Held every three years, the Associated Country Women of the World Conferences are like a grand reunion of friends of longstanding and shared friendships. U have had the pleasure of attending two such conferences in 1980 and 1983.
The 1980 Conference was in Hamburg, Germany, and even travelling there was an adventure! Leaving Edmonton in mid- afternoon and arriving at the Amsterdam Airport early in the morning was a shock in itself – but turning on the television set and hearing nothing but German, although expected, was still a bit of a surprise.
The Conference itself was exhilarating! Women in national costumes from the four corners of the world — the numerous conversations in languages not understood— and the twisted church spire seen from our hotel window, a leftover from World War Two: all were reminders we were not in Canada. I came home from that venture with a renewed commitment to the Women’s Institute and its members world wide.
In 1983 the conference was in Canada! This time, not as a guest, but as hostesses, the Conference was different. But it had it’s own high points: serving a salmon barbeque to some 1800 attendees — more participation in the debates – and the crowning achievement – the new elected President was a Canadian member from Nova Scotia, Dr. Ellen McLean!
The Conference this year was held in April in Melbourne Australia. Our new President is a member from South Africa. Maggie de Kock brings to her new office a wealth of experience in many offices in in societies in her home country, as well as having attended five World Convention<She has served on the ACWW Executive Committee, and as Chairman ACWW Publications and Promotion Committee as well as Chairman of the Marketing and Communications Committee.
This time we have four members from Canada serving in ACWW positions. Linda Hoy, from Quebec and recently retired FWIC President is now the Area President for Canada, also serving as Committee Chairmen for the coming term, with their Committee name are: Marie Kenny of Prince Edward Island – United Nations; Sheila Needham of Quebec – Communications and Marketing; and Christine Raeburn of Ontario as Honourary Secretary and the chairman of the Triennial Conference Committee.
With these talented ladies joining the new executive, and also as Chairmen of committees, we, I believe, can look forward to an exciting and most interesting three years of ACWW leadership. Just what the focus will be will unfold as the months pass, but watch your Countrywoman magazine and information from Linda for updates and new challenges.
There are challenges here at home, as well as around the world. But in the efforts we make as members of the Associated County Women of the World to make the lives of families better in developing countries is an investment in world peace, and that goal is one that every member of ACWW works toward!
Yours For Home and Country,
Ruth Fenner, Provincial Historian
British Columbia Women’s Institute
If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it's free).