Canadian Federation of University Women, Charlottetown

Founded in Charlottetown in 1955


Who we are

Founded in 1919, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is a group of over 9,000 women across Canada many of whom have had the opportunity to obtain a university degree. We share the concerns of our sisters: access to education and jobs; freedom from discrimination, violence and harassment; equality in work, school and relationships; support systems; peace and safety in our communities and country.

CFUW Group Photo

Back row, left to right: Barb MacNevin, Pam Bastante, Susan Whiteside, Heather Huestis.

Front row:  Dorothy MacLeod, Jessie Lees, Dulcinea Andrews.

Our concerns

Are developed into resolutions which arise from our grass roots in over 100 clubs across Canada. These resolutions, debated at our Annual General Meetings, become part of our multi-focused policy.


CFUW has played a critical role in most women’s issues for over ninety years. Our Federation is now opening its doors to welcome all women who support our mission and values. We believe that the vitality of our organization and the leadership that CFUW undertakes will be enhanced by this action. We want to reflect the diversity in our communities and to include women with a wide variety of talents, experience and education.


Dulcinea Andrews receives her certificate for 40 years continuous membership in CFUW Charlottetown


Maryanne Palmer, president CFUW Charlottetown, presents Heather Huestis with her certificate of 25 years continuous membership

All members will benefit, and we can work together to improve the lives of women and girls here at home and internationally. Anyone who supports the goals of CFUW, and who meets the national CFUW membership criteria,  is welcome to join with us.





National Activities

CFUW is often called upon to participate in the development of new government legislation, regulations and policy. We also initiate action to ensure that various levels of government are aware of our position based on policy.

CFUW provides opportunities for educational advancement for women through our scholarship programs. Funding for our national Fellowships comes from the CFUW Charitable Trust.

Local Activities

Each club raises funds in its own community to support local awards, scholarships and bursaries. Members involve themselves in many community programs such as housing, literacy, safety for women and children, quality education, encouragement of the arts, social services, fund raising for women’s shelters. The past two years have been devoted to a study of the causes of poverty, its effect on society, the difficulty of a family living on minimum wage or social assistance to provide a healthy diet, and the possibility and problems associated with some sort of guaranteed annual income.

In 2015-16, our goal is to learn more about the education system on Prince Edward Island, and why our students do not score well on national and international tests.


meeting 2013   CFUW Charlottetown meets in the afternoon on the third Thursday of the month, with one exception: in December we meet on the second Thursday.

Newsletters are sent to every member each meeting month, and to any prospective member. Notices are sent to the Guardian newspaper, and to the CSWPEI for their weekly news. Interested women can call any of the contacts for further information.

CFUW Charlottetown’s November meeting takes place at 2:00 pm at the home of the president, Maryanne Palmer, 30 Oak Drive, Charlottetown. The November Newsletter link is Newsletter.Nov.2016


Our only affiliation is with the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), now known as Graduate Women International (GWI), which is an accredited United Nations Non-Governmental Organization and which has special consultative status with UNESCO, ECOSOC, UNICEF, and the International Labour Organization. Resolutions from IFUW conferences are used by our representatives at UN meetings in New York, Vienna, Paris, Geneva and Nairobi to pursue our goals. The last IFUW Triennial was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013.

CFUW Charlottetown’s Scholarship Program

CFUW Charlottetown’s Scholarship program began in 1958 with the establishment of an award of $100 to a Prince of Wales College student. In subsequent years, the Club has raised a substantial amount of money through book sales, bakes sales, craft sales and yard sales.

In 1967 the PWC Award became the Frieda Creelman Undergraduate Scholarship for a student pursuing a degree in any one of Music, Fine Arts, Drama or Creative Writing. The amount of the Scholarship rose slowly as more interest was received from investments. The fund was registered as a Charitable Trust in 1971.

By 1977 the club had sufficient investments to establish a graduate scholarship in honour of a deceased member, Margaret MacMillan Pratt.

The club continued to raise funds for the Scholarship Program, and by 1984 the club was able to give the Helen Lawson Award of $100 to the PEI Music Festival for a choir deemed worthy by the adjudicators of the Provincial Festival. In 2002, this award was increased to $250, and was funded by the club, rather than by the Trust Fund.

From 1977 to 2002, these two scholarships and one award were presented annually. In 2002, the club received a considerable bequest from the estate of Edward Pratt, husband of the late Margaret MacMillan Pratt, which, when added to our own accumulated investments, allowed us to increase the Frieda Creelman Scholarship to $1,500, and to offer two Margaret MacMillan Pratt Scholarships – one in Arts and one in Science – valued at $5,000 each.

To date our club has given over $6,500 in PEI Music Festival Helen Lawson Awards, and nearly $170,000 in undergraduate and graduate scholarships.

In 2013, CFUW Charlottetown turned over the administration and investment of the scholarship funds to the University of Prince Edward Island. The CFUW Charlottetown Graduate Scholarships, one in Arts and Education, and one in Science and Nursing, will be advertised in November of each year with an application deadline of January 31, for awarding in late February. The amount will be set by UPEI, but should be at least $5,000 each.

The first two recipients of our new scholarships were selected in the spring of 2014. The tradition continues, but with a little help from our friends!

Recipients of the CFUW Charlottetown Graduate Scholarships are:

2014 – Arts – Valerie Campbell; Science – Jennifer Burns

2015 – Arts – Charlene VanLeeuwen;  Science  – Margie Burns

2016 – Arts –

 Fund Raising Book Sale.jpg

For many years, CFUW Charlottetown held book sales, craft sales, and bake sales in order to raise funds to augment the club’s scholarship program.

60th ann. photo  60th Anniversary Celebrations
CFUW Charlottetown celebrated its 60th anniversary – 1955-2015. An up-dated history of the club is available now.  The club celebrated formally with a luncheon at the Rodd Royalty Inn on October 16, 2014.  Especially honored at this luncheon were two charter members: Lucille Hogg, who has held just about every office in the club, including three terms as Regional Director for Prince Edward Island; and Doris Anderson, the founding President of CFUW Charlottetown. It was Doris who gathered together like-minded women in 1955,  and who, a few years later, applied for and received our Charitable tax number which allowed us to solicit donations from members and friends. Pictured back row: Heather Huestis, Regional Director PEI; Maryanne Palmer, President CFUW Charlottetown; Grace Hollett, CFUW Atlantic Vice-President. Front row left, Doris Anderson, and right, Lucille Hogg, charter members honored at the 60th Anniversary luncheon. The updated History, CFUW Charlottetown: 60 Years of Achievement, is available from Maryanne Palmer (902-892-5637) and will be published on the CFUW Atlantic web page, as well as here:  CFUW History 60 years-2

The year of celebration of our anniversary culminatedRodd Lunch 2015 in a luncheon held at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel on October 30, 2015, with the National President of CFUW, Doris Mae Oulton joining us. Doris Mae and Grace Hollett, CFUW V-P Atlantic were presented with copies of CFUW Charlottetown: 60 Years of Achievement.

Highlights of the History of CFUW Charlottetown

CFUW was formed in 1919, many years before the modern women’s movement.In 1920, during CFUW’s inaugural year, there were 507 Canadian women graduates of Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, and no doctorates. In 2012, a higher percentage of women (73%) than men (65%) had completed a post-secondary education!

CFUW Charlottetown received its charter on August 16, 1955. Doris Anderson was elected its first President. The purpose stated “to stimulate the interest of University women in public affairs, and to afford an opportunity for the expression of united opinion. To promote higher education of women. To further cooperation among women of different universities.”

The purpose of the group was further refined in 1973:

1. To assist in developing a sound concept of educational values and in maintaining high standards of their education by awarding a scholarship.

2. To arouse and sustain among members an intellectual interest in public affairs in the political, social and cultural fields; to encourage an active participation in such affairs by qualified women.

3. To guard and improve the economic, legal and professional status of Canadian women.

4. To further cooperation among university women, nationally and internationally.

To carry out these purposes, various programs and projects have been undertaken. Study on significant world affairs and local problems with guest speakers and panel discussions, studies of the status of women, education, library and creative arts, international relations; donations of books to school libraries, briefs to Government, City Council, Planning Boards, etc.

A Scholarship was established and a special bank account set up. This eventually became The Frieda Creelman Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship given to a student studying in the fine arts. The fund was added to by book sales and bake sales, by bequests from a disbanded Little Theatre Group and the late Margaret MacMillan Pratt, by musicales, etc.

In 1973, Helen Lawson, one of CFUW Charlottetown’s charter members, wrote a booklet John Hamilton Gray and Inkerman House as a fund-raiser for the Club’s scholarship program. Although Inkerman House is no more, the name lives on in the area, and the booklet is a fine addition to local history

Status of Women was a continuing centre of focus for programming, for the study of the marriage laws, career counselling, the welfare of children, and in cooperation with the Business & Professional Women and the Zonta club, a brief to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in February of 1968. All these explorations culminated in a weekend seminar for Grade XII high school girls. Entitled “Focus Your Future”, the seminars included family planning, physical fitness, career role models. The luncheon speaker, the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, spoke on “Sex Typing: Laws and Attitudes”. This was most innovative at that time.

In 1976, the Club teamed with the Women’s Institute to offer a seminar on  Women and the Law. In 1981, the Club hosted a public meeting at which Senator Lorne Bonnell presented the Senate Research Committee’s report entitled Child at Risk, with a panel discussion following.

In 1985, CFUW Charlottetown acted against child pornography by supporting written briefs, letter-writing campaigns, resolutions and presentations before the Task Force Commission and Members of Parliament.

In 1986, the Club planned and presented a series of five seminars on Crisis Management. These seminars covered such topics as Death or Incapacitation of a Spouse, Separation/Divorce from a Spouse, Money Management Problems, Retirement, and Insurance.

Also in 1986, the Club sponsored one of its most active members, Helen Yeo, for a Person’s Award, which she travelled to Ottawa to receive from then Governor General, the Hon. Jeanne Sauvé.

In 1992, CFUW Charlottetown submitted a brief to the Steering Committee on the Report of the P.E.I. Task force on Education.

In 1996, the Club organized and hosted an exhibition of paintings by the late Frieda Creelman, one of its early members.

In 2002, after two years of research, CFUW Charlottetown presented to the National organization a resolution on Legal Aid in Canada, which was accepted, and is now CFUW Policy.

Throughout the years CFUW programs have featured speakers who could educate members on current issues.

Members have spent countless hours raising funds by various methods (most notably book sales and craft or garage sales) to support its scholarships. And there were bridge parties, coffee parties, and dinner parties to supplement the scholarship funds.

CFUW Charlottetown has attracted members from the teaching profession, writers, artists, lawyers, politicians, and homemakers. Through the Scholarship Program, the Club has financially supported women wishing to further their education. Members educate themselves through presenting, discussing and supporting resolutions relating to many social and educational issues. Club meetings also provide a forum for education and exploration of current topics. As such, it is an organization with a long and illustrious history in the realm of adult education.

Our members have, over the years, served on school and community boards, planning committees, the UPEI Senate, the Status of Women PEI and UN, and several have been honoured for their contributions to our lives. Several have written and published books and articles. And over the years, all have enjoyed the fellowship and friendship of members, and the wide variety of interests they each bring to the club.


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