Past President Communique #1 — Barbara Dowding

September 1, 2016

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National Past President
September 1, 2016 Communiqué 01
One Heart, One Voice, One Mission: Palliative and Hospice Care

To: Provincial Past Presidents
National Executive (for information)
From: Barbara Dowding, National Past President
Encl. Oral Report of the National Past President presented at the 2016 Annual National Convention

List of 2016 Past Presidents/Chairpersons of Laws

The words of the song, “If you don’t know me by now, you will never, ever know me...” come to mind when I am supposed to introduce myself in my first communiqué!

By now most of you know quite a lot about me and I won’t belabour that any further except that now Alan and I are grandparents to two grandsons (16 and 10 months) and three granddaughters (8, 6 and 4). It will be fun to have more time with them and I look forward, as well, to getting back to running and golf on a more regular basis and undertaking a few new projects. Whether you have been a past president for a term or are just beginning, I hope you are looking at this new challenge with joy and expectation.

In approaching the role as past president, I am sure the feelings are the same for us all, whatever level. Where to start, what to do and how to be the best support for the new president?

Our primary role is to serve in a consultative capacity, be responsible for archives and history and facilitate the study and implementation of the Constitution & Bylaws. We have good guidelines to follow in the National Manual of Policy and Procedure (page 64) where it suggests that we:
• take charge of League history and archives or appoint an interested member. Bring a scrapbook or history to some meetings for members to see.
• be responsible for reviewing biannually the council’s manual of policy and procedure for any needed additions, deletions and corrections; all changes must be brought to the membership (for parish councils) or the executive (for diocesan and provincial councils) for approval before amending the manual
• engage members in the revisions process by inviting them to forward to national office proposed revisions to the National Manual of Policy and Procedure by December 1st of each year
• monitor/review the National Manual of Policy and Procedure and the council manual.

As past provincial presidents you have a good sense of your province, its needs and how best to get your message across. If looking after old minutes and compiling archival material is not your forte, be sure to invite someone who loves that kind of thing to help. What better way to get someone interested in the League than to prowl through the past!

Please be reminded that the date for submitting suggestions for amending the Constitution & ByLaws has now passed.

As for me, I plan to do some research on our earliest beginnings to see what the archives can tell us about our place in Canadian history. After visiting Pier 21 and the Immigration Museum in Halifax, I am determined to see what I can find. Catholic women were an integral part of this as were the Sisters of Service who incidentally were on display there! We were founded to help those women who were new to Canada and we did in countless ways, especially up to and including the war years. I will keep you posted!

Enjoy your past president status, but don’t get too comfortable – there is lots of work yet to do!

Barbara Dowding
National Past President