Early in World War Two, in May 1942, Paul Davey suggested to the Rotarians that the members of the military service inducted from Kent would welcome a chatty newsy hometown letter and outlined the formation of an “Uncle Zenas Club” composed of Rotarians who would be willing to correspond with the servicemen. He said the name “Uncle Zenas” seemed a fitting title as it dated back to Zenas Kent, the founder of the city. The plan was cordially received by Rotarians and by the men in the service, and relations set up in this manner were continued for a long period of time. Eventually the large number of men taken from Kent made the plans so cumbersome that it was impossible to continue to correspond with each inductee.

An extension of the plan by interesting Kiwanians was considered, and Paul contacted Brigadier General  F. H. Osborne, of the Special Service Division at Washington for a ruling on the project. General Osborne replied that in the interest of safeguarding military information the War Department had adopted The policy of not approving plans for correspondence by individuals who were unknown to the soldiers to whom they were writing. The plan therefore was discontinued.

That year of correspondence between “Uncle Zenas” and his “nephews” brought a great deal of pleasure both to the Rotarians and the service man with whom they had corresponded.

Moments in our history.

Jim Myers