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Niagara Falls
Monday, July 15, 2024
NOTL Catholic Women’s League celebrates 100th year
Ten past-presidents from the last 30 years attended the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Catholic Women’s League of St. Vincent de Paul parish. Front row, Marion Frendo, Anna O'Brien and Lina Pillitteri. Back row, Sabina Knight, Diane de Groot, Rita Van Noort, Betty Ann Asher, Maryann Larivee, Marion Battersby and Sally Harmer. JANICE WHITE

Sabina Knight
Special to The Lake Report

The St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Women’s League is marking its 100th anniversary in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Bishop Gerard Bergie celebrated mass at the church on Oct. 15 and guests enjoyed a lunch and special presentations at the church hall afterward.

In researching the CWL, we discovered some gaps in the archives as we looked back over the years.

The first group of 36 members organized church suppers, quilt sales and other events and in their first three years raised enough money to pay off the church’s $4,000 mortgage, not a small amount in those days.

In those days, the yearly membership fee was 25 cents. During the war years the women became involved in the war effort, running the “Knights of Columbus Hut,” a recreation centre for soldiers in training at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Common.

Diverse projects have been undertaken, which included involvement in church ministries and assistance to the poor, young people, elderly, schools and the community.

The CWL has supported many foster children in impoverished countries and sent food and warm clothing to those in need.

The CWL parish league continues to support faith, family and community, and works to advance the cause of justice and charity that our first members helped foster 99 years ago.

As we researched the history of our CWL we discovered that many records (from 1937 to 1975) were lost due to a flood in a storage area. One small notebook somehow survived and contains some records from 1923 to 1937.

We are interested in finding more information about the work of the CWL in the 1940s and 1950s.

Are there any pictures of the “Knights of Columbus Hut” during the war years? Any photos or stories from that period?

Anyone who has documents or records from those times can contact the CWL via email at stvincentdepaulcwl@gmail.com.



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