This month our city enjoyed Historic Calgary Week. The theme for this year was The Power of Partnerships and the Calgary Women’s Literary Club was pleased to be invited to participate. Held in the delightfully historic Memorial Park Library, Mary Carwardine, Sue Carscallen and Sandra Ens took part in an engaging talk which served to deliver a thoughtful and informative overview of the significant role that our club has played in Calgary’s history.
This presentation created an enhanced appreciation of the accomplishments of our founder, Annie Davidson. Annie we were told was a lady of quiet dignity and thoughtful opinions who overcame the many challenges and losses that were typical of her time. Buoyed by her love of books, she sparked intellectual and social discourse in a growing population of literate Calgary women. These women shared the scarce few books that they had brought with them on their journey to Calgary during their weekly meetings in Annie’s parlor.
Under Annie’s leadership, in a time when women had yet to win the right to vote, the Calgary Women’s Literary Club worked tirelessly to garner support and succeeded in obtaining the land and the funding to build the first public library between Winnipeg and Vancouver. The Memorial Park Library came into being in 1912.
Annie’s “book club with a difference” continues to meet on Tuesday afternoons in the library that she built. Today’s members hold dear the legacy left to us by Annie as we continue to discuss and analyze literature.
I have borrowed liberally from the talk in my efforts to capture and relate the flavor of this wonderful presentation.
Doloris Duval, CWLC President