A Bit of History….

Joy Nichols, Charter President

The Belleville Business & Professional Women’s Club was organized in May 1950 under Charter President Joy Nichols, with over 35 members. The Charter was presented to the club by Nazla Dane of Toronto at a dinner held in the YMCA in the fall. Total membership in the Charter year was 48 (with a membership fee of $5.00).

In 1955, this number was reduced to 15 but these 15 members were dedicated and despite a few who thought the Charter should be surrendered, vowed to rebuild the membership. By 1959, the roster held 38 names and Belleville won the membership trophy.  Belleville has had the privilege of having the membership trophy again in 1995 and once again in 1998.

The first meetings were held in the local YMCA and dinners were catered by a women’s group. Since then meetings have been held at various restaurants in the area and the occasional potluck at a member’s home.

One of the 1st commitments of the Belleville Club was to set up bursaries for girls graduating from high school and entering post-secondary education. This practice has been proudly carried on & the club fundraises annually for this.  Our fundraising efforts have historically included such activities as fashion shows, bike-a-thons, gasorama’s, lotteries, bridge & euchre parties, bake & rummage sales, garage sales, home parties, raffles and silent auctions.

Being part of an international organization, BPW has many levels and our Belleville Club was proud to have one of their members; Dorothy Brown serve as the Provincial President for the term of 1966-1968.

The club continues to hold monthly dinner meetings as well as executive meetings. Dinner meetings typically include a speaker and there have been a variety of topics including; educational opportunities, sexual assault, motivation, non-traditional female occupations, women’s health, local history, travel, employment conditions & government.

There are many ways to become involved in this wonderful organization…may its membership continue to grow so that together we can make a positive impact in the world for all fellow women!