Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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Past President / Archives Communiqué #1


Margaret Schwab, Provincial Past President / Archives Chair

June 2019

After completing my two year term as president, I am looking forward to a bit slower pace as I take on the duties of past president.  That is not saying that the past president should take life easy, but rather can concentrate on her duties in accordance with her own time frame.


The national Manual of Policy and Procedure is updated every year at the winter national executive meeting. The changes are submitted by the provinces by the end of the year and voted on at the winter meeting. Therefore, they are available on line in the early spring. I am not sure that our parish councils are aware that they should be looking for these changes and adding them to their manuals at the same time removing outdated material as directed. On the website, the updates can be found ‘to organize’ 600 series, manuals. Each year of updates is listed there from 2015 to 2019. It is important for councils to have updated copies of this manual. The Policy and Procedure is the accepted guideline for all councils across the country. By following it, presidents will find that they do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to handling many situations. It actually makes the job of leadership must less intimidating. As past presidents, it is our job to inform councils about the importance of using the National P&P.


Each provincial, diocesan and parish council should also have their own policy and procedure – this document must be in compliance with the National P&P, but will reflect the activities within each individual council.  Information on preparing a policy and procedure manual is available on the website under 800 Series Workshops – 812 How to Prepare a Parish Council Manual of Policy and Procedure.  A reminder from National Past President, Margaret Ann Jacobs: “Manuals of policy and procedure are complementary to the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) and must be consistent with the C&B.”


It is also the responsibility of the past president to review the council policy and procedure annually. Changes to this policy upon review must be passed by the parish members, if the p&p is at the parish level or at the diocesan/provincial level, must be passed by the executive. When reviewing, please make sure that all wording is clear and concise. 


The National P&P, pages 202 to 204, has very precise information on archives – what to keep active and when to archive. Of particular interest in this time of technology is that paper copies are still the best way to keep archival material. We have seen the rise and demise of the ‘floppy disk’ and most newer computers no longer take cd’s, so it is likely that our beloved memory sticks will find themselves replaced in the future. Paper is still the go-to standard.


May God continue to bless your work in the League as we journey toward our 100th year.




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Past Communiques


Past President / Archives Communiqué - June 2015

Past President / Archives Communiqué - June 2016



Past President / Archives Communiqué - June 2016


Marge Szabo, Provincial Past President / Archives Chair


Greetings to all past presidents,

I hope you’ve had time to unwind from your president’s position. Upon receiving this communique, your councils would be taking their summer break. Diocesan conventions are over and now we are focusing on our National Convention in August. Since this is an election year, it is always interesting to see who takes the various chairs on the new executive for 2016-2017. We pray that good choices are being made. All candidates are very committed members of the League. It is the solemn duty of the Provincial Presidents to cast their instructed ballet at the national convention. 


Our provincial CWL elections will be made next June 2017. As a past president, you are on the election committee for your diocesan elections as I as past provincial President will be on the elections committee for the coming year.


As elections chair, here are a few guidelines to help you recruit members to be part of an executive.

  • Watch for leaders all the time, those that participate and show interest.  Do not wait till a month before elections to start recruiting your elections roster. No one is too old or too young to serve on the executive as long as they are willing to give of their time and talent.
  • Involve potential leaders in your activities, and give them some task to fulfill. Invite them to conferences and workshops.
  • Talk to them personally, giving them the reasons why you feel they would be good on the executive. Sometimes, they don’t see or realize their own abilities.
  • Give them time to consider their leadership, but talk to them again (and again)
  • At nomination time, ask if you can nominate them.
  • In a small community, encourage each member to take a turn for the president’s chair. Some members may need a co-president to help them along. (I have not met a president yet, who hasn’t realized the sense of success in their achievements and responsibilities. All kinds of skills are developed in taking a leadership role.) We strongly discourage a president to stay more than two terms, if that is necessary.


Have you thought about doing a S’Mores Development Workshop on topic #1 - " Discerning a call to service” ?Approximate time required is only 40 minutes. The program is completely prepared, including prayers, questions and hand-outs. If your council president feels that she can’t do it, contact your diocesan president and she can refer you to the S’Mores Workshop team and they will come out to your council.

I look forward to talking to you about serving on the Provincial Council for the next term. It is a time to learn more about our organization and how important it is to be an active member in your council as an executive member. If you have any questions, please call me.


Let’s open the pages of some of our archives. What good are archives, if we don’t peek into our pages of history and learn more about our roots of this great organization of Catholic women. 


  • In 1957, Saskatoon, there was a Civic Action Committee as one of the standing committees. They were involved with blood donor’s clinic, poppy day at the post office, canvassed for mental health and March of Dimes and Red Cross. Members attended Civil Defense courses in the city and at valley centre.

  • Saskatoon hosted the National Convention in October 19-24, 1958. It is the first time that the convention has been held in Saskatoon. 602 delegates attended.


  • Civic Action Committee also looked after birthday parties at St. Ann’s Home. The ladies  received a rose bowl and card and the men got cigarettes and a card.


  • Many tea parties and coffee parties were held to raise money to buy a variety of items for charities, such as drapes and curtains for the seminary, decks of cards for the old boys’ club, piano, cups and saucers, cake plates and teaspoons, two steel coat hangers, duplicator machine, and the list goes on.


  • Annie Tomczak, Chairman for Civic Action states that they are the only one in Saskatchewan and 24 throughout the country.


  • In 1949, our magazine was called The Canadian League. It contained commercial advertisements on the inside and outer cover, mainly from Montreal companies. It  was printed in Berthieville, PQ


  • In 1949 -- “Enlist now in the Biggest Press Campaign in the history of The C.W.L. Nation-wide Crusade in support of  “The Canadian League”  When will it take place?   During the months of April and May, 1949. What will be the official slogan? EVERY MEMBER A SUBSCRIBER .   (A national trophy will be given to the province with the best showing in the campaign.)       



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Past President / Archives Communiqué - June 2015


Marge Szabo, Provincial Past President / Archives Chair


As we pass on the torch of leadership to a new president, we are in the wings to lend a hand whenever asked. Official word might be “consultant” and to advise when asked. Yes, we are still on the executive list for this 2 year term.


We are also responsible for the archives of the Provincial council, likewise each diocesan past president should do for their diocesan records. Do you know where your archives are being kept? Often diocesan past president will have to deal with council and church closures. Try to keep the council archives kept with the church records in a safe place.


Provincial Archives are stored at Saskatchewan Archives, 3303 Hillsdale Ave., Regina SK. They stipulate what materials can be placed there. Photo albums are not submitted, so they should be stored in a plastic container to prevent water damage and other. It is not a safe guard against fire.


Photos are especially great to reminisce over at council anniversaries. Always identify people and date picture. Oh, how we change! Be selective about your pictures. 5 pictures of the anniversary cake are not necessary. Use acid free paper and file folders, then backup photos on a disc.


Minutes – Past minutes are archived after 6 years. They should be in dated binders and signed by the secretary and president.


Each communique I will include a highlight from the Constitution and Bylaws book or the National Manual of Policy and Procedure, also a bit of archives information


Pin Protocol – Our League pin should be worn on the left side as a symbol of service “For God and Canada”. Good taste and discretion on the part of the member should prevail.


The pins are ranked as follows:

  • Honourary Life Member pin
  • President pin and Past President pin
  • Life Member pin
  • Bellelle Guerin pin
  • Maple Leaf Service pin
  • Presentation (years of service) pin
  • League insignia pin


Archives – Saskatchewan Provincial Council, organized in 1948

  • First president – Mrs. F. Drake, Regina
  • First director- Most Rev. P.F. Pocock, Saskatoon
  • First Vice President – Mrs. R.F. Koob, Cudworth
  • First Secretary – Miss Genevieve Curtin, Regina
  • First Treasurer – Mrs. J.J. Stewart, Regina


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