North Bay Telephone Pioneers #1980 *

Honoured by the members.



The Telephone Pioneers of Canada is a network of current and former telecom industry employees, their partners and their families. We are leaders in volunteerism, committed to improving the quality of life in our communities; providing value to our sponsor organizations and their strategic priorities; focusing on the personal growth of our members; and creating rewarding fellowship opportunities.

Pioneers are a non-profit charitable organization based in Denver, Colorado, USA. It was founded in Boston on November 2, 1911 as the Telephone Pioneers of America, with 734 members, including Alexander Graham Bell who received membership card #1.

Membership was initially limited to those with 21 years of service, a standard that stood for 53 years. In the beginning, friendship and fellowship were its primary concerns. Industry people recalled the facts, traditions and memories of the early history of the telephone. The service requirement was gradually reduced over time, and today, any employee of the organization’s sponsoring companies can become a member on the first day of his or her employment.

The focus of the organization has changed as well. Those who wrote the original Pioneer purpose were forward thinking in adding that it would encourage “such other meritorious objectives consistent with the foregoing as may be desirable”. That became what would make the Pioneers different from any other industry groups. In 1958, Pioneers adopted Community Service as a core value. Chapters, Council and Clubs began their own initiatives, mostly working with children’s groups.

Telephone Pioneers of America evolved into Telecom Pioneers in 2002 to better reflect the shift from basic telephone service to broader telecommunications provided by the companies that support and sponsor Pioneer projects. In 2009, the organization’s name further evolved into just “Pioneers”. Today, the organization is the world’s largest group of industry-specific employees and retirees dedicated to community service.

In the early days, Pioneers were organized into Regions, Chapters, Councils and Clubs across Canada and the USA. Canada became Region #1. North Bay was part of Chapter #91, Manitou Council.

The Manitou Council was made up of five active clubs (working) and Life Member clubs (retired), situated in North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario.

In the year 2012 the North Bay Pioneers are comprised of approximately 200 active and retired members of Bell Alliant and other telephone companies.

Many works of charity are carried out by our members here in North Bay. The most active areas are:

– Teddy Bears for the area Ambulance Service, City Police and the  Children’s Aid Society.

– Knitted hats for newborns at the Northeast Area Regional Hospital.

– Drivers for cancer patients.

– the Canadian Guide Dog Association, which is funded by life- sized plastic coin-drop dogs, placed at various locations in North Bay and Sturgeon Falls.

– helping Phone Busters work with the OPP and RCMP dealing with victims of telephone fraud scams.

Money is raised for these projects by holding craft sales, raffles and donations from members.

Meetings are held at the North Bay Shrine Club on the last Wednesday of each month.

We are pleased to be part of the Pergola Project, which will beautify our marvelous Waterfront for years to come.