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The First Twenty Five Years

The Soroptimist Foundation was established in 1958 by Soroptimist International of the Americas, by Deed of Trust, for charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes. Following establishment of The Soroptimist Foundation a Special Committee was set up for establishment of a Canadian Foundation under Chairman Lily E. Quarnberg and Barbara Calef and Brigadier Frances E. Wagner as Members. After a great deal of work by this Committee the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada was chartered as a Corporation by Letters Patent on June 28, 1963, at 116 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon following a meeting of the first Directors at II o’clock the morning of the same day for the purpose of -

  1. to provide bursaries, scholarships and fellowships to Canadian students and Canadian schools, colleges and universities for the advancement of education and in particular to further the appreciation of social needs, the study of community, national and international problems, the study of education and education methods;
  2. to provide Canadians grants for research for recognition of achievement in the advancement of education;
  3. to provide financial assistance for the advancement of education projects or charitable organisations in Canada.

The first Directors of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada were elected:

Duncan Kenneth McTavish - Chairman
Douglas Fletcher Smith - Secretary
Ross Wainwright Cleary
Brian Anthony Crane
George Perley-Robertson

The first meeting accepted the Charter and By-Law number I relating to the transaction of business and affairs of the Corporation, and By-Law Number 3 respecting the borrowing & money by the Corporation. The first meeting also approved the Seal of the Corporation. The Head Office of the Corporation was registered as 116 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario, and can only be changed by a By-Law amendment. At the second meeting held on June 28th, 1963, the first five Directors resigned and were replaced by Barbara Calef, Chairman, Lillian Aylsworth, Secretary Treasurer and Directors Olive Ann Beech, Brigadier Frances E. Wagner and Nora Partridge. Three of the first five Directors were Canadian. On September 18th,1963, Olive Ann Beech resigned and Dorothy McQuarter was elected in her place.

The first Annual Meeting of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 14th, 1963, when Secretary Lillian Aylswsrth read the Charter, By-Laws and Minutes of the Board Meetings. The Meeting also ratified action taken at a meeting of the Special Committee held in Chicago, Illinois, in February 1963. Federation President Virginia Sink attended the First Annual Meeting. The Meeting approved the Bank of Montreal's depository for funds, and also the appointment of the firm of Touche Ross & Smart as Auditors. The Youth Citizenship Award Program commenced in 1962 prior to the incorporation of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada. At the first Annual Meeting there was a discussion as to how funds would become available if a Canadian won the finalist award. It was agreed The Soroptimist Foundation could make a gift to the Canadian Foundation to cover the award.

The second Annual Meeting was held in Seattle,Washington, on February 9th, l964, with Secretary-Treasurer Lillian Aylsworth as Acting Chairman due to the sudden illness of Barbara Calef. Federation President Virginia Sink read a letter from the past and present Managers of W.L. McKenzie & Co. Ltd. to Lillian Aylsworth complimenting and congratulating her on her splendid work with the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada. The Managers had presented a cheque for $100.00 for purchase of Founder Membership for Lillian. Discussion took place on exchange of funds between the two Foundations in order to meet the requirements of the Canadian and American Auditors. Three Directors were elected Nora Partridge, one year, Frances E. Warner, two years, and Lillian Aylsworth three years.

The Third Annual Meeting was held in Chicago, Illinois, on February. 6th, I965, with Edna Nick as Chairman. Edna Nick was elected in February 1965.

To conform with Canadian Laws under which the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada is chartered, the Corporation must spend 90% of its income each year. It was agreed therefore that $500.00 be contributed to the Booth Memorial Home of the Salvation Army Calgary to purchase laundry equipment to be used in training of the girls in the home.

At the Fourth Annual Meeting held on February 12th, 1966, it was reported the application of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada for taxation with the Internal Revenue Department of the United States had been approved by that Department. By-Law Number 4 was adopted. This By-Law states "The Term Endowment" as used in connection with the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada, shall be defined to mean "capital in perpetuity". In 1967 By-Law Number 6 clarified the Endowment Fund to mean "untouchable principal" and all donations thereto shall and are insured in perpetuity to and excIusively for the charitable purposes set out in the Letters Patent of the Foundation. In no event shall the perpetual preservation of the funds of the Endowment Fund be changed except by express provision of the Charter of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada obtained by Supplementary Letters Patent.

The Annual Meeting of February 12th, l966, approved the donation of $1,200.00 to the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for special equipment or project to be determined after consultation with the hospital. A "Wheel Chair Bank" was established for children suffering from cerebral palsy. The cost of the chairs was approximately $200.00 plus the cost of the additional equipment necessary, which depends on the need of each individual child. In February 1967 a further $1,800.00 was donated to the "Wheel Chair Bank". The following is a quote from a letter from the Administrator of the Shriners’ Hospital for Crippled Children:

"It is wonderful to have these wheelchairs to send home with our Cerebral Palsy cases - we now have five of these chairs out, two in Saskatchewan, two in Manitoba and one in Ontario. The parents are so grateful for this service. One mother from Northern Manitoba, whose boy is a very sad case as he is badly crippled, when she saw him sitting in the chair said "Now I can take him out for a ride when we get home - you have made me the happiest mother in the world".

Another said how happy she was that now her child could sit up and could see everything at a different angle - the child had never sat in a chair before.

Up until 1968 Soroptimist International of the Americas and The Soroptimist Foundation absorbed the expenses of the Canadian Directors attending Board Meetings. Since this was a sizeable amount, it was agreed the Canadian Foundation should budget to assume these expenses. Our first step toward becoming self-supporting.

In 1968 a donation of $1,200 was made to the Department of Indian Affairs, In Trust, to be used as bursaries for Indian children. A further $1,200 was approved in 1969 and $1,000 in 1970. A second step toward becoming self-supporting occurred in 1969 when $800.00 was allocated to the Youth Citizenship Award Program. In 1970 $1,500.00 was allocated, and the growth continued until the Canadian Foundation covered the full cost in 1977-78. It is interesting to note that the 1968-1970 Budget includes expenses of $900.00 made up as follows - Meeting expenses $600.00, Audit $200.00, Postage and Mailing $40.00 and miscellaneous $60.00.

The Annual Meeting held on March 7th, 1970, at Rexdale, Ontario, was advised the Fellowship Fund Grants-in-Aid supported by Founders Pennies were being awarded to Canadians in 1970. In 1971 the contribution to the Youth Citizenship Awards Program was increased to $3,000.00. That year expansion of the programs of the Youth Citizenship and Fellowship Awards was approved with the support of the Canadian Foundation. In 1971 Soroptimists throughout the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Soroptimismat the International Convention held in Rome, Italy. As part of the celebration it was agreed the voluntary contributions to the Founders Pennies would be doubled, or two pennies for each year since the chartering of the first club in 1921. As a part of the celebrations Western Canada Region initiative (Training or Retraining Awards for women 50 years of age or older), which became known as the "50 for 50 Award". The program created a great deal of interest throughout Soroptimist International of the Americas, and, as a result, the Training Awards Program was approved for the Federation. The awards were made available to mature women of any age who wished to enter or re-enter the labour force. The first awards were made in 1974 with a Canadian contribution of $5,000.00 toward the Youth Citizenship and Training Awards Programs.

The Annual Meeting held on July 27th, 1975, was pleased to hear the news that a Canadian had won the finalist award of $1,500.00 in the Youth Citizenship Program. A goal of $100,000.00 was set and suggestions were made as to how Soroptimists could help reach that goal - such as a donation to the Foundation instead of sending Christmas cards - donate at a rating according to your measurement from finger to finger tip - or the length of your skirt from the floor - your weight - talent money - sell space in club bulletin - count ballots in elections - sell lottery tickets - make a birthday gift to the Foundation on your birthday - donate the amount you spend weekly on smoking.

In July 1976 the Federation Board of Directors approved the formation of a new region to be called the Northeastern Region, which was a merger of the Maritime and New England Regions. However, the Canadian Clubs continue to contnibute to the Canadian Foundation and any winners of Youth Citizenship and Training Awards in the Maritimes continue to be financed through the Canadian Foundation.

A very exciting new program was instituted in 1976 when the McCall-Life Pattern Awards were made available by McCalls. These training awards are in addition to the Foundation Training Awards. Each Award will be $2,500.00 whereas the Foundation Award is $1,000.00 each. It was agreed clubs should endeavour to give the McCall-Life Pattern Awards wide publicity and encourage groups to purchase McCall patterns. At this point in the history of the Canadian Foundation we were able to contribute $6,000.00 toward the cost of $9,000.00 for the Youth Citizenship and Training Awards.

At the Annual Meeting on July 29th, 1977, the long awaited announcement was made that the Foundations had achieved, even surpassed, the ONE MILLION DOLLAR GOAL. At the same meeting the McCall-Life Pattern Company guaranteed awards for a third year. Another step forward for the Canadian Foundation was that effective in the year 1978-1979 all cheques for winners of Awards would be issue directly by the Canadian Foundation. This means the Canadian Foundation is self-supporting. This was a great feeling for Canadians but in celebrating they recognized the support received from The Soroptimist Foundation.

In July 1978 the Annual Meeting was held in Calgary, when Chairman Eileene Bidwell announced the first joint meeting of the Boards of Directors of the two Foundations was held in Philadelphia in May of that year. Although the two Foundations are separate, and two sets of minutes are kept, the Trustees and Directors attend the meeting as a unit as programs are common to both Foundations. In 1978 the Canadian Foundation contributed $6,000.00 in United States funds ($6,774.00 Canadian) toward the two Identifying Projects. The 1978-1980 Budget approved at the Annual Meeting included $3,600.00 for administration and $14,000.00 for program. The new goal for the 1978-1980 biennium is $200,000.00 with Canada’s share $20,000.00. Individual contributions will be rewarded as follows:

A Fellow of the Foundation (gold) $1,000
Distinquished Member (silver) $ 500
Honour Menter (bronze) $ 200

A Million Dollar Luncheon was held on July 1, 1978, to celebrate reaching the goal and also celebrating youth. It was particularly rewarding that the luncheon was held in Canada at the time of the Federation Convention hosted by the Western Canada Region.

The Board Meeting in May 1979 heard the good news that an additional McCall-Life Pattern Award is to be made to each Region in 1980 in the amount of $1,250.00 each. Any balance, after all expenses are paid, is to be placed in the Service Fund for future Training Awards. At the Annual Meeting held July 3rd, 1979, in Honolulu, an announcement was made that after three very successful years the McCall-Life Pattern Awards had been terminated, and a Resolution of Appreciation signed by the Trustees and Directors had been sent to the McCall Pattern Company. The additional Awards to be made in 1980 were to be made from the balance of funds. The Annual Meeting also heard that Who’s Who Among American High School Students is giving an annual $1,000.00 scholarship to the Youth Citizenship Finalist. The Trustees and Directors have been assured the award will be made regardless of the country of the student.

Soroptimist Youth Seminars were instituted in 1980. The program affirms the Soroptimist commitment to youth. Individual clubs, or groups of clubs, sponsor Youth Seminars, where outstanding young people convene to study and discuss pertinent topics. These seminars promote greater understanding of the issues affecting our world. From the participants at Region-level Seminars two young people from each Region are chosen to attend the Federation Seminar. The first Seminar was held in Boys’ Town, Omaha, Nebraska, where students assembled from throughout the Federation. Costs for Canadians attending the Seminar are covered by the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada.

At the Annual Meeting held in Denver, Colorado, July 25, 1980, the possibility of a Canadian Foundation Project was discussed,and an Ad Hoc Committee was established to investigate possibilities and cost factors. The Committee Members were Gladys E. Neale, Chairman, Toronto, Hilda Robertson, St. John District, and Ida MacDonald, Kamloops. All Clubs across Canada were asked to submit suggestions for a Canadian Project - 13 replies were received suggesting many projects. However, most of the suggestions were local needs and would be difficult to apply Canada-wide.

At the spring Conferences in Eastern and Western Canada the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Conmittee that a special $10,000.00 Grant be made for Special Training Awards in 1982 was approved.

The $10,000.00 to be distributed as follows:

$3,000 to Western Canada Region
$4,000 to Eastern Canada Region (for handicapped)
$1,000 to the Maritimes

The Annual Meeting held in Los Angeles, California, on July 25th, 1982 passed the folowing Motion - ‘that grants of $5,000 each be establishe for the 1982-1984 biennium for the purpose of furthering the training or education of women who are preparing for profession or occupation which deals directly with helping other women. The Board of Directors to establish procedures.

The Annual Meeting also approved an annual scholarship of $2,000 in the name of the late Norma E. Brougham in the field of psychology at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Norma Brougham had made a large bequest to the Foundation. A motion was also passed that the Board of Directors set up criteria for an honour roll to be kept in the permanent records of the Foundation recognizing bequests. At this same meeting By-Law Number 14 was approved to change the number of Canadian Directors to four plus The President of The Soroptimist Foundation as the fifth Director.

The Annual Meeting in 1983 was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on October 22nd. This meeting approved the following - any club contributing at least $400.00 to the Foundation during the 1982-84 biennium will be recognized on an Honour Roll to be displayed at the 1984 Convention; and at such other places as may be appropriate; to be permanently displayed at Federation Headquarters.

The Meeting also decided the the Grants for Women Program be continued for the 1984-1986 biennium. The number of grants to be at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

In honour of the 25th Anniversary of The Soroptimist Foundation and the 20th Anniversary of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada a goal of $2,000,000 by June 30, 1984, was set. The Canadian Goal was $500,000.

At the Annual Meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 16, 1984, the By-Laws were changed to provide for five Canadian Directors and for the Chairman be one of these Directors. Gladys E. Neale was the first Canadian Chairman except for two occasions when the Secretary-Treasurer, Elsie G. Garlick, was Acting Chairman.

The first 25 years have seen a real growth as our funds have increased and we have come to the point where the Canadian Foundation is managed by Canadian Directors. This growth is due to the support of clubs, bequests from dedicated Soroptimists, and, of course, the support of individual Soroptimists. We must also recognize the dedication of the Directors who have served over the 25-year period. I hope when you read this brief history, it will bring back memories, and that new members will realize the amount of work that has been undertaken to bring us to this point. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to endeavour to bring together the history of our Canadian Foundation From June 28, 1963 to June 28, 1988.

Elsie G. Garlick

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Directors of the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada
Duncan Kenneth McTavish Chairman June 28, 1963 - 4 years
Douglas Fletcher Smith Secretary June 28, 1963 - 4 years
Ross Wainwright Cleary   June 28, 1963 - 4 years
Duncan Kenneth McTavish   June 28, 1963 - 4 years
Brian Anthony Crane   June 28, 1963 - 4 years
George Perley-Robertson   June 28, 1963 - 4 years
Barbara Calef   1963
Olive Ann Beech   1963
Lillian Aylsworth Secretary-Treasurer 1963 - 1967
Frances E. Wagner Secretary-Treasurer 1963 - 1966
Nora Partridge   1963
Dorothy McQuarter   1963
Edna Nick   1965
Marie Felker Secretary-Treasurer 1965 - 1975
Roma Conroy Secretary Treasurer 1966 - 71
Sarah Heinish   1967 - 1972
Sarah H. McLean    
Mae E. Yeoman    
Barbara Thrall    
Bernice Lilley   1971 - 1975
Margaret Charrbers Secretary-Treasurer 1972 - 1977
Muriel Morse Secretary-Treausurer 1971 - 1975
Eileene Bidwell   1975 - 80
Janet Simonds   1981
Elsie G. Garlick Secretary-Treasurer 1975 - 85
Dorothy Truman Secretary-Treasurer 1975 - 81
Nora Quigley   1977 - 78
Dorothy Davidson   1977 - 81
Gladys E. Neale 1981
Ruth B. Klotz   1981 - 84
Doris Thompson   1979
Jean Hird   1982 - 83
Margaret H. Gibson   1983 - 87
Gladys M. Wilson   1983 - 88
Maida E. Barrick   1979
Doris Thompson   1984 - 86
Marguerite Duguid   1985
Lola Coventry   1987

Endowment Fund Balances
June 30, 1975 $ 66,870.00
June 30, 1976 $ 81,278.61
June 30, 1977 $ 93,043.78
June 30, 1978 $ 105,432.40
June 30, 1979 $ 130,054.20
June 30, 1980 $ 156,821.70
June 30, 1981 $ 168,482.60
June 30, 1982 $ 298,710.10
June 30, 1983 $ 310,751.80
June 30, 1984 $ 320,073.50
June 30, 1985 $ 327,104.00
June 30, 1986 $ 337,426.00

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