94th Annual National Convention News Feed

[print_link]

August 13th, 2014 –

Wednesday was a busy day as the 94th Annual National Convention came to a close. 176 accredited delegates were present to discuss and vote on proposed resolutions. In total, 585 delegates, members, guests and clergy attended the annual gathering, hosted in beautiful Fredericton.

August 13th, 2014 – Standing Committee Reports

Spiritual Development Chairperson, Mary Nordick, told members they would know whether their “theme has borne fruit” by reflecting on the words of Fulton J. Sheen: “Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?”

Organization Chairperson, Barbara Dowding spoke of sitting at a campfire in January as she reflected on Catch the Fire!, “the glory of it and the success; the positive accolades and personal testimonies.”

Christian Family Life chairperson, Margaret Ann Jacobs encouraged members to “take the time to educate our members, to inform them, to educate ourselves, empathize with those who are suffering, and live our gospel values.”

Community Life chairperson, Fran Lucas announced “Let us leave this convention knowing we each have been gifted with the power from God to help someone fulfill their dream.”

Education and Health chairperson, Peggy Roche spoke of her family who has been touched by mental illness and asked members to be mindful of the harm climate change is having on the health of Canadians.

Cecile Miller, Communications chairperson spoke of the need for communication and leadership. “We can strive to be leaders in promoting joy in all our encounters which will make us happier and the world a better place.  Then others will be able to say with us, “We have seen the Lord!”

Shari Guinta, Resolutions chairperson spoke of the impact the League has had on government during the past year.  “The Lord is indeed everywhere and I praise Him for being with me as I journeyed these past two years.”

Legislation chairperson, Anne Marie Gorman asked members to “Imagine the wonder, the trepidation, the fear, the disbelief of the first women who uttered ‘I have seen the Lord!’”

Past President and Laws chairperson, Velma Harasen, opened her report by announcing “Dreams do come true- if you believe!” “As I move from this table to the table in front of me,” said Velma, “I will continue to dream.”

August 13th, 2014 – Welcome to Vancouver!

20140813_144854

As the 94th Annual National Convention came to a close, Roxanne McDonald from the 2015 Convention Committee led her sister Vancouverites in inviting all members to “Come and explore [the] diverse and cosmopolitan city.” Having given each registered attendee in Fredericton a key, Roxanne urged members to “come and unlock the possibilities!”  Congratulations to Cecilia Fenrich from Edmonton, Alberta who was the winner of the $500.00 discount off her hotel stay for convention 2015!

 

August 13th, 2014 – Resolutions

20140813_13274320140813_132626

The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, at the 94th Annual National Convention, adopted the five following resolutions:

  • 2014.01 – Restoration of Health Care for Refugee Claimants (Community Life, submitted by Nova Scotia Provincial Council)
  • 2014.02 – Electronic Cigarettes (Education and Health, submitted by Manitoba Provincial Council)
  • 2014.03 – Flavoured Tobacco Products Ban (Education and Health, submitted by Alberta MacKenzie Provincial Council)
  • 2014.04 – National Standard for Newborn Screening Including Screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (Education and Health, submitted by Manitoba Provincial Council)
  • 2014.05 – Old Age Security Allowance for Individuals 60 to 64 Years of Age Regardless of Marital Status (Legislation, submitted by Manitoba Provincial Council)

Further details regarding resolutions will be made available on the League’s website at a later date.

August 13th, 2014 – Closing Eucharistic Celebration and Installation of Officers

2014 was an election year, and the buzz of excitement was in the air. Members piled into St. Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Church for the Closing Eucharistic Celebration and to witness the Installation of the newly elected national officers.

Most Reverend Bishop William McGrattan gave a beautiful homily as he spoke of Mary, the “model of evangelization.” Addressing the members he said, “Your hearts are humble, your hearts are tender … and that is what Pope Francis is calling for.” Referencing Micah 6:8, he urged members to “act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God” throughout life and all its endeavors.

Following Bishop McGrattan’s homily, a beautiful installation ceremony of the new national officers was held, to the delight of members. Holding a lit candle, the League’s new leaders promised to fulfill the League’s mission.

The Catholic Women’s League of Canada’s National Officers:

  • National President: Barbara Dowding
  • National President-Elect: Margaret Ann Jacobs
  • 1st Vice-President: Anne-Marie Gorman
  • 2nd Vice-President: Fran Lucas
  • National Secretary-Treasurer: Shari Guinta
  • National Past-President: Betty Anne Brown Davidson

Standing Committee Chairpersons: Doreen Gowans, Judy Lewis,  Janet McLean,  Jacqueline Nogier and Nancy Simms

Congratulations to all new National Officers, and on behalf of all League members, thank you to the outgoing officers who inspired thousands of women across the country, and helped members Catch the Fire!

August 13th, 2014 – Volunteer Committees

Thank you to the numerous volunteers who spent countless hours preparing to host the 94th Annual National Convention! The hospitality, kindness, friendly smiles, helping hands and generosity of each and every volunteer made Fredericton 2014 an unforgettable experience. Members, guests, delegates and speakers saw the Lord in each one of you.

August 12th, 2014 – Oral Reports

Oral reports from each provincial council president; national secretary-treasurer, Judy Lewis; national spiritual advisor, Bishop William McGrattan; executive director, Kim Scammell; and national president, Betty Anne Brown Davidson were presented to members and 171 delegates on Tuesday afternoon.

August 12th, 2014 – Keynote Speaker, Sheila Isaac

Indigenous Women in Community Leadership Program

Sheila Isaac - Headshot

Peggy Roach, national chairperson of education introduced Sheila Isaac, program manager for the Coady International Institute’s Indigenous Women in Community Leadership Program (IWCL).

Sheila, a Mi’kmaq lawyer from Listuguj First Nation in Quebec began her speech admitting her surprise that League members “wanted to hear about Indigenous women in Canada.” As a child, she used sports to improve her self esteem and, as a product of residential schools, she saw education as a way out. “My father,” she said, “taught me not to rely on the men.”

In school, Sheila found she wasn’t taught the history of her peoples, and with an absentee mother, she taught herself about her culture and her peoples’ past. To help the audience grasp what being Aboriginal means in today’s society, Sheila went over a brief history of Aboriginal people, beginning with “Columbus gets lost” and the resulting label, “Indian.”

Providing a sobering statistic, Sheila let members know that Aboriginal people won the right to vote in 1960; forty-two years after women earned the right to vote in 1918. Sheila also spoke of injustices to Aboriginal women who, prior to Bill C-31, (passed in 1985) were stripped of their “status” if they married non-aboriginal men; the government’s way of taking the “Indian” out. Sadly, it took until 2008 for Canadian Aboriginal peoples to be included under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

IWCL is a four month program, running May through August, designed to:

  • Engage the next generation of Indigenous women leaders
  • Provide practical skills/experience for Indigenous women
  • Benefit from the wisdom of established women leaders
  • Produce inspiring resources
  • Support active, community–driven development towards self-reliance and self-determination

By educating Aboriginal women and helping them become leaders, current issues plaguing the community such as the missing and murdered Indigenous women and lateral violence can be addressed.

Sheila ended her address by having members view one of her student’s films on lateral violence. “What kind of Inuk are you?” was the worst question Sheila’s student had ever been asked by a fellow Inuit person. “This is lateral violence,” the student said, “the shaming, humiliating and occasionally violent behavior directed towards a person from the same group. We have believed that this is normal behavior for our people and it’s not.” Educating women, having them recognize the leader within themselves, can put communities on the right path to changing this behavior.

The video ended with a poignant quote by Marianne Williamson, applicable to all women.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

August 12th, 2014 – Commissioning of New Life Members

“Life membership is an honour and a privilege, but also a responsibility,” said national president-elect, Barb Dowding. Accepting the nomination of life membership is accepting the responsibility of sharing the League with others, a life-long vow to the sisterhood. These women have been chosen for their ability to go forth and proclaim, “We have seen the Lord!”

Verna Lynn Bergeron, Kapuskasing

Theresa McGuire, Lively

Cathy Bouchard, Red Deer

Albertine Moran (in absentia), Brandon

Zita Cameron, Kingston

Jacqueline Nogier, Snow Lake

Bev Drouin (in absentia), Chalk River

Linda Marie O’Hagan (in absentia), St. Catharines

Theresa Duann, Dartmouth

Marie Rackley, Saint John

Annette Kelly, Timmins

Hazel Robichaud, Dieppe

Ann T. McGray, Dartmouth

The new life members were summoned by name and dipped their hand in a bowl of holy water held by National President Betty Anne Brown Davidson.  They made the Sign of the Cross and then went to Bishop McGrattan who prayed over each, “Receive the Sign of the Cross on your hands, that through the touch of your hands in service to the people of God, you may know God’s presence in your life.”

Before Bishop McGrattan blessed the newly-commissioned life members, members in the assembly raised their hands over them and sang the CWL blessing.

Keynote Speaker: Imelda Perley

Building Relationships with Aboriginal Women

Imelda_Headshots - Headshot

Pat Deppiesse, president for BC & Yukon provincial council introduced speaker Imelda Perley, a linguist from Tobique First Nation. Imelda began her keynote address by welcoming members and guests to the traditional Wolastoq community. “Wolastoq,” said Imelda, “is the traditional name of St. John River,” which flows freely through the beautiful city of Fredericton.

The loss of the identity and languages of Canadian First Nations people should be of concern to all Canadians. Imelda spoke in a soft, peaceful voice as she asked members, “How do I teach my children and grandchildren that the first name of St. John River is Wolastoq?”

An elder-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, Imelda spoke of the spiritual use of sweetgrass, “the hair of mother Earth.” She spoke of working with those in the mental health field and using traditional medicines versus pharmaceuticals to help those in her community, for she has “seen the Lord in my medicine man.”

“I get hurt a lot because of my culture because it’s not the norm of society,” Imelda said sadly. How can we address the divide between aboriginals and non-aboriginals? Imelda’s answer, “Know the real identity of the native, first nations people… that’s the way of opening the door of understanding.” We were born with “two ears and one mouth” Imelda said, adding, “You have to listen more than you speak.”

First Nations people, want “a side by side relationship” said Imelda, not a relationship where one is above the other.  As a child, Imelda’s grandmother told her that the four- letter word “hate” was not one to be spoken from her lips. “In my language, we don’t objectify,” Imelda explained. “We have to learn to use words that heal, not hurt.”

Tobique First Nation is one with many successful people, where the whole community raises the children.  Pleasing the members in the audience, Imelda added she always thought the success of her people was, “because there was a Catholic Women’s League when we were children.” Her grandmother always taught her, “Don’t forget the church.” Earning chuckles from the audience, Imelda stated, “I actually have the recipe of what we call CWL sandwiches.” There is “no difference between Aboriginal spirituality and Catholicism,” said Imelda, “except one.” She then explained, “When the priest goes to the right, we always go to the left because that is where our heart is.” In Imelda’s culture, she said, “We’re taught that all of creation are our relatives.”

Imelda ended her address with a traditional song that honours the river. Water is a symbol of life and “as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows.” Her voice pierced the air with a haunting, powerful sound that, when accompanied to her beating drum reached the souls of the audience members. “I’ve been translating from English to Maliseet for so long,” she said, “It’s about time to ask us to translate Maliseet to English,” so stories of the First Nations peoples of Canada can be shared.

August 11th, 2014 – Dinner & Entertainment

20140811_211418

After a busy day full of keynote addresses, League members and guests enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Fredericton Convention Centre. On the menu was a tasty sundried tomato and feta chicken breast, accompanied by vegetables and a delicious cheesecake dessert.

Guests had the chance to mingle and meet new friends. Many commented on how well spoken the keynote speakers of the day were. The highlight of the evening came with vinyl2bits, a nine piece band who strives to ensure their music is danceable. The lead singer, Julie MacLean warned the audience, “We will continue to bug you all night if you don’t get up to dance.”

Each member of the band plays a minimum of two different instruments, including keyboard, guitar, drums, trombone, and there were four vocalists among the nine members. They began their set with a lively “Zoot Suit Riot” originally by the Cherry Poppin Daddies. Next up was an adult contemporary piece, “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. Members were spotted singing along to “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield.

This energetic band had a wide range of musical styles from swing to country, and life member Joyce Green and her partner were the first two on the dance floor!

It was a fantastic way to end the evening!

August 11th, 2014 – Catholic Missions In Canada

Betty Colaneri, provincial president of Ontario introduced Kathleen Ancker and Patricia Gyulay of Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC) who were filling in for Fr. Philip Kennedy who is in poor health. Betty asked that members please keep him in their thoughts and prayers.

Kathleen has been a member for many years and Patricia is thrilled to be celebrating her first year as a member! CMIC is an organization that supports mission communities struggling to keep the faith alive, to which “League members have donated $305,000.00,” exclaimed Kathleen.

A short film, Great Need, Great Hope illustrated with beautiful pictures, captured the work that CMIC does each and every day. From providing for spiritual needs, clothes and other necessities such as gas, CMIC helps fill the void. The film illustrated how great the needs are, and Patricia stated, that “because there are League members, there is hope.”

August 11th, 2014 – Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Michael Kirby

Mental Health and Young People

20140811_132703

“Many of us gathered here today can relate to struggling in the shadows of mental health issues … it is sometimes difficult to know where to turn to” said Joan Bona, provincial president for Nova Scotia while introducing keynote speaker and former senator, the Hon. Michael Kirby to guests Monday afternoon.

Mr. Kirby opened his address by stating how delighted he was to have the opportunity to speak to a religious audience and declared “I am going to tell you what you and your organization can do to help turn the plans I am going to talk about into reality.” Michael Kirby is a man on a mission to fight mental illness in children and youth, but change, he noted, “can only be made at the grassroots level,” it can’t be accomplished from the top down.

Mr. Kirby’s mission began when a committee comprised of eleven senators began to speak of what their next task would be. The topic of mental health came up, and to everyone’s surprise, several senators began to speak of family members with mental health issues and the difficulties they faced obtaining resources. “If you had said to all of us on the committee that every one of us had a story about family with mental illness, we would have said ‘you’re crazy!’” proclaimed Mr. Kirby. During the three year period the committee had been working together, “we knew the various other significant physical illness[es] that impacted everyone on the committee and their family. During that three year period, not one of us talked about the mental illness affecting our family,” stated Mr. Kirby.

The stigma associated with mental illness is what prevents kids and youth from obtaining help and support. Shockingly, Mr. Kirby explained, 40% of parents have admitted they would be too embarrassed to seek help for their child with a mental illness. Mental health issues have only recently begun to be openly talked about; however, “we cannot allow it slip back into the shadows.”

“Only 25% of young people who have a mental illness get help,” said Mr. Kirby. “What would be your reaction if 75% of kids with cancer didn’t get help?” he asked. With only car accidents averaging more deaths per year, “suicide is the second leading cause of death in people between 15 and 24,” he explained. Comparatively, cancer, takes the lives of people in the same bracket a third as often.

Besides the stigma associated with mental illness, which is the biggest single reason why nothing has been done, Mr. Kirby also made reference to the lack of resources and support for young people with mental health illnesses. With 75-85% of mental illness starting out as a mood disorder, and with the majority of mental illness starting off before the age of twenty, the Medicare system is a problem, stated Mr. Kirby. If diagnosed quickly, the chances of a child getting better or managing his/her symptoms is very high, but “to have the service free, you have to wait to see a psychiatrist which takes 12-18 months depending on where you are in the country.” Medicare covers psychiatrists; however it does not cover clinical psychologists, counselors or social workers who can be instrumental in helping children and their families cope with mental illness. “People with money can get the service, people without cannot,” said Mr. Kirby passionately.

So what is Michael Kirby’s solution as a man on a mission? Last fall, he approached provincial governments and asked them to spend $1,000.00 to help children with mental illnesses. This covers eight sessions per child and will help raise the percentage of children with mental health issues who receive care from 25% to 50%, a step in the right direction.

Charming the ladies in the audience, Mr. Kirby stated, “I have had a lot of jobs in my life, but none has been as fun as being an irresponsible grandfather.” He then urged members to go to the Right By You website at www.rightbyyou.ca where information is available for those who want to help. “We have to show governments at both levels this is an issue that grassroots levels care about,” he said. “I truly believe, I really, really believe, that with the help of everyone in this room, and your families, we will be able to make a difference”. Ending his passionate address, he asked members to “please do whatever you can to help make this country a better place for children and youth with mental illnesses.”

August 11th, 2014 – Keynote Speaker, Bishop Robert Morneau (Diocese of Green Bay)

To Live with the Spirit

20140811_104411

Avid golfer and Packers super-fan Bishop Robert Morneau reminded delegates that Our Lady did two things in her life as a disciple of the Lord – listen and respond. “Mary was silent; she listened and she had the silence within her. She let God’s will take precedence over her own; she listened to what God asked of her and responded,” he said. “You cannot claim to be a loving person if you do not respond.” As fellow disciples of the Lord, delegates were reminded not just to listen but to respond, as Mary and the Good Samaritan did, even to the calls unspoken.

Bishop Morneau talked about discipleship, which is following the Lord Jesus. It is grounded in five baptismal calls — to maturity, to holiness, to community, to service and to generosity. He then explained stewardship as a disciple’s response of receiving God’s gifts gratefully, nurturing God’s gifts responsibly, sharing God’s gifts justly and sacrificially, and returning God’s gifts in abundance. Delegates were asked to consider what their unique gifts were and to think about when they felt most happy and alive. “Everything that has been given to us is surely a gift,” he said. “We shouldn’t take anything for granted.”

The Holy Spirit enlightens, enkindles and empowers us. The five Ts of friendship, he noted, are “time, talk, tenderness, trust and thoughtfulness.” He asked delegates to treasure these aspects of friendship on the journey.

August 11th 2014 – Morning Mass

The Holy Spirit and faith in the Eucharist were certainly present with the over 500 members and guests at the Eucharistic celebration Monday morning (August 11th). Bishop Gerard Bergie’s homily reminded attendees that while there are many crises in our world today, the Lord uses them, His children, as instruments of hope.

People are not alone – God is deep within and God is present. He will bring us home one day. …We are always God’s children, and God is always with us,” he said.

“What we are doing at this very moment is so hope filled, so miraculous and powerful that sometimes we don’t even realize what we are doing. For when we celebrate the Eucharist, we should be so moved that we want to fall down and give praise and worship to our God, who becomes present to us on this altar. This, first and foremost, is the purpose of the Eucharist – to realize we are children of God. We are not God but called to worship God. God uses us as instruments of hope in this world. First and foremost, it is what we do for God and God, in response, fills us with that hope and mercy, strengthens us and sends us forth.

National President-elect Barbara Dowding led a touching memorial service for deceased members and spiritual advisors. Red roses (symbols of life in Christ) were presented by the provincial presidents in honour of the deceased members in their province, and National President Betty Anne Brown Davidson placed a white rose in honour of departed spiritual advisors.

August 10th, 2014 – Official Opening and Eucharistic Celebration

20140810_165217

Members, delegates and honoured guests filled St. Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Church with their bodies, hearts and voices, to celebrate the official opening of the 94th Annual National Convention.  Commencing with the traditional flag procession, the national executive humbly, yet proudly walked through the church, inspiring their fellow League sisters.

Not everyone is blessed with the ability to sing on key, however when we sing in church and believe in the messages the hymns tell, Jesus and the angels sing through us. This was evidenced throughout the celebrations as League sisters sang with their hearts and spirits!

Several honoured guests brought greetings to the congregation, including New Brunswick’s Hon. Lieutenant Governor, Graydon Nicholas who spoke of St. Dunstan’s as his home parish. He fondly recalled his childhood when his mother would host CWL meetings in his kitchen and forbid him from eating the cookies!

Fr. Stanislas Paulin, provincial spiritual advisor for New Brunswick welcomed the guests in multiple languages, reflecting the diversity of the women involved in the League sisterhood. Marg McCallum, New Brunswick’s provincial council president greeted guests and, reminded of a hymn, proclaimed “surely the presence of the Lord is in this place”.

Mayor Brad Woodside spoke of being inspired earlier in the morning by His Holiness Pope Francis and urged members to “give thanks for what you have and remember those who have nothing”. The League’s national president, Betty Anne Brown Davidson, assured the congregation that indeed, “God is with us because we have seen the Lord”.

Bishop Robert Harris gave a thoughtful and inspiring homily, expressing his appreciation for League members stating “you are a force to contend with”. He urged all members to accept responsibility as shareholders of the church, and proclaimed all that is needed from the congregation is “five loaves and two fish”, for God will perform the miracle if members are fully present. Bishop Harris assured all members they are beloved by God; they are “chosen, blessed, broken and given”.

The 94th Annual National Convention has commenced. League sisters are engaged, present and ready to share their five loaves and two fish.

August 10th, 2014 – Kings Landing Historical Settlement

20140810_10484520140810_10412520140810_103837
Roughly 150 League members and their guests spent the morning at the replicated historical settlement of Kings Landing. When the water level of St. John River was raised in the late 1960’s, homes that had been a part of New Brunswick’s landscape since the early 19th century would have been destroyed. To preserve the homes and their history, the buildings were moved to Kings Landing where they were restored.

Entering the gates of the village is like taking a step back in time. Guests to Kings Landing experienced a living history atmosphere, with stories based on real families brought to life by actors.  Humorous stories fitting the portrayed era were told, including one about a sixteen year old girl who feared she would not be able to find a husband once she turned seventeen. Imagine, too old for marriage at seventeen!

Visitors had a chance to explore the homes, church, general store, blacksmith’s shop and school room from various decades in the 1800s. Members were engaged and asked many questions, curious as to how certain things were accomplished without all the advantages provided in modern times. In between houses, guests were treated to a lively jig played by a costumed fiddler.

The authenticity of Kings Landing could be seen in every detail throughout the village. Following the tour throughout the settlement, guests were treated to a simple, yet savory meal of turkey stew and spice cake.

Spending the morning in the 19th century was a good reminder to enjoy the privileges afforded to members in modern day and take time to occasionally go at a slower pace.

August 9th, 2014 – Lobster Dinner

20140809_192317 20140809_182146/
Delegates, members and guests were treated to a scrumptious Lobster dinner at the Monsignor Boyd Family Centre. For those who haven’t visited the Maritimes before, New Brunswick lobster is known to be la crème de la crème. Although it was a messy meal, it was nothing short of delicious!

The pre-dinner entertainment came from Bob McCallum, a self-taught vocalist and guitar player from Miramichi, New Brunswick. After being treated to strawberry-topped cake, the Sistas of St. Patrick’s choir from St. Stephen, New Brunswick put on a great after-dinner show, reminiscent of Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act. Dressed in habits and sunglasses, they performed a lively rendition of “Let the Sun Shine In”, much to the delight of the audience. The Sistas’ really rocked it though with clever lyrics, “nothing you can say will take me away from my God” set to the tune of “My Guy”. Katherine Moller, Fredericton’s version of Natalie McMaster, got everyone’s hands clapping and feet tapping to her Celtic fiddle. The only thing missing was a good ole’ Celtic stomp!

Fr. Stanislas Paulin entertained with Acadian songs and stories accompanying himself at times with the beat of his feet. The evening of entertainment came to a close with songs by Bob MacCallum, and the floor was soon filled with guests dancing.

A grand time was had by all!

August 9th, 2014 – Fredericton City Tour

20140809_173758The first planned excursion for convention goers was a bus tour of the city. Those who were aboard Tyler’s bus heard many stories of Fredericton burning. In the past, Fredericton has faced at least four major fires that destroyed the downtown area. It only goes to show how resilient the people of Fredericton are… or that they need to re-evaluate their building materials.

Among the sites seen include the Government House, which serves as the Lieutenant Governor’s house, the Old Historic Garrison District, and the University of New Brunswick. The majestic trees, the view from the river bank and the architecture of houses built in the 1800s were the true highlights. Lord Beaverbrook, a generous man in his day, donated several buildings (naming them all after himself) to the city due to his pure love of Fredericton.

For members and guests who have planned an extended stay, registration packages are equipped with a well thought out itinerary of sightseeing suggestions. Fredericton has much to offer, including a “Haunted Hike” complete with lanterns and a guide in costume.

August 9th, 2014 – Registration

Saturday marked the first day registration packages were available for pick up. Dedicated volunteers worked diligently during the lead up to convention and many felt those nervous butterflies flittering, hoping all their preparations would result in a seamless process. Volunteering at a national convention is an opportunity that only presents itself every ten years or so, which makes gaining experience and practice very difficult! Each volunteer is adorned in a tartan vest or sash and a friendly smile; give them a hug or a thank you if you happen to spot one!

League members are a unique group, a true sisterhood as evidenced at the registration desk. Women from across the country greeted each other with affectionate smiles and embraces! Some have met only once before, while others may have known one another for years. Despite the distances between them, when League members unite, bonds grow stronger and friendships blossom.

August 8th, 2014 – Welcome to Fredericton!

fredericton

From across the country, League members have made the trek to New Brunswick. A voyage to Fredericton however, is neither an exotic vacation nor an adrenaline adventure; but rather a journey to a land of friendly people, charm and culture. Exploring the quaint community, one can feel the vitality of its people, mixed with a historic embodiment of times past.

Fredericton touches the hearts of its visitors with its likeness to small town comfort; a setting seemingly plucked right from the pages of an enthralling novel. Although not a coastal city, the fresh scent of the ocean carried by the wind invigorates its people. Mist from the St. John River kisses the towering trees along the river banks. Green, luscious and full of life in August, one can only imagine what must be stunning jewel toned leaves coating the city in autumn. A bird’s eye view when entering the city is nothing short of glorious.

For those who have never journeyed to the east coast, it can almost seem like arriving in a foreign country. While proudly Canadian, the east coast has its own personality, its own identity, its own breath and heartbeat. Canada’s people of the east are hard working, hard playing, and easy loving people. The coined Australian phrase, “no worries” aptly suits this city’s people.

In Fredericton, no one is a stranger and everyone knows his or her neighbour. Proudly the only officially bilingual Canadian province, New Brunswick is welcoming to those from all walks of life. Fredericton is a storybook town, a contemporary city embracing its past.

Welcome to Fredericton, a home for your heart. Experience its beauty and unique charm as you embark on your journey to see the Lord. For you will find Him in the glistening eyes, the joyous smiles and the tender hearts of the people of New Brunswick. Bienvenue. Welcome.

August 8th, 2014 – CWL Flag Raising, Fredericton City Hall

bettyanneflag       image

National President Betty Anne Brown
Davidson prepares to raise the CWL flag        The CWL flag flies high above Fredericton