President’s January Message

What a great job being President of this club is! Many of you do the work, and I get the kudos! Cases in point: Pat Paulin, who keeps our easy-to-access web page updated, (among many other things), Barb Leslie, who puts together and edits our beautiful Newsletter each month, Caroline Nolan and her 100th Anniversary committee1, who have been and are organizing many activities leading up to our 100th year celebration in 2021, most recently the fun “Fashions through the Ages” display before our January meeting, Martha Abra, who maintains our membership roster and sends out the Newsletter and the monthly minutes (among many other things), and Heather Hall and Denise Bradden’s Program committee2,who organized the exceptional roster of speakers this year, to name only a few of our activists. I just wrote the following testimonial for Laura Hughes, our most recent speaker:

“Hi Laura, I want to thank you again for the informative and authentic talk about the needs of those who have been victims of sexual abuse and bullying that you gave at our CFUW General Meeting on January 8th. As daughters, mothers, grandmothers, current and former teachers, professional women, and active volunteers in our community, your advice to be sensitive, non-judgemental listeners, believers and supporters, to family and friends resonated with us all. In my many years of attending monthly meetings, I have never seen the enthusiastic and spontaneous standing ovation you received after your presentation. Thank you for what you do.

Sincerely, Gail Neff, President, CFUW St. Catharines”

For those of you who were unable to attend, Laura is our member Sue Hughes’ daughter. Her presentation was clear, poised, organized, knowledgeable, and her passion for helping others was clearly heartfelt. She wore a red dress in remembrance of the many murdered and missing Indigenous women. Much of her work involves providing workshops, keynote talks, and consulting on the topic of self-care and burnout to support front-line workers in health care and social services fields. Although our CFUW primary focus is in raising funds for scholarships and charitable organizations, volunteering in our community and supporting Provincial and National Resolutions, she reminded us that we can support survivors of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by being open, empathetic listeners. We don’t have to have all the answers; believing someone and providing space for them to share and heal is powerful. She framed her personal story within the work of Tarana Burke who is the originator of the “Me Too Movement” created in 2006. Tarana did a TED talk entitled “Me Too Is A Movement, Not a Moment” which you can access at this link: Thank you, Judy Sewell for finding this link.

1100th Anniversary Committee members: Caroline Nolan, Beverley Boudreau, Nancy Cameron, Joan Clancy, Barb Legg, Trish Loat , Bettianne Matheson , Elinor O’Neill , Linda Pringle and Mary Jane Waszynski,

2Program Committee members: Heather Hall, Denise Bradden, Marge Stark, Nancy Ferris-Hostick, Sandy Hardy, Mary Jane Waszynski, and Margo Standish. Anita Robertson had arranged to have Brock President Fearon speak before her tragic death in July. She was on the previous committee with Karen MacKay.

A huge, loud, shout-out to you all!!