I wish to warmly welcome all new and returning members of our club as we join together to enrich not only our own lives, but also the lives of girls and women in our community, across Canada, and around the world.
The theme that I have chosen for our club this year is Sixty-five Years: Appreciating the Past, Embracing the Future. My hope for this 65th anniversary year is that we reflect upon, honour, and appreciate our club’s roots that reach back to 1949 and then build upon this strong foundation to create a vibrant future for our club.
Even though CFUW Oakville is one of the largest clubs in CFUW, we need to continue to look for ways to invite and welcome new members into our club and reach out to our community. One of the themes stressed by the incoming CFUW President, Doris Mae Oulton, at the AGM in Kitchener-Waterloo this year, was that our clubs need to learn “to roar, to blow our own trumpets, to tell our stories.”
We need to celebrate what a great organization CFUW is and share that with the wider community. This is embraced in the new theme for CFUW, the Power of Women Working Together. CFUW is one of the few self-funded organizations in Canada that advocates for “equality, social justice, fellowship and life-long learning for women and girls.”
With over 100 clubs and approximately 9000 members, CFUW provides close to $1million a year in scholarships for young women to pursue their education. To celebrate CFUW’s 100th anniversary in 2019, plans are underway for a 100th Anniversary Project to be highlighted by additional scholarships. CFUW Oakville is proud of the leadership of our members!
As a member of IFUW, we are part of a world-wide organization that illustrates what the power of women working together can achieve through advocacy, scholarships and special projects. “IFUW advocates for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality secondary and tertiary education, and training up to the highest levels.” IFUW’s vision is for “100% of girls and women in the world achieving education beyond primary school.”
At CFUW Oakville, our program committee has worked diligently to book a series of engaging speakers for the upcoming year. Members not only have the opportunity to listen to interesting speakers at the General Meetings and special dinners, but also to belong to many of the varied interest groups convened by our enthusiastic and energetic members. In these groups, members enjoy making new friends and renewing old friendships while pursuing special interests such as psychology and spirituality, bridge, book clubs, hiking, golf, mindfulness, issues, movies, and gourmet.I strongly encourage everyone, but especially new members, to join as many of these groups as time will permit.
Advocacy is an important part of CFUW and our issues group has been very active in researching and preparing resolutions to be presented and voted upon at the AGM for adoption as official CFUW policy. These grassroots resolutions play an important part in CFUW’s role in advocating for women’s rights both in Canada and at the United Nations. Please consider becoming a part of this very effective group In addition, our club feels very strongly about supporting education for women and is proud to provide scholarships to deserving women and girls in our community.
It is my hope that the generous support of our members to the Scholarship Fund will continue, so that we can help more young women to attain a post-secondary education. There are so many ways for you to become involved in our club. So, please join in the fun, enjoy the opportunity to continue learning, welcome new members, advocate for important issues, and contribute to the scholarship trust. I look forward to seeing you at our September General Meeting, where you can enjoy refreshments, renew and make new friendships, sign up for interest groups, and listen to our excellent guest speaker, Michael Enright.