YMCA

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Annual barbeque at the Experimental Farm provided by the YMCA, (between 1948 and 1962). Fonds Acc. 2010.05; Series 1; Item no. 185, File 9.

Previous/other names: U-Y; Young Men's Christian Association.

Prominent date(s) of activity: 1886 - 1920; 1944 - 1955?

History: The Intercollegiate Young Men's Christian Association was introduced to UNB in December 1886, when a man named Mr. Ober, travelling from college to college, stopped by the UNB library to give a talk about the organization. At that time the YMCA had student run branches operating at two hundred and twenty-seven colleges in Canada and the United States, with approximately 12,000 registered members. The movement had started in Montreal in 1857 and immediately experienced rapid growth.

A major goal of the organization was to phase out the practice of "hazing" at universities. In order to establish brotherhood and fraternity among students, the YMCA hosted reception parties for freshmen, where they could be welcomed with warmth and encouragement from seniors, rather than receive the harrassment that was generally imposed upon university frosh.

On January 14, 1889 a formal reception was held to celebrate the opening of a YMCA "Home" on campus. The room was furnished with an organ and piano that were purchased with the funds donated by various churches from the Fredericton area, which amounted to $980. The Association's Board of Chairs also funded an association library, furnished with a number of religious texts.

The UNB YMCA ceased activity in 1920, returning in 1945 and maintaining involvement for another number of years.

In 1946 the group made a decision to place more focus on the social aspects of the club by introducing more activities such as bowling, skiing, bridge parties, toboggan parties, etc., for the enjoyment of the members.

Activities: U-Y promoted fellowship and provided services to the university, community and YMCA in the spirit of Christianity. Contributions included: a booklet for freshmen, operating cloakrooms at formals, operating a canteen in the gym, raising money for the local Y, and helping underpriviledged children attend summer camp. Socially, the club hosted parties, skating outings, dances, and speeches.

Each year the group sent delegates to the Convention of Delegates in Northfield, Massachusetts, for a ten-day intercollegiate program.

The U-Y took charge of the canteen in the Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium in the fall of 1948.

Note(s): The YMCA provided travelling members with "vacation tickets", which gave them access to all services affiliated with the YMCA at any other member location, including gymnasiums, libraries, lecture courses, etc.

Source(s):

  • UA RG 365.
  • UA Case 173.
  • University Monthly, vol. 6, no. 3, December 1886, p. 3-4.
  • University Monthly, vol. 7, no. 2, November 1887, p. 11.
  • University Monthly, vol. 8, no. 2, November 1888, p. 19.
  • University Monthly, vol. 8, no. 4, January 1889, p. 58.
  • University Monthly, vol. 8, no. 8, May 1889, p. 127.
  • University Monthly, vol. 9, no. 1, November 1889, p. 12.
  • University Monthly, vol. 28, no. 2, November 1908, p. 60.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 64, no. 12, 24 January 1945, p. 1.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 66. no. 6, November 1946, p. 1.
  • Up the Hill, 1946, Organizations.
  • Up the Hill, 1947, Organizations.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 68. no. 4, 22 October 1948, p. 7.
  • Up the Hill, 1949, p. 165.


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