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- Canadian Federation of University Women – Woodstock Branch
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The Canadian Federation of University Women is an organization that works to advance the human rights of women and girls through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. In doing so, the have endeavoured to improve the status of omen, and to promote human rights, public education, social justice and peace nationally and internationally since its founding in 1919. Membership is open to women graduates holding an approved degree from a college or university recognized by the Committee on Standards of the International Federation of University Women.
After discussion by a small group of women about the possibility of forming a Woodstock and District Branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women, a club was formed, receiving its Charter from the national organization in August 1955, with the position of President being held by member Jean Kitchen.
One of the first projects of the newly organized club was the sponsorship of Dr. Olga von Lappo Danilewski, a resident of Giessen, Germany, working as an illustrator of science works at the Botanical Institute. Having been widowed in 1931 she was supporting her daughter and granddaughter. For many years, the University Women’s Club sent money and parcels to Dr. Olga through the Hegg Hoffett Relief Fund, which was established by the International Federation of University Women in 1947. The Fund was created to assist university women in need due to war and political upheaval.
In 1958 the club established a Scholarship Fund and initiated the granting of an annual scholarship to an Oxford County secondary school female graduating student with plans to further her education at university who had achieved the highest marks in grade 13. Money for the scholarships was raised through a variety of efforts within the community over the ensuing years such as combined bake/garage sales in the spring. A book sale in the fall of 1979 raised more than $1,000 for the Scholarship Fund and as well, members worked at one or two professionally run bingos annually, to raise much needed funding. Scholarships were awarded until the disbandment of the Branch.
In addition, the Woodstock Branch hosted guest speakers at their monthly meetings, many of whom were well known in the political and arts communities. Speakers included Larry Grossman on family law, Bette Stephenson on equal opportunities for women in labour, Loet Vos of the Royal Ontario museum on the significance of dolls to various cultures, Robin Phillips on the theatre and the Grand Theatre, London, Ontario in particular and Patricia Watt on becoming your own woman.
As well as the general monthly meeting, there were several small interest groups that met in the homes of members. Subjects included the status of women, bridge, gourmet cooking, conversational French, foreign affairs and a newly formed literature club.
After much discussion regarding the declining membership it was agreed to disband the branch in 1999.
Scope and content
The fonds consist of various materials related to the activities of the Woodstock Branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women and is arranged into the following series and subseries:
Series 1 – Constitution, By-laws, Pamphlets, Historical Notes (1955-1999)
Series 2 - Membership
a) General Membership (1956-1999)
b) Executive (1965-1999)
Series 3 – Reports: Financial and Committee (30 April 1956 – 8 December 1999)
Series 4 – Correspondence
a) General Correspondence (7 March 1957 – 30 September 1987)
b) General Correspondence (4 October 1987 – 13 December 2000)
c) Scholarship Correspondence (24 October 1986 – 19 May 1999)
d) Scholarship Correspondence (7 June 1999 – 8 October 1999)
Series 5 – Report (September 1967 – September 1998)
Series 6 - Bingo/Lottery Licenses (31 December 1992 – 8 December 1999)
Series 7 – Bulletins (September 1966 – December 1984)
Series 8 – Disbandment (28 April 1999 – 4 June 1999)
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Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.
The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.