100 Years

Working Together


Since 1919, CFUW has unified thousands of women across Canada to advocate for women’s equality, education and empowerment, promoting human rights, social justice and peace. In 1954, a year after the opening of the Stratford Festival, the cause of women’s equality took center stage with the founding of the Stratford chapter of CFUW. For 65 years, the Stratford Club has spearheaded key initiatives to advance women’s rights on a local, national and international level.

As CFUW faces the challenges of the next century, the work and mission of this independent organization are as critical as ever. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the next fifteen years have been identified as dependent on women’s empowerment and equal rights. Realizing the goals for the sustainability of the planet hinges on the empowerment of half the population. 

It is a joy to be celebrating our 65th anniversary as a local club in Stratford as well as the 100th anniversary of the CFUW national organization.  In honour of these milestones, we have planned a year of special activities that celebrate the power of women working together.  

Pink Tea Special Event

On Saturday, December 7th, CFUW Stratford held a “Pink Tea” party to commemorate the 100th anniversary of CFUW’s founding and to shine the spotlight on the courageous efforts of women’s rights activists a century ago.

In the early 1900s, suffragists such as Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Emily Murphy were advocating for women’s right to vote and to run for office. They employed the guise of Pink Teas to assemble women to discuss political issues, women’s equality and welfare. 

Teas weren’t gatherings men typically attended, and the suffragist meetings proceeded without threat of disruption from opponents.  Our present-day Pink Tea will celebrate the power of women working together, as CFUW has done since 1919, working to improve the status of women, promote human rights, public education, social justice and peace.

Centennial Speaker Programme

Focus on Notable Canadian Women

Monthly meetings for 2019-20 feature a special programme of guest speakers highlighting the impact Canadian women have had over the last century. 

Subject matter experts share their knowledge and passion for the ground-breaking work of Canadian women in the areas of Medicine, Science, Law, Theatre, Politics, Indigenous Leadership, and Education.


Sage Award given posthumously to Betty Jean Davis

CFUW Stratford presented a posthumous Sage Award to member Betty Jean Davis at our Annual General Meeting on May 28, 2019. Betty Jean’s daughter, Rosemary Davis, accepted the silver pin and award certificate from CFUW National on behalf of her mother. 

As part of its 100th Anniversary celebrations, CFUW National‘s Sage Awards are given by each club across the country to the current member who has the longest period of CFUW membership. This is a way to recognize and celebrate the commitment and dedication of members who have been championing CFUW’s mission for decades.

Betty Jean was one of CFUW Stratford’s founding members in 1954, and was a continuous member and champion until her passing in March.

She twice served as club President and offered initiative and leadership through the years.  

100th Anniversary Scholarships Offered to Student Leaders

Starting in the 2020 graduating year, the CFUW Stratford Scholarship Fund will award two $500 “Leaders Among Us” Scholarships. The scholarships will recognize two female graduates from Stratford secondary schools who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and global citizenship in the areas of critical thinking, creative thought, and innovation. 

For women, education is the key to gender equality, economic prosperity, better health and much more. Based on this belief, CFUW has been funding women’s education since 1919. Every year, CFUW and its Clubs across Canada award close to $1 million to women to help them pursue post-secondary studies.