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On September 24th 1914 in Zurich, the Charitable Society for Non-Alcoholic Catering for the Troops was founded. In November of the same year, the society changed its name to Swiss Society for Soldiers' Welfare. The society wanted to provide non-alcoholic subsistence for the troops stationed at the borders during the 1st World War. Wherever the troops were, special pubs were put up. The pubs were run by women, so-called "soldier's mothers", on a voluntary basis.
The Society's activities were supervised by a management board in Zurich. The members of the board were recruited in the founding phase from members of the following committees and societies: Committee for the Reform of Pubs of the Swiss Charitable Company, Action Committee of the Swiss Union of Teetotallers, Military Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association of Switzerland, the Blue Cross Society, the Zurich Women's Society for Non-alcoholic Pubs and the Swiss Union of Abstinent Women. Inns and restaurants which joined the society had a club sign to show their membership. This membership meant a commitment by the owners to the rules of the Swiss Society for Soldiers' Welfare, for example, to only serve non-alcoholic goods. Under the name Swiss Union for Public Service, the politically independent and non-religious society continued its work after the 1st World War. Apart from catering for soldiers' and working men's clubs, the Swiss Union for Public Service also worked in soldier and worker welfare and later became involved in company social work and in furthering gastronomical and housekeeping education and training.

Image caption:
Soldiers pub (180, SV-Service, 81-37)

Membership of the Swiss Union of Public Service-Soldiers' Welfare was of course open to all people and companies. The Society's organs were the assembly, which elected the board, the president (male or female) and also the auditors. The board supervised and managed the welfare foundation and personnel as well as the society's economic and organisational aspects.
A revision of the statutes in 1939 again emphasised the continuation of the charitable work begun in the 1st World War, that is, building and running non-alcoholic soldiers' pubs and canteens, providing work for sick soldiers, furthering the cause of the provision of non-alcoholic catering for working men (building and running non-alcoholic charitable houses, eating establishments, working men's clubs and canteens etc. for both public and private employers).

The statutes were revised again in 1978, with new organisational structure and a new name: SV-Service. The aim of the SV-Service was the furthering of health and welfare for the public. The principle of non-alcoholic catering in public and private companies and soldiers' pubs was carried on. In addition, company social counselling was continued as it had been from the start as one of the main SV-Service tasks.
A further revision of the statutes took place in 1984. The object of the society was extended. Apart from non-alcoholic catering and company social work, the task of furthering people's education and further training, particularly by the introduction of a schooling centre, was added to the statutes.
Further revisions to the statutes have included national and international expansion as well as, in 1999, the alteration of the Society to the form of a corporation. Today the SV-Service goes under the name SV-Group.

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