Soroptimist Club of the Sudbury Nickel District

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Soroptimist Club of the Sudbury Nickel District

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1949 - 1976


The Soroptimist Club was formed in Oakland, California in 1921 for women who hold executive status in business, government or a profession. Membership was by invitation only and was limited to women with careers outside of the home. The aim of the Soroptimist Club was to provide service to the community, usually through fundraising and donations, to promote the advancement of women in business and to maintain high ethical standards in professional life.

The Soroptimist Club of the Sudbury Nickel District was chartered on January 29, 1949. It was founded by Margaret Kerr of Montreal. Elizabeth Soutar (Bess Soutar), head of the local Victorian Order of Nurses (V.O.N.), was the first President of the Sudbury Nickel District chapter. The club met twice monthly, on the second and fourth Mondays, the first only for business and the second to have a dinner meeting followed by business and/or a speaker. These early meetings were held mainly at Cassio's Motor Hotel or in members' homes.

During it's life, the Soroptimist Club sponsored many community projects, including providing a monthly allowance for three years to a nurse in training; Christmas dinners to elderly members of the community; sponsoring the Soutar Senior Citizen's Club; sending underprivileged children to summer camp; giving a clothing allowance to a secondary school student, which allowed her to graduate; providing rent for underprivileged college students during the summer months; donating $500 to the Centennial Project for trees in Bell Park; giving a donation of $1000 so a room could be refurnished at the Y.W.C.A. and putting on concerts.

The club celebrated their 25th Anniversary with dinner at Cassio's Motor Hotel in the Venetian Room on June 8, 1974. However, membership and participation in the club was declining. By 1975 meetings dwindled and only seven or eight women were taking an active interest, so in 1976 the club's activities came to an end after 27 years.

Club Presidents:
Bess Soutor 1949-1950
Kay Elliott 1950-1950
Allegra Walker 1951-1952
Eleanor Hambley 1952-1954
Lempi Johnson 1954-1955
Grace Wigg 1955-1957
Thelma Paulson 1957-1959
Ursala Black 1959-1961
Margaret Blue 1961-1962
Mary Brown 1962-1964
Florence Tomlinson 1964-1966
Myrtle Kennedy 1966-1969
Editha McLellan 1969-1970
Mary Brown 1970-1972
Myrtle Kennedy 1972-1974


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