PBPW Clubs are invited to recognize and honour club members who have passed. BPW member contributions are recognized at the bi-annual memorial service conducted at the National Convention.
Toronto, ON - Doris Elsie (Woolcott) Gyatt Ph.D. (See attached Obiturary) BPW Canada Past President
BPW Canada Past President
Doris Guyatt, a member of the Toronto club for over 30 years, was President of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women from 1990 to 1992.
|A charming, smart and efficient lady, Doris was always ready to answer questions, give wise advice or say a gracious word, even when she could no longer attend events.
My favourite memory of Doris is from the 1992 Convention in Winnipeg. After a wardrobe change on a busy day, the always impeccably groomed President Doris showed up with mismatched earrings. Nothing much was said then, but by the next morning the word had spread and she faced a room full of delegates who had adopted the new fashion. It took a while for Doris to realize what we'd done and then we all had the biggest laugh of that Convention.
Past President/ancienne présidente, BPW Canada RR #4 Picton ON K0K 2T0
Vancouver, BC – Emily Davies and Phyllis Mortimer
| Emily passed away on December 23, 2009, aged 92
Duncan, BC – Irene Hall
Kamloops, BC – Frances Fraser & Dorothy Schofield
|Frances Fraser||Dorothy Schofiled|
• Dorothy passed away on February 10, 2010 at the age of 83.
• Charter President of BPW Kamloops (1949)
Penticton, BC – Ruth Brooks & Elaine Cash-Rumbell & Vera Davies & Marge Donovan & Elinor Fitzpatrick & Donna Roth
Winnipeg, MN – Irene Elizabeth Grant
Moncton, NB – Elaine Burke-Gauvin
Brampton, ON – Kay Simpson
Sudbury, ON – Elizabeth (Betty) Freelandt & Diane Daigle & Kathryn Volf
Quebec Metro, PQ – Claudette Blauchet
Lucy Milne- March 28, 1916 - December 19, 2008
Lucy Milne passed away on December 19, 2008, in Medicine Hat at the age of 92. A past president of BPW Canada (1982-84) and life member, Lucy wrote the forward in With Enthusiasm and Faith: History of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, 1973-1983, compiled by Nazla L. Dane in 1983. The following article appeared in The Medicine Hat News on December 24, 2008:
“Lucy Milne of Medicine Hat died last Friday at the age of 92. Milne devoted her life to education, business and equal opportunity for women. Milne served on committees of numerous associations and achieved distinguished recognition. The youngest of three children, Milne’s early years took place in Edgerton, Alberta. The depression era did not offer an opportunity for higher education at that stage and career possibilities were limited. She began teaching in a one-room school at Rutherglen. A secretarial certificate was her ticket to teaching at larger schools. That achievement led to opportunities that would give her distinction throughout her career and into retirement. By the 1940’s she was teaching Business Education in Provost, Vermilion and Taber schools. In Medicine Hat, students fondly remember her from Alexandra Composite and Medicine Hat High School where she became Head of the Business Department. By 1951, she’d achieved a Bachelor of Science with distinction from Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois and a masters from Oregon State University in 1969... By the 1970s, Milne was seeking another challenge, moved to Lethbridge and became Education Consultant in Business Education for Alberta. A retirement in 1977 saw her return to Medicine Hat and take on roles with professional organizations that seemed like a full-time job... The objectives of Business & Professional Women’s Club – seeking to assist women in improving themselves in a bid to enhance their careers, participation in government at all levels and equality for women in the workplace – were ones Milne believed in passionately. By 1982, she was honoured as a life member of the Canadian Federation of Business & Professional Women’s Clubs and as president represented them throughout the world. She often commented that in her younger days, she had felt the need to either choose the path of a wife and mother or that of a career woman. She had choose the latter and was proud that women no longer had to make a choice.”
Jill Worobec, Past President of BPW Canada (2002-04) writes: “I presented the title of Honourary National President to Marge at the National Convention in Regina in 2004.·· As I recall, we had to go and get her from the office where she was working on preparations for voting later in the session.· [My husband] remembers that she was surprised and overwhelmed·(he was helping her at the time).· No sitting back for her, she was ‘a hands on’ person.· This is the write up in the newsletter afterward.”
Condolences can be sent to Marge’s life partner Wilma Perry at 1487 Duncan Avenue East, Penticton, BC, V2A 2X5.
Donations in Marge’s memory can be made to the Naramata Centre in Penticton, BC www.naramatacentre.net/ or to W.O.R.K. (Women Offering Resources & Knowledge) Foundation, c/o Whittaker & Associates, # 202 - 267 W. Esplanade Avenue, North Vancouver, B.C. V7M A5.
"Aggie, your smile and beautiful personality were your trademarks and I am sure that our BPW sisters would agree.· If we could reach up and hold a star for every time you made us smile, we would be holding the whole evening sky in the palms of our hands.· Thank you for allowing us to be part of your life.· God Bless Aggie.· Loved ya lots!"
·Kathleen (Kay) Irene Smith
Kathleen (Kay) Irene Smith, 93, passed away in Toronto on April 13, 2008. Kay was a member of BPW Toronto – or as Kay liked to call it, Big Powerful Women – for more than 40 years. She was a Lifetime member. She held many positions and although she never aspired to a leadership role, she was a pillar of the Toronto chapter, one of the worker bees who are so essential to any organization, a person who gets things done. Her BPW friends, particularly Dormer and Henrietta, ensured that she remained connected by informing her of and inviting her to the various BPW activities being held and remembering her with gifts of flowers and postcards.··· Kay packed a lot of living into her 93 years and touched a lot of people. Kay, we’ll miss you but we know that you are now in a better place and are at peace. Enjoy your reunion with your parents, other family members and friends. May God bless you and all those who knew you, now and forever.
-Valerie Nippard (Kay’s cousin), submitted by BPW Toronto President Mina Di Domenico·
NORMA ALEXANDERINA BOULE
April 17, 1940 - March 15, 2008
Norma passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home, with family and friends by her side. She is lovingly remembered by her husband Pierre, her daughter Mimi (Bernie and Anita), and her grandchildren Juliet, Jerry, and Anthony. She is predeceased by her mother Elizabeth, father Alexander, step dad Jim, and her two sons Mason and Anthony. She also has a sister Betty. Norma was born in Scotland, on April 17, 1940.
She immigrated to Toronto in 1957. She met Pierre in Montreal in 1965. They moved to Thompson, Manitoba, where they spent 35 years.Norma was an open custody provider and retired in 2002. Norma and Pierre moved down to Lorette in 2005, to be closer to their daughter and grandson. She was also the founder of the Thompson Boys and Girls Club. She was on the advisory board for the Tache Youth and President of the Selkirk Business Professional Women's Association. Norma leaves behind many friends. In lieu of flowers, Norma's wishes were that donations be made to the Boys and Girls Club or to Pancreatic Cancer Research.
Margaret was a proud Past National President of BPW, but as an organization, we were equally proud to have Margaret as our leader. She led with dignity, practicality and respect for all the membership.
Personally, Margaret was a great mentor to me, as she was to all she came in contact with. Her support, wise advice and understanding will remain with me forever. She taught us to make decisions and choices, to honour our accomplishments, and above all to communicate with love and compassion.
Margaret reminded me often, “we are our own worst critics,” so always have realistic expectations, grow through challenges and you will succeed in anything you attempt. Thank you Margaret. We will always treasure your wise advice and friendship.
Barb Ezart, BC Provincial President, Vice-president BPW Canada
While Margaret and I knew each other because of provincial meetings, our friendship grew out of a controversy that arose in Provincial and it was put to rest because Margaret and I hashed it out between us. From there, a bond formed that grew as we became really good friends. I cherished her friendship and really missed her when she left Manitoba even though we kept in contact by e-mail and the occasional phone call.
Margaret was a person who I could be totally honest with and even if she didn't agree with me – and believe me, we didn't always agree – she would still listen to my point of view and I would, hers. When Margaret became your friend, you knew that you truly had a friend who was there for you and often would send you uplifting messages just when you needed them. I would not wish her back to suffer the pain, etc that had become her life but I am going to feel the hole she has left in my life as I know that I can no longer e-mail her or call her.
I feel blessed that I was able to call her a friend and will treasure the mixture of memories such as hilarious laughter, late evening chuckles when we shared a room at AGMS, serious times, sadness, and yes even anger that we seemed to be able to resolve. I am going to remember the intelligent, vibrant, caring, sensitive and savvy woman and friend that she was. Margaret will always be with those of us who called her friend and she will always be with BPW as played a big part in her life and the organization and her friends were very close to her heart.
BPW Manitoba and Canada were very fortunate in that they were the benefactors of Margaret's ability to work through difficult situations and pull people together for the good of the organization and what it stood for. Her belief in what BPW stood for was strong and she put her whole heart and soul into her work with the organization. A BPW Mentor has physically left us but her legacy with live on.
Elaine Elliot, BPW Selkirk, Past President of BPW Manitoba
It was a great pleasure knowing Margaret, sitting with her at Convention, sharing a cup of coffee, and talking and laughing together. She was a down to earth person who called a spade a spade. As a minister and speaking from my own perspective, I believe Margaret is at peace and very happy in her new home, and I think of her in that way.
Linda Hawes, CFBPWC Trustee; Campbellton, NB BPW Secretary
This view of Martha Aylott’s impact on community is penned somewhat-less-than-objectively by her surviving husband Chris. Notations re BPW by District #4 Ontario Director Katherine Allen. The Toronto East BPW club is sad to announce the passing of a faithful member and community activist Martha Aylott who succumbed to the ravages of cancer at Toronto East General Hospital on November 27th, 2006 after struggling with the disease for the past three years.
Martha’s involvement with BPW began during the 1960s when she was a member of the North Toronto and Windsor Clubs. Her husband Chris told me about attending an International dinner of the North Toronto Club in 1968 when Elsie McGill was the guest speaker. He was so impressed with the calibre of women involved with BPW.
Martha became involved again with BPW in the 1990s after she and Chris returned from living in the Northwest Territories for several years. She joined the Toronto East club in the early 1990s where she was very active in helping keep the club going. Martha was pleased to have participated at the last national BPW Convention held in Toronto in July. Martha’s mother was also a BPW member many years ago but I’m not sure which club.
Her husband Chris writes the following:
The 63-year-old professional caregiver, who has lived in the multi-cultural Chapel Glen condominium complex in Flemingdon Park’s Sunny Glenway for the past 11 years, gave of herself to community in so many ways, some of them quietly in the background and without fanfare.
A proponent of facing things from a positive point of view, mostly with a smile on her face, Martha’s involvement was eclectic, much of the time jumping right into the thick of things and getting her hands dirty, literally. She became well-known to the children in and around Sunny Glenway as the gardening lady, planting everything from herbs to roses in the complex’s common areas, always encouraging her little helpers.
Right to the end, she worked diligently for the welfare of her friends and neighbours in her capacity as a director of the York Condominium Corporation where she lived. She served terms as that organization’s President and Treasurer. Her proactive approach embraced such things as a multicultural mother’s day gathering honouring community elders of all faiths, Halloween parties for children and “welcoming spring” each year with educational sessions on growing things and recycling. She advocated the regrowth of trees in and around her home.
Martha believed in community outreach and taking action. A baptized and confirmed member of the Anglican Church, she believed in the collective ecumenical approach to her faith, serving the Flemingdon Park Anglican Ministry as well as pitching in with the Presbyterians of neighbouring Gateway Community Church. She was seen often at mass with the Roman Catholics of John XXIII in the shared worship centre and did not hesitate to go to mosque to honour the memory of departed Muslim neighbours. Her quiet activism included peaking out on behalf of the Flemingdon Park Food Bank and a group in the area working on employment education opportunity for immigrants.
Although not quite a senior citizen, Martha took an interest in the work and programs of E. P. Taylor Place in Don Mills. She would go on outings with wheelchair-bound friends and pitched in wherever needed.
Martha Aylott was determined to go into business for herself after going back to school to qualify as a Certified Personal Support Worker (PSW). This she did, taking on clients as an independent, and finally earned her living doing something she loved. Sadly, this was only to be for several years as her own health problems surfaced at about the same time.
Being less-able to walk and get around failed to stop her from expressing opinions and seeking action purely for the benefit of her adopted Flemingdon Park home. She got to the occasional board meeting, spoke her mind and made motions.
The final weeks of Martha’s life clearly were painful. Smiles were less-frequent but she soldiered on almost without complaint, spending much time on the telephone assuring people. Martha Aylott gave of herself unflinchingly, right to the end.
She got a rousing sendoff from many friends and acquaintances on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006 with an ecumenical Celebration of Life at Gateway Community Church.
Nancy at BPW Canada's National Convention in Toronto in July 2006
Nancy Bass, life member of BPW Canada (North Toronto Club) and Past President of BPW Ontario (1998-2000) died at her home in Washago, Ontario on October 17, having faced her final illness the way she faced her life – with courage, grace and wit. Her indomitable spirit uplifted all who knew her.
Just a few months ago, at the BPW Canada Convention, Nancy proudly received her 25-year service pin, having joined BPW in Bracebridge, Ontario and then moving to North Toronto, where she served in many capacities, including club President and Director of District 4.
A psychology major and an insurance adjuster by profession, Nancy well understood the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Her commitment to BPW was driven by her strong sense of social justice and her faith in the ideals of our sisterhood.
Nancy’s deliberately casual manner and light touch belied her compassion and thoughtful dedication to her duties. She was passionate about her ideals, embracing her beliefs with her whole heart and bringing intelligence and integrity to everything she did, while also having a keen ability to see the funny side of things even if the joke was on herself. Nancy could switch instantly from intense absorption in serious business to wacky, off-the-wall humour, and then to sophisticated appreciation of fine arts and literature. We will not soon forget her ever-present camera, the silly hats, the bass slippers flapping down Conference halls, her jovial hospitality or her endless repertoire of stories told with equal measures of farce, finesse and insight.
Nancy was well loved and much admired and she will be greatly missed.
By Fran Donaldson, President, and Marge Donovan, Past President
Nancy was a BPW member for over 20 years (as of 2006 it is 28 years). She first joined BPW Bracebridge, then was a member of the Brampton BPW and was a very active member of BPW North Toronto.
In all three clubs, Nancy held several Board positions. In the North Toronto club she served as Program Chair, Bulletin Editor several times, Vice President and Club President for two years. In her 16 years at BPW North Toronto, Nancy served on the Board and on several committees at the same time, such as Bursary, Planning, Finance, etc. and acted as our prime negotiator for the leases when we rented premises at 3300 Yonge Street. During her term as our club President, Nancy instituted such changes as a new professional format for our club Bulletin, a library for women's books and articles and a filing system for club reports.
From 1992-1994 Nancy served as Assistant District Director for District 4 and then was voted in as District Director for two years. During this time Nancy visited all the clubs in the District and was available and willing to be a resource for any member or club at all times.
Nancy served as Provincial Vice-President and was Provincial President from 1998-2000. She has been a speaker at many clubs, including a panellist at BPW North Toronto and has done numerous TV, radio and newspaper interviews on behalf of BPW.
In addition to the above, Nancy initiated and was co-editor of the first BPW Ontario Annual Report and continued to work actively in support of successive editors. She developed the first program Booklet for Program Chairs. She also acted as the "official" photographer for the organization. Nancy encouraged the development of the BPW Ontario web site and has been active on the Resource Center Committee. At the International Congress in Venice, Nancy was a volunteer timekeeper and she acted as a BPW North Toronto delegate at National Conventions.
For several years Nancy hosted the brain-storming sessions, which she initiated, at her home. The purpose of this gathering is to assist the club Program Chair with ideas for the year's program, such as suggestions for speakers, topics, panels, etc. Nancy continued to encourage clubs and members to work closely together and maintain the aims and objectives of BPW in whatever she does. Nancy received her life membership of the Business and Professional Women's Club in 2001.
By Shirley Giles, Past Provincial President of BPW Ontario, on the occasion of Nancy's life membership.
Florence M. (Mickey) Bell
BPW Penticton August 23, 1916 – September 28, 2006
Mickey was one of a group of friends who gathered together to charter the Penticton Business and Professional Women’s Club. The Club will celebrate 60 years of work on behalf of working women in Penticton later this month. Mickey was behind many major projects of this organization over 60 years and remained an active member at the time of her death. She served as Penticton Club President from 1948 to 49and later as editor of the Provincial Newsletter. She initiated a contest to name the newsletter and it became “Pacific Currents” which is still published under that name today.
She wore many other "hats" over the years and was on the National Board of the Canadian Federation of BPW clubs from 1956 to 1962 serving as National Programs Chair; Editorial Chair and Budget and Finance Chair. A born entertainer, Mickey was always up for fun activities in the name of BPW and attended innumerable Regional, Provincial and National conferences over the years. She loaned her well known name to many high profile projects such as the 9-1-1 telephone number campaign in the 80’s but was also often quietly behind the scenes for events such as the National Convention held in Penticton in 1990. Mickey represents an era of progress and achievement for women in all walks of life and she leaves a legacy of unquestioned integrity in this organization.
Long-time BPW member Florence Lamb passed away in Moncton, NB on August 24th at the age of 83. Florence joined BPW in 1944 in Montreal, and later transferred her membership to Saint John, NB when she moved there for work, and still later, to Moncton. Florence had retired from the position of Executive Director of the Moncton YWCA in 1988. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family. A BPW Moncton member at the time of her death, Florence was a wonderful supporter of BPW, a solid member willing to help out at any time. She will be sadly missed.
Long-time BPW Campbellton member Marjorie Russell passed away on Thursday, August 17th. Marjorie served in many capacities in her club over the years, and most recently was a Trustee for BPW Canada's Capital Fund. The funeral service was held on Friday, August 25th in Nouvelle, PQ (near the bridge to Campbellton, NB). Our condolences go out to her daughter Linda Hawes-Russell, also a BPW member, and the family.
Beatrice (Bunny) Parton
It was with much sadness that I received the news that Bunny had passed away on July 30th, 2006. She had been a family friend for many years, being my late aunt's "bridge" partner for many of them but more special to me - a wonderful friend, mentor and supporter of BPW.
She and her late husband Bill (or Mr. BPW Bill, as he once referred to himself) attended many functions worldwide and especially provincially, always lending their support and enthusiasm to all members. Whenever BPW had a fundraising event or other promotion, the Partons were always there to help in anyway they could.
Bunny will be long remembered for being a "fighter for the rights of others," volunteering her time to many organizations, for example, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Elks, Lions, Status of Women, Council of Women as well as her great love of BPW Canada. She received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, of which she was so proud.
Bunny, I will miss you dearly, as will all the members of BPW worldwide, as you were and always will be an inspiration to us all.
Rest in peace, Barbara Ezart, Vice-President, BPW Canada
Beatrice (Bunny) was one of the generation where family and service to the community were the pillars of life and her example of a loyal, generous and hardworking woman who gave so much of herself to care for, and about others, is one to extol.
I will remember her outgoing but kind personality from my early days at international congresses – she was very much part of the international BPW community. So it was good that she could make it to the 75th anniversary in Lucerne in June 2005 where we last enjoyed her company and the fun Mary and she were having on that trip. Two of the happiest memories Keith and I have were in Canada, at Lethbridge where dear Bill was also present to share the BPW Canada convention but also later in Vancouver 1999, where I chaired the international congress which Bunny had worked so hard to bring to her home city and to which she gave great support.
Sylvia G Perry, President, BPW International 1996 - 1999
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of long-time member Charlotte VanDine, who passed away on May 31, 2005 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Charlotte was born in Fredericton, NB, but spent most of her working life in Montreal. She served as the BPW Montreal Club President (1958-1960)and Canadian Federation President (1970-1972). On the International level, she was Honorary Secretary and Chair of the Constitution Advisory ad hoc Committee (1974-1980)and Vice-President (1980-1982). In 1968, the Montreal Club honoured Charlotte with a Life Membership in the Canadian Federation. She was named an Honorary President of the Canadian Federation in 1980.
After a long and distinguished career with Canadian International Paper Company in Montreal, Charlotte retired to Fredericton and joined the club there (now disbanded), and at the time of her death she was a member of BPW Moncton. It will not surprise those who knew her that she bequeathed a generous gift to BPW Canada. Her spirit and dedication will be missed.
Just a year before her death, Charlotte addressed the members of BPW New Brunswick. Her words are an enduring echo of her values and an inspiration to members everywhere. Take a moment to view Charolotte's Inspiring Speech from May 15th, 2004 (pdf).