2015 Annual Report – Laws

October 01, 2016

Betty Anne Brown Davidson
National Past President and Chairperson of Laws
2015 Annual Report

The reports from my provincial counterparts were the most reasoned, helpful, positive, willing and joy-filled reports I have ever received in the League! Not because they raved about a huge increase in membership numbers, but mainly because, all across Canada, these women “got” what membership in the League was all about. Provincial past presidents unanimously spoke about the spiritual development of members and the resultant outreach of loving services to the people of God. They believed passionately in the importance of the presence of the League in Canadian society, and they whole-heartedly offered themselves as workshop facilitators, council representatives and mentors to move along the plans of the year.

Served in a consultative capacity

Past presidents made themselves available to newly installed presidents and executives by advising, suggesting, pointing to resources, chairing committee meetings and representing their councils at conventions or at parish and community events. Their “ministry of presence” encouraged members, and they led by example in many provinces. One provincial council reported that because many parish councils were small with incomplete executives, the province functioned best using a “shared leadership style.” In another provincial council, the past president served as the executive liaison for the provincial convention planning committee.

Were responsible for archives and history

This was a daunting task that involved serious decision-making by past presidents. Culling, organizing, amalgamating, arranging for safe storage and displaying past historical events in a meaningful way involved an unsung gift of time in many corners of Canada. Binders celebrating award recipients and summaries of presidential terms were generally well maintained and appreciated by members. Members in one provincial council requested an archive workshop to demonstrate how to save, write and digitize archival materials.

Facilitated the study and implementation of the Constitution & Bylaws

Updating and correlating local, diocesan and provincial manuals of policy and procedure with the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) proved to be a teachable moment for some past presidents. One council conducted a C&B quiz at a meeting. Maintaining motions books proved to be helpful for the running of council business.

Performed other duties as assigned by the president

Past presidents were very active participants in the projects of their councils. Every provincial report noted the creative and enthusiastic attendance of past presidents at conventions seemed to encourage other members. Very often, they chaired nominations and elections committees as well as ad hoc committees for special events and remembrance.

Chaired the laws committee at national level

There was an innate comfort in one’s years of contacts and experience when approached by councils for advice on interpreting League policy, procedures, resources and ways of operating for the good of the whole.

The challenges

Retirement, family moves, illness and death robbed some councils of their immediate past presidents. In many cases, former presidents stepped into the breach with their experience to ensure that League work remained continuous. Good naturedly, past presidents were referred to as “elders,” “grandmothers,” “grease monkeys” and “wise owls”. In reality, all respected it as a privilege to serve as modern day disciples of Jesus, making a difference where they found themselves.

Members were grateful for the willingness of their past presidents to pitch in, serve, mentor and advise, and thus actively live the League theme One Heart, One Voice, One Mission.