Title: Administrative Records of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario
Series: 506/2 District Council AOTS (As One That Serves)
Extent: 20 cm textual records and other material.
Finding Aid: The Finding Aid includes File Description and Box Lists.
The AOTS (As One That Serves) movement was an ecumenical movement founded in 1923 by Doctor Hubert Wilkinson Riggs, a prominent member of the Kiwanis Club in Vancouver and a member of the Methodist Church. He felt that churches were losing manpower to secular service clubs and sought to reverse this trend and harness valuable resources by organising men’s service clubs in churches. Eventually District Councils were organised as a means whereby local clubs could co-operate. A President, Vice-President, Secretary and one Councillor from each AOTS Club in the area were automatically members of the Council. A special sub-committee of Conference Christian Education Committee introduced AOTS to Manitoba in 1948. It was welcomed by the Conference Lay Association, which endorsed the formation of clubs. A Manitoba Council Executive of AOTS was formed in 1949 and participated in a joint Conference with the Conference Lay Association. A motion of mutual co-operation was endorsed. By 1950, Manitoba Conference Laymen were encouraging the United Church General Council to approve AOTS as the official organisation for men’s work in the Church. In 1955, a Western Manitoba Council with clubs in Brandon, Minnedosa, Russell and Gladstone was formed.
AOTS Clubs especially supported boys and youth programs. By 1952, AOTS District Council supplied two representatives to the Advisory Board of the Student Christian Movement. The District Council took over sponsorship of the Winnipeg Presbytery Basketball League and the Stella Avenue Mission Team. This led to the creation of a Sunday School Athletic League. The AOTS District council supplied a representative to the Conference Committee on Tyro Boys Work. Other club activities included Theatre Night, Rallies and recruitment for the ministry.
In 1952, the National AOTS Council adopted a Constitution whereby AOTS became a Department of the National Committee of United Church Men and the United Church General Council endorsed AOTS as the official Service Club movement within the Church. Later, the national Board of Men acted as a co-ordinating body for UCM groups and AOTS clubs. With the creation of Congregational Life and Work, UCM ceased to exist as a separate body nationally in 1965 and at the Conference level in 1969. However, AOTS continues as a Service Club movement within the United Church and the Manitoba Council of AOTS continues to function.
Scope and Content
The records of the Manitoba Council AOTS housed at the conference archives include: publications ; Records of Proceedings for National Convention, 1952, 1981,1985, 1989; minutes and correspondence, 1947-1953,1990-1996; records of the Windsor Park AOTS, 1990-1992; financial records, 1990-1996; list of Charters, 1947-1951; records of the Gladstone AOTS, 1952-1953; and records of the St. Paul’s United Church AOTS, 1951-1952.
Other records of the Manitoba Council AOTS may be found with the records of the National Association of United Church AOTS Men’s Clubs fonds in the collection of the General Council Archives of The United Church of Canada.