KIWANIS MAGAZINE Retrospective
Farewell, Mr. Harding
A Kiwanis monument in Canada says good-bye to a U.S. president and proclaims
goodwill between two nations.
With only two exceptions through the past 90 years, every sitting United States president has visited Canada.
a tradition begun in 1923 by a Kiwanian, Warren G.
Harding, the 29th president.
En route from Alaska to Seattle, Washington, in 1923,
Harding stopped in Vancouver, British Columbia, on
July 26 and addressed a crowd of 50,000 in Stanley
Park. Exactly one week later, the U.S. president died of
a heart attack in San Francisco, California. His sudden
death shocked the two nations, but perhaps more so his
Two years earlier, while Harding was preparing to
take the oath of office, his hometown of Marion, Ohio,
was also celebrating the organization of its Kiwanis
club. Harding knew all about Kiwanis, because his
brother, George, was a Columbus, Ohio, member. As a
formality, Marion leaders sent invitations to the president-elect for the charter party. Near the close of
the banquet, surprising everyone, he arrived. Places at
the table were hastily rearranged, and a blank
application appeared and was signed.
was no engraved invitation, no golden membership card, no complimentary or honorary wrote Past Kiwanis International President
Edmund F. Arras. Harding became a
Kiwanian as did you and
Shortly after passing, Kiwanis conceived the
idea of erecting a memorial that would also pay tribute
to the goodwill between Canada and the U.S. Vancouver
sculptor Charles Marega and architect Robert
both commissioned to design and create the structure.
On September 16, 1925, more than 12,000 Kiwanians
and other guests gathered again in Stanley Park beneath
a sunny, cloudless perfect day for a dedication.
declared Kiwanis International President John
H. Moss, as he unveiled the granite-and-bronze statue,
The October 1925 Kiwanis magazine
served as commemorative issue of the
ceremony, including notes from then-US
President Calvin Coolidge and Canadian
Premier W. L. McKenzie King,
1923 speech and much more. Read it all
The Warren G. Harding Goodwill Memorial
is one of two Kiwanis-related landmarks
members can visit while attending the 2013
Kiwanis International convention in Vancouver,
June Visit http://kwn.is/kiroses to read
about the other attraction, the Stanley Park
Rose Garden, which was started in 1920 when
the Vancouver Kiwanis Club planted a few
bushes to prove the hardiness.