The Sons of Scotland Benevolent Association was founded in 1876. The founders were all directly from Scotland and brought with them the true characteristics of the native born Scot. Many who came to Canada brought with them considerable knowledge of the workings of Fraternal Societies from a social aspect, but these early pioneers had to learn to formulate a satisfactory financial method to achieve their ideals. The Association went through many changes to become what it is now.
The Sons of Scotland began granting insurance to its members, adapting the simple plan of collecting 50 cents from each member. When a death occurred, an amount was paid to the beneficiary from this fund, not exceeding the sum insured.
This plan continued in operation until 1895, when it was changed to a method of obligating each member to make a monthly payment, the amount of which varied according to age.
- In 1917, the executive board changed the financial structure to incorporate actuarial methods and regulation. Up to this date, only Whole Life policies were issued. It was also agreed to admit women into the Association to participate in insurance benefits and become active members.
- In 1919, the Association adopted the 20 year payment life policy.
- In 1925, plans were added for Endowments at age 65 & 70, and at year 20 & 25. In that year, the Association began granting bonuses.
- In 1927, an important event occurred. The Association established a Juvenile Insurance Department granting insurance on the lives of children of members. Also the Association decided to grant Paid Up policies to members who had 5 years service and wished to discontinue payments.
- In 1929, Endowment insurance was granted to Juveniles.
- In 1935, Grand Camp agreed to allow members the privilege of using the Cash Value of their bonuses to pay premiums; they also allowed members to surrender all Endowment policies 10 or more years in force and life plans in force for 20 years or more. Policies included non-medical on amounts of $125.00 & $250.00 and to pay all medicals for amounts of $250.00 policies.
In 1890, membership totaled 419 shared between 12 camps. Three years later 126 camps registered 3,928 members.
By 1908, enrollment had increased to 7,834. Membership has risen and declined since then to the present time.
Assets of our Association seemed meager in comparison to our present status. In 1893, the funds were $1,090.00. In 1916, the bank balance was in excess of a half a million dollars, to our present total of over 9 million dollars.
In 1976, we celebrated our Centennial year.
Grand Camps were invariably held in Toronto. There have been 38 Grand Camp sessions there. In earlier times meetings were held in Guelph, Niagara Falls, Brantford, London, Hamilton and Collingwood.
In 1960 & 1972 they were held in Winnipeg; 1966 in Montreal, 1969 in Vancouver, and in 1979 west again to Edmonton.
In the initial years of our Association (1878-1895) Grand Camps were called every year as there were many items brought up, such as constitution, insurance products and administration, and these had to be sorted out to make the association a viable enterprise. They were then switched to a two year cycle as the Association stabilised and to help cut costs. In 1939 it was changed again to a 3 year cycle and has remained that way until the present day, with the only exception being 1972-76 when they extended the Grand Camp one year in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary in a Grand Camp year.
For more information about Grand Camps, please contact us.