Posted by Tina Yarbrough
2017-12-04 Rotary Buzz - Noon Meeting
Canada 150 Series
Speaker - Mary O'Neill, Christy Mason
Topic - The Famous Five
    Ted opened the meeting at 11:45 am.
    • Rotary Cares Tickets still need 20% to be sold.  Please see Ted to pick up tickets and to drop off money as soon as possible.
    • Casino - Kim still looking for volunteers for three positions:
      • One late shift on Friday, Feb.16, 2018
      • Two late shifts on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018
    • Christmas Ornament Exchange at the Dec. 11, 2017 Meeting.
    • Roberts' Annual Christmas Cheer Evening, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.  Please bring a bottle of wine, appetizer or dessert.
    The Famous Five
    These five women were activists and legislative pioneers of the feminist movement.  Their pursuit of human equality, gender voting equality, and governing opportunities was complicated at a time when the prevailing attitude was that men and women were in different spheres.  
    They promoted and established many important movements and organizations such as National Council Women of Canada, Women's Christian Temperance Union, YWCA and United Farm Women Association among others.  They were instrumental in women's priorities, rights, and also children's care and education.
    Mary O'Neill, former MLA
    Many of their Suffragette plans camouflaged as tea parties.  The five would invite other women to these parties to discuss politics, issues, and rights.  If a man came near, they would quickly change topics to gardening, flowers or any other appropriate topic.  These meetings were a hotbed of discussion for the suffragette movement.  
    The Tea Party
    Individually, these women accomplished a lot.  Three became MLA's.  One became the first Cabinet Minister of the British Empire.  Another founded the National Council Women of Canada and the Victorian Order of Nurses.  Together as a group, they were just as successful.  The Famous Five are synonymous with The Person's Case.
    Although women could run as a candidate, they could not hold a seat in the Senate.  In 1928 the Supreme Court ruled women were not qualified "persons" to be appointed to the Senate in Canada.  The five women petitioned the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England who ruled in their favor.  Women were indeed "persons" and could be appointed Senators.  
    There is some tarnish to their reputations.  A few, not all, have been called and with justification, racist or xenophobic.  Emily Murphy under a pseudonym wrote several articles attacking immigrants, American blacks, Jews and other Eastern Europeans who came to live in Alberta.
    Murphy, McKinney, and McClung also championed the 1928 Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act also known as the Eugenics Act.
    Though these acts are abhorrent, what these five women have achieved was groundbreaking.  Women were accorded equal status under the British North America Act.  
    Irene Parlby aka Christy Mason, Augustana Student
    There are women around the world in many countries that do not have a voice, for legislature, for peace, quality communities, even for their own identity.  The battle the Famous Five fought for still rages on today.
    50/50 Draw - $35.
    Meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm.
    Next meeting - Evening Meeting, December 11, 2017,  6 pm.
    Speaker - Ashley White, A Year in Austria
    Camrose Resort and Casino
    • Please bring a food bank item or donation.