This year’s annual Meet and Greet included returning members, interested visitors, and new members who joined.
Following a time of socializing, President Pat Reavy began with a warm welcome and the Indigenous land acknowledgement. She outlined CFUW’s purposes and activities and then introduced our guest speaker, Shelley McKellar, Ph.D., Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. McKellar delivered a very lively and informative presentation about “lady medicos,” highlighting, among other pioneering Canadian women in the field of medicine, a well-known local figure, Dr. Jennie Kidd Trout (1841-1921).
Jennie Kidd Trout was the first licensed female physician in Canada. Her own experience with debilitating chronic illness was a major motivating factor in pursuing a medical career. She earned her M.D. in 1875 from the Philadelphia Medical School and returned to Toronto with fellow graduate Emily A. Tefft to open their own medical practice for women. They were quite successful, even opening other facilities in Hamilton and Brantford.
At the age of 41, Dr. Jenny Kidd Trout retired but continued to be a reckoning force in the advancement of women in medicine. Among other things, Dr. Trout founded the first medical training college for women, in Kingston in 1883.
Kristin Duskin-Gadd, Communications Chair, thanked Dr. McKellar for her excellent and insightful presentation.
Advocacy Chair, Dariel Bateman, presented a brief overview of the Advocacy committee’s projects. In particular, she gave attendees a Notice of Motion to be voted on at our October general meeting.
Our club, with the approval of the membership, will sponsor a motion to go forward to the CFUW Annual General Meeting 2020 that reads as follows: “RESOLVED that the Canadian Federation of University Women urge the Government of Canada, and the provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments, as well as the professional bodies, religious denominations and other entities named in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, to work diligently toward achieving the ninety-four actions recommended in that document.”
Cindy Carlson shared the Scholarship Committee’s commitment to funding the advancement of girls in STEM field mentorships.
Jane Cook, standing in for Interest Groups Chair, Lorraine Kuepfer, described a sampling of the groups available. We are always looking for new members to join our Interest Groups, and ideas for new groups are welcomed. Members are encouraged to join more than one, and to “shop around!”
Kristin Duskin-Gadd announced that our Communications Committee is seeking volunteers to join this committee which keeps membership and the public informed of our initiatives, activities and events through a variety of means, including email, social media, our website and posters and flyers.
Nora Walden shared that she is also looking for members to join the Tech Team to assist especially at monthly meetings with A/V technical requirements for presentations.
Anne Carbert concluded the business portion of our evening with a reminder to consider attending the upcoming Intercultural Communication and Competency Workshop hosted by our Cross-Cultural Friendship Interest Group. It is open to the public and takes place Wednesday, October 2, 6-9 pm at the Stratford Country Club. She then thanked everyone for coming to this Meet and Greet and encouraged attendees to continue socializing.
Members resumed mingling, perusing club informational posters and interest group sign-ups, and enjoying refreshments provided by the Executive Committee.