Canadian Federation of University Women, Nelson Branch
I was honoured by the invitation to speak at the local chapter of the CFUW. My topic was “How I discovered I was a feminist”. We had a lively question period and discussion afterwards followed by a delicious lunch served by The Hume Hotel. CFUW Nelson Club have been active for fifty-two years and have never wavered from their commitment to the Club’s mission to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. Thank you for all that you do!
Fifty years ago, in 1967, politician Indira Gandhi, performers Dianna Rigg and Aretha Franklin, and marathon runner K.V. Switzer were all making headlines and breaking new ground for women across the globe. Back then Nelson’s women were also breaking ground as they formed the Nelson Branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women. This eclectic group of dynamic women included teachers, politicians, nurses, writers, artists, musicians, scientists and activists!
On August 8, 1967 two of the women featured above, Lois Arnesen and Shirley Miller participated in the signing of the club’s charter. How many people can say they have been a member of a Club for fifty years? CFUW Nelson joined a federation that now includes one hundred clubs nationwide. During the years that followed, the long-standing members featured in the photo have shared a commitment to the Club’s mission to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. They have sustained the Club’s involvement in public affairs, arts and culture and fund raising for scholarships and bursaries for young women in the community. These dynamic women may not make the global headlines but, in this corner of the Kootenays, for 50 years they have continued to make their mark toward gender equality and community service.
Thank you to my friend Cathy Leugner — Chairperson and Board Member serving on several community service organizations supporting the Nelson Community — for the invitation and opportunity.