CFUW celebrates 100th Anniversary

Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Southport chapter recently had several reasons to celebrate in this the 100th Anniversary year of the organization.

The Club gathered at Lakeshore Recreation Centre on June 12th, where they honoured one of their own.

     Jane Kramer with daughter                     Kathryn Forsyth

Jane Kramer, affectionately known as the Grande Dame of Southampton and who has been a member for the CFUW for 63 years, received the ‘Sage Award’.  Her daughter, Kathryn Forsyth, introduced her mother with photos from her youth and life as a young woman, and her achievements through the years.

Kramer came from a diplomatic family where her father Major Paul Winchester’s role was to recruit captured    Germans in Canadian prisoner of war camps who would be willing to act as double agents and Kramer as a child often traveled with him.  Major Winchester was a lecturer at Camp X, which was the only spy camp in North America. It was at the camp that her father also made friends with trainee, Ian Fleming, who became the creator of the James Bond series.

Jane married Walter ‘Dutch’ Kramer and together they had three children, William, Carolyn and Kathryn and she now has eight grandchildren.  With a zest for life at the age of 87, Kramer continues to play an active role in CFUW and her community.  She is a member of the Marine Heritage Society & Propeller Club who spends the summer traveling back and forth to Chantry Island Lighthouse, where she helped to originally furnish the restored Lighthouse Keeper’s house with period pieces.

Kramer was also recognized by Southampton Rotary with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship award in 2011.  At the classic car show held on Thursday evenings in Southampton as a fundraiser for the local hospital, Jane is often seen with her classic antique automobile.

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The vision of the CFUW is of a strong national organization working to ensure that all girls and women have equal opportunities and equal access to quality education within a peaceful and secure environment where their human rights are respected. It includes a world where poverty is reduced, discrimination eliminated, where there are equal opportunities for leadership, employment, income, education, careers and the ability to maximize potential. CFUW Southport provides local women opportunities for quality education through scholarships.

CFUW Southport had five scholarships to present to young women going on to further their education – three secondary students going on to post-secondary education, an Indigenous student continuing education and to a mature student going back to school.  Unfortunately, there were no applicants for ‘Mature student returning to school’.  The three secondary student recipients, who received $500 each, are:

Scholarship Recipient          Sarah Mekki
  • Sarah Mekki who recently changed her major from Medicine to Engineering at Western University
  • Kelly Robertson who is going to Western University in the Nursing program
  • Ashley Stroud,who holds a private pilot license and who is attending Moncton Flight College in Dieppe, New Brunswick to attain her commercial pilot license.

It was also announced that a scholarship fund of $10,000 over five years has been established by the Day family in memory of long-standing CFUW member Carolyn Day.

Day was an advocate who stood for Women’s issues and who worked with the United Nations to foster women’s rights in addition to working to ensure water quality protection in Ontario.

In addition, members are provided with a thought-provoking speaker program, many open to the pubic, and a variety of interest groups. The larger community is also provided with opportunities to support women’s issues.  CFUW is one of the strongest groups that speaks out for women worldwide.