To give primacy to
the human and spiritual, rather than to the material values of
To encourage the
daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
To promote the adoption
and the application of higher social, business and professional
To develop, by precept
and example, a more intelligent, aggressive and serviceable citizenship.
To provide, through
Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form friendships, to render
altruistic service, and to build better communities.
To cooperate in creating
and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which
makes possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism,
The name "Kiwanis"
was adapted from the expression "Nunc Kee-Wanis" in
the Otchipew (Native American) language, meaning "We have
a good time," "We make a noise," or, under another
construction, "We trade or advertise." Some persons
prefer to pronounce the word "ki," while others, "kee."
During the organization's
founding in Detroit in 1915, members belonged to the "Benevolent
Order Brothers." The name, however, was unsatisfactory from
"It seems to me,"
said member Harry A. Young, "that Benevolent Order Brothers
is a might peculiar name for an organization of businessmen. Who
wants to be a BOB? Well, I don't for one. The name sounds downright
silly, and I think we'd get off to a better start if we changed
it right now before we go any further."
A committee of members
sought the assistance of Clarence M. Burton, then historian for
the City of Detroit, Michigan. Burton found the expression "Nunc
Kee-Wanis" in Bishop Baraga's dictionary of the Otchipew
The name was perfect.
It satisfied founder Allen Simpson Browne, because one variation
of its meaning, "We trade," corresponded with his conception
of the new organization. He believed that better business opportunities
among the members -- adding up to a sort of reciprocal trade arrangement
-- constituted its prime purpose.
Other members, however,
believed that the group should "make a noise" -- a noticeable
difference -- through community service.
--Adapted from Dimensions
of Service -- the Kiwanis Story
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