Our 100 Years -The Canadian Federation of University Women by Dianne Dodd (2020) states:
CFUW has achieved an enviable longevity. The glue that keeps the organization together is built on the friendships forged by working on common causes and enjoying the benefits of chosen interest groups. (p.320)
This is the fun, socializing part of the club. CFUW PQ interest groups are:
The Shrinking Violets: currently a group of eight women who meet virtually by zoom, on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm. We each select a book to fit with our chosen genre, and spend an enjoyable couple of hours sharing and discussing our eclectic selection. Why ‘the shrinking violets’? You’ll just have to join us to find out!
QFP Booklovers meet in the small meeting room in the upstairs area of Quality Foods Parksville (QFP) on the second Thursday of the month. We choose one book a month and discuss it. Our current selections are shown below (and last year’s selections too if you are interested). Any updates will be on the calendar and in the newsletter.
This group of members meet twice a month in each other’s houses to knit, crochet, or work on any other portable needle craft while also telling yarns to each other. We don’t offer classes for beginners but there is always someone willing to help with any problems that crop up.
The Circle has been an on-going Interest Group a good number of years now. Our purpose has been to educate ourselves about the history and culture of Canadian Indigenous People, particularly in BC.
We believe this allows us to have a greater understanding of how Indigenous Peoples approach the world, both in the past and currently. Through having invited guests, reading, going to Indigenous cultural events, and sharing with each other our personal experiences, we gain a greater appreciation for how Indigenous Peoples’ approach the world and of the many problems they are, and have been dealing with.
At our gatherings we have food, a great deal of exchanging information (talking) with each other, have new learning and fun. We also go to events – this fall we attended a dinner and talk featuring Cindy Blackstock* in Courtney hosted by their Justice Society, as well, some went to the Elder College Saturday Speakers presentation by Haa’yuups a member of Nuu-chat-nulth Peoples who gave an in depth talk about Northwest Coast Art; sometimes we incorporate going out for lunch into our activities, we are doing that for our December meeting.
Approximately once a month – depending on the month the coordinator will send out information, including to Club Members who interested in informing themselves about Indigenous affairs but for one reason or another do not attend our gatherings.
*Cindy Blackstock is a Gitxsan activist for child welfare and executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is also a professor for the School of Social Work at McGill University.
Usual Meeting times: Fridays, 3rd or 4th week of the month.
This group started after Carolyn Redl’s memoir writing seminar as a fundraiser for the 100th anniversary of CFUW in 2018. We were so impressed with the contents of the seminar that we requested her to help us with a small group of memoir writers from the club. This she did until she moved to Victoria. Now we keep in touch with her, she reads our work and we read hers and she comes to meetings when she is in this neighbourhood although for the past two years we have mostly met by Zoom.
We started with 6- 8 of us and the number of active members has stayed around 6. This is quite enough to make a meeting not last more than 2 to 2.5 hours! The meetings are arranged through email and depend on members having material ready for review. Ahead of the meeting the various pieces, which also vary in length from a couple of pages to about 8, are circulated to the members. We all read each other’s work with great anticipation as we are starting to get a good grasp of the lives of our members… so varied in content, geographic location, emotions etc.
At the meeting the pieces are discussed in the order in which they were circulated. Often the author will pick a shortish part to read out loud to start the discussion. We are not criticizing writing styles and such but rather commenting on parts that are particularly well done and those we think need expansion, or to be moved to another part, or to be made briefer. We usually end up asking the author for clarification of certain events and this also leads to changes in the overall work. The conversations are animated and fun as well as being useful to the authors.
The Memoir Writing Group is a small but vigorous group and helpful to its members. We had one new member join this year and could possibly have one more, but too big a group would lead to meetings being too long or less time per piece.