President’s September Report

It’s time for the start of a new CFUW year of volunteerism, learning, and fun! Although summers are usually quiet for most of our members, the Program Committee, co-chaired by Heather Hall and Denise Bradden, once again worked their magic and assembled a stellar roster of speakers for our General Meetings for 2019-2020. Printed copies of the Program Brochure will be available at the September meeting.

This past summer was unusual also, with not one, but two 100th Anniversary AGMs taking place! Our grandmother organization, IFUW (now GWI), was founded in 1919 by three women, Dr. Virginia Guildersleeve, Barnard College, USA, Dr. Caroline Spurgeon, U of London, England and Rose Sedgewick, U of Birmingham, England, to advocate for world peace after World War I. The Canadian activist and first President, Margaret McWilliams, founded CFUW National in Winnipeg the same year.** This past year, delegates from CFUW and GWI have been in negotiations to solve financial issues, i.e. proposed dues increase.

The resulting compromise, a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU), was approved in July by the approximately 400 attendees in Geneva, Switzerland (including 20 Canadian representatives). Click here for the Link to the MOU: MOU document

I had so hoped to represent you in August at the AGM in Winnipeg, but it was not to be, so your Executive gave the proxy for our votes to Mary Jane Waszynski, Past President, CFUW St. Catharines (2014), past Charitable Fund Chair (2016-2019) and now Ontario South Regional Director. Thank you Mary Jane!

The results of the voting in Winnipeg were that the Winnipeg Motion was defeated, the MOU was ratified, GWI dues were not increased but the CFUW national dues were increased by $6.00. This means our CFUW St. Catharines membership dues will now be $106 per year.

Please bring any prospective members (it is not necessary for them to have a university degree) to our first General Meeting, September 10th at 7:30. Here, you and they will connect with old friends, meet new ones and sign up for Interest Groups, and Community Activities. If you don’t register online, be sure to bring your dues and register in person.

I look forward to seeing you!

** For more historical background on the CFUW in Canada, see the President’s Report in the October 2018 Newsletter (on our website).

President’s November Message

I had the pleasure of attending the Business and Professional Women (BPW) Provincial Conference Banquet at the end of September. The two-day conference was hosted by the Niagara Falls Chapter which was celebrating its 100th anniversary of working to improve the economic, political, employment and social conditions for women. I was warmly welcomed and so surprised to be introduced feeling very proud of the room’s recognition of our CFUW Chapter. BPW is the founding organization of the CCEW: Canadian Coalition to Empower Women.

The Canadian Coalition to Empower Women was formed to advance equality between women and men, girls and boys in Canada; recognizing it is essential to build strong economies, establish more stable and just societies, and improve the quality of life for all women, men and their families in communities across Canada.

This coalition was one of the workshop topics at the CFUW AGM held here in St. Catharines 2016 which I did attend so I was somewhat familiar with how it fits with the UN’s Sustainable Goals and in particular the goals of gender equality.

I met with the Canadian Federation BPW vice president who enlightened me about this coalition and the fact that CFUW has signed the “Statement of Support” .

Our club can sign this important document lending our voice to the growing number of more than 94 leaders from businesses and governments as well as community service organizations that have stepped up to promote gender equality across Canada.

Back at home, I would like to thank our own Program Standing Committee for a wonderful meeting in October. The speaker was Margaret Wente and so many members came out to hear her interesting presentation that the room was full. Our new layout enables members and guests to enjoy the delicious refreshments all evening while enjoying the fellowship around the tables. The November speaker is equally interesting so please come and invite a friend to hear the dynamic indigenous lawyer, Jodie-Lynn Waddilove.

Nancy Ferris-Hostick, CFUW St. Catharines President, 2017-18

President’s September Message

2016-17-HHall-IMG-0481Well, 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

CFUW National AGM 2016

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AGM-2016-logo-lowresJune 23-25 2016IMG_2934-sq-lowres

Brock University
Co-Convenors: Monique DeJonghe & Gail Neff

Limited spaces still available for Tours – click here for more information. To order tickets, contact

For more information regarding Accommodation, Registration and other documents, check out CFUW National Website. To register, click the Registration Information Guide.