company, would be an ideal candidate.

The next morning, the committee divided the names into two groups and headed out in opposite directions. Carl and John Gold, former Winston-Salem City Manager, worked as a team.

Their first stop was Unique Furniture Co. in Rural Hall where they called on Dewey Bowman. Dewey listened politely and then said, "I appreciate your interest, but I belong to more organizations now than I should."

Carl said, "Well, I think I should let you know that your bosses both said they wanted you in this club."

"Oh!" Dewey replied. "I didn't know that. Where do I sign?"

Bowman went on to become an extremely active and dedicated Kiwanian. He held every office in the Twin City Kiwanis Club at one time or another and served 13 years as secretary.

Stewart and Gold next went to see John F. Watlington Jr., president of Wachovia Bank and Trust Co. He said he wanted Jack Trotman in the club. Trotman would become the club's first president.

By the end of the first day, the committee had 30 men signed up to attend an organizational meeting, which was held in January 1956 at the Robert E. Lee Hotel (photo below).

The Twin city Kiwanis Club was subsequently born on June 5, 1956. Stewart called a friend, Warren Kinsey of Kiwanis International. Kinsey, a pro at new club building, flew to Winston-Salem to preside at the meeting. Also attend­ing were Les Swindell, lieutenant governor, and some 20 Kiwanians from the Winston-Salem Club.

Trotman was elected president and Zack Bynum was elected secretary. Elected to the first Board of Directors were William Hollan,  George Little, John Malcolm, Robert New­som, Charles Penuel, Harold Southern and Dave Tally.

The new club received its charter from Frank Nolan, governor of the Carolinas District, July 26, 1956 at a Charter Night celebration at the Robert E. Lee Hotel. Lt. Gov. Les Swindell was master of ceremonies. The speaker was past Kiwanis International President Hamilton Holt of Macon, Ga. 

At that same meeting, Herb Thomas, on behalf of the Winston-Salem Club, presented the Twin City Club with flags, a gong and gavel, and record books.

The new club had 41 charter members, which means it had more members when it started than the average Kiwanis Club has today. A number of charter members are still active in the club – Chuck Beardsley, Woody Clinard, Bob Goodwin, Joe Jones, Grady Southern and Harold Southern.

Stewart went on to gain quite a reputation for new club building. The year he was district governor, he organized 26 clubs. During his 50 years in Kiwanis, he organized more than 100 clubs, probably more than any other Kiwanian.

He said the Twin City Kiwanis Club was one of the most successful clubs he organized because of its consistently strong leadership.

The club started what became traditions right away. The first Twin City Kiwanis Family picnic was held July 20, 1957, at Tanglewood Park.

The first Pancake Jamboree took place Feb. 6 and 7, 1958, at Augsburg Lutheran Church. Instead of having a one-day pancake day as we do now, they served from 5:30 to 8:30 on Friday night and 7:00 to 9:30 on Saturday morning. It might be of interest that ticket prices were $1 for adults and 50 cents for children.

The financial statement for 1957 showed that the club had taken in $5,756; had spent $4,086; and had a balance of $1,670.

Today (2004), the club clears $20,000 or more every Pan­cake Day and that revenue supports its numerous projects to support youth programs in the community. Not too bad for a club whose initial purpose was a site to make up missed meet­ings.