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Kiwanis says farewell to President Harding

Harding memorial in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The October 1925 Kiwanis magazine served as a commemorative issue of a ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia’s Stanley Park. More than 12,000 people gathered on that occasion to dedicate a memorial to former United States President and Marion, Ohio, Kiwanian Warren G. Harding. But rather than dwell on the president’s unexpected death, the monument also celebrated the goodwill that exists between Kiwanis’ two founding nations.

Two bronze figures, representing the United States and Canada, stand on the memorial, each holding an olive branch of peace. Beside them is a plaque that quotes Harding’s 1923 speech:

“What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries to all the world. No grimfaced fortifications mark our frontiers, no huge battleships patrol our dividing waters, no stealthy spies lurk in our tranquil border hamlets. Only a scrap of paper, recording hardly more than a simple understanding safe-guards lives and properties on the Great Lakes and only humble mile posts mark the inviolable boundary line for thousands of miles through farm and forest.

“Our protection is in our fraternity, our armour is our faith. The tie that binds more firmly year by year is ever increasing acquaintance and comradeship through interchange of citizens, and the compact is not of perishable parchment, but of fair and honorable dealing, which, God grant, should continue for all time.”

Read the full quote, along with messages from then-US President Calvin Coolidge and Canadian Premier W.L. McKenzie King, details about Harding’s Kiwanis membership, the dedication ceremony and much more in the October 1925 Kiwanis magazine.

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