Well, no sooner did my Presidency begin than I was whisked away to two amazing conferences. The first, along with Nancy Ferris-Hostick and Heather Foss, was the Ontario Council 2016 AGM at Hockley Valley Resort on May 13 and 14, put on by CFUW Orangeville and District. This was truly an outstanding experience, one that I still reflect upon often. There were two themes. “To Honour the Truth and Reconcile for the Future” and “To Reduce Poverty in Ontario”. The speakers were on the level of “Ted Talks”, fascinating, entertaining and so informative. We came away with new understandings of the history leading up to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and of the Ontario and International approaches to reducing poverty. And, as if that inspiration was not enough, the food was unbelievably delicious!
On June 23, 24 and 25, the National CFUW AGM & Conference took place at Brock University. How proud I was to be your President, representing the dedication and hard work of our Local Arrangements Committee under the leadership of co-chairs Monique DeJonghe and Gail Neff. It was their inspired idea to hold the conference at Brock which exists today in large part due to the initiative and drive of an exceptional woman, Flora Egerter, a member of The Allanburg Women’s Institute.
This very complex conference with business meetings, breakfast, lunch and dinners, workshops, a banquet and even a play, came off without a hitch, including the controversial discussion and voting on the resolution to remain or not in Graduate Women International (GWI). As you had instructed me, I voted against remaining along with 55% of the delegates. However, change required a 66.6% majority, so the “remain” side won. I will be able to tell you more on this at the September General Meeting, which takes place after the GWI Triennial Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in August.
In all, my first few months as your President have been extremely rewarding and I look forward to this year with enthusiasm. Karen MacKay has put together a marvelous lineup of speakers and there will be some surprises too! So please bring any prospective members to the September meeting where you’ll connect with old friends, meet new friends and sign up for your favourite Interest Groups and Community Activities.
Heather Hall, CFUW St. Catharines President 2016-17