Past President Communique #4

November 27, 2017

National Past President and Chairperson of Laws Barbara Dowding, November 24, 2017


Advent Greetings!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses the two-fold meaning of this coming, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviors first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming.”

As we wait in joyful hope for Christmas, where I am sure you have nothing else to do, I thought I would offer some insights and information regarding the care of archives! In writing my article for The Canadian League, I note and share some of it in advance with you here.

Having attended my first national archives committee meeting in Winnipeg, I discovered a whole new perspective of this duty that most often falls to past presidents. What an eye opener it was! There were volumes of bound books going back to the beginning of the century telling the League’s story in ways never to be forgotten. I have always been in awe of what has been accomplished, but to see it all so well preserved and carefully archived was incredible.
I was overwhelmed when the time came to do the work as the committee members began to put papers, books and pictures into their proper place. There are codes and boxes and a procedure for every single piece of paper. With the careful tutelage of Honorary Life Member Betty Anne Brown Davidson and life members Mary-Lou Veeken and Connie McBride, I was soon on my way. What a thrill to find the missing piece or a home for a seemingly lost document. The time flew by and the more we did, the more we wanted to do. Mary Lou struck gold with two boxes of archival material from the Sisters of Service, much of which dated back to the early 1900s. So many articles, clippings and hand-written letters spoke of a totally different time, memories that brought the past to life and linked the sisters to the League in Montreal!

Mary-Lou and Connie responded to my request for an updated resource based on what is being done nationally. It is attached to this communique and I trust it will be a useful tool to pass on to your counterparts. I am thankful for the passion and expertise we are gifted with in these life members.

From a laws perspective, I am grateful for all the questions coming forward, especially regarding anomalies in how members are living out their responsibilities in spite of the structure, elections protocol and the clarification of policies versus bylaws. These queries help to see what needs to be done. Keep the questions coming!

Barbara Dowding
National Past President