With sadness we announce that Betty-Jean Davis passed away on March 1, 2019 at 91 years of age. It was an honour to know Betty-Jean Davis and she will be missed.
Visitation is at St. James Anglican Church, 41 Mornington Street, Stratford on Saturday, March 9, from 3 p.m. until the time of the memorial service at 4 p.m. Rev. Dr. Lorne Mitchell will officiate. Her obituary can be found here.
The following information details Betty-Jean’s leadership in CFUW Stratford. It was taken from “Highlights from the History of The Canadian Federation of University Women-Stratford Club on their 50th Anniversary 1954-2004” and compiled by Sharon Malvern.
The Stratford Club, the 81st in CFUW, was founded in 1954 with Cora Ahrens as honorary President and Griffin Stratton as inaugural President. Thirty university graduates attended, along with national president, Dr. Martha Law and International Relations convenor, Dr. Aileen Noonan. In that first year, the dues were $5, of which $2 went to CFUW-National. Betty-Jean Davis was one of the Charter Members. Betty-Jean dedicated a remarkable 65 years to CFUW-Stratford, serving as Club President twice, in 1956-7 and in 2001.
In 1955, the fledgling club started a Bursary Fund so that an award could be presented to a female secondary school student. With great persistence and perseverance, the Club also embarked on the French in the Schools project. Assuming the role of President in 1956, Betty-Jean Davis proposed a series of fundraisers with the Canadian Players. Productions included “Peer Glynt”, Shaw’s “Man and Superman” and “The Devil’s Disciples.”
In 1960, a committee was formed to “study the matter of teaching oral French in the Stratford elementary schools, and to present the findings to the Board of Education. Led by Betty-Jean Davis and Barbara Miller, the Club attended conferences, met with local administrators and overcame the issues of time allocated for the curriculum, costs, and the scarcity of French teachers. In 1968 several members attended a program of French Music and Dance at King Lear School, and reported being very satisfied with the progress of French classes. Instruction in French has been part of the elementary curriculum here ever since.
Betty-Jean was always an active, vital member of CFUW-Stratford. In 2001, she was elected as Club president for the second time. In that year, the Club hosted a group of IFUW members from eleven countries at a reception and dinner at the Stratford Country Club, following the IFUW Triennial conference in Ottawa. Betty-Jean often travelled to Toronto, representing our Club at the CFUW Ontario Council-Status of Women and Human Rights committee meetings. Betty-Jean’s tireless commitment to our organization was recognized at and our 60th Anniversary gathering at University of Waterloo-Stratford Campus in 2014.
Betty Jean will be honoured at our Annual General Meeting in May.