Canadian Club of Belleville
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The Women's Canadian Club of Belleville was formed on January 31, 1914 when a group of interested women met at the YMCA at 4 pm to arrange a Canadian Club for women. The purpose of the club was was to foster Canadian patriotism. This would be achieved by studying institutions, history, arts, literature, and natural resources. The object of the Club was to work for the progress and welfare of the nation. It was a member of the Association for Canadian Clubs.
The membership was open to all women interested in supporting the mission of the club. The structure of the executive was as follows: two past Presidents; one President; two or more Vice Presidents; one Secretary; on assistant Secretary; a Treasurer; and nine committees, each with their own chairperson. The standing committees were: speakers, membership, social, and publicity. They partnered with numerous local organizations such as the Belleville Public Library, the Glanmore Museum, and the Belleville Theatre Guild.
The Club actively supported Canadian troops in the Second World War by sending knit clothes and other goods in order to boost the morale of the soldiers. In 1963, the Club invited the men of Belleville to join due to to falling membership and increased costs, and changed their name to the Canadian Club of Belleville. Despite this, the Club still found difficulty attracting new members.
As a result of their tentative financial position, the club petitioned the Hastings Board of Education to gain status as a non-profit organization and received it in order to eliminate rental fees at Sir Winston Churchill Public School. They also had to raise fees to offset rising costs and inflation. However, the club failed to attract new members and eventually was forced to close in 1970.
The Presidents of the Club can be found in the executive series of documents. Notable speakers through the years have been: Margaret Lawrence; John Eaton; Lady Tweedsmuir; John Diefenbaker, and Pierre Trudeau. The first address was given by Sir John Martin Harvey on February 2, 1914 and the last was given on January 19, 1970 by Christian de Laet.