Together, in person, at last!

We may still be wearing our masks, but to be together in person was a breath of fresh air!

Amazingly, we have run meetings virtually for the whole of President Robin’s two-year tenure. This AGM was her first – and last – in-person meeting to chair. That might be something for the record books! With Moorea, our incoming 2022-24 President, they have hosted our online meetings and socials with panache. An unexpected silver lining has been the return of some former members who can join us online, but not in person. We look forward to new adventures in the fall!

The Calgary Golf and Country Club has been our venue of choice for this event for many years, and for many good reasons. We love its friendly staff, a-room-with-a-view, and scrumptious buffet lunch! Thank you!

Doloris decorated the tables, with cheerful spring tulips.

Cecilia began our meal with a blessing, which was so perfect for the times that many guests have asked for it to be shared. Click here and scroll to the third prayer.

Sarah Meilleur, CEO of the Calgary Public Library

Sarah Meilleur was joined by her colleagues Alexandra Runge (Calgary Library Foundation) and Leah McLeod (Memorial Park Library.) Sarah revealed how unreal it felt when she, by herself, was locking the front door to shutter our architectural marvel from Calgarians for an unknown time. That meant shutting out over 20,0000 Calgarians who enter our libraries each day! She then astonished us with stories of how library staff did somersaults to find ways to provide Calgarians service in new ways. They not only landed on their feet, but they won the Urban Libraries Association (North America) Innovators Award in 2020.

https://www.urbanlibraries.org/innovations/a-design-thinking-approach-to-crisis-response

The excitement and pleasure of being together at last was remarkable. Lovely outfits have finally seen the light of day again! (The photographer botched some shots: Her apologies that a few attendees are not in the slideshow!)

Spilling the Beans

I was lucky to get the yummiest book at our Christmas book exchange! It’s by Calgarian cookbook author Julie Van Rosendaal and her friend, former Calgarian Sue Duncan. My Secret Santa chose a cookbook full of tempting recipes for my newly-vegan son and his rather bewildered Mom. Secret Santa has amazing powers of intuition and wisdom!

Here’s my Aloo (Potatoes) Gobi (Cauliflower) with Chickpeas!

Thanks to my Secret Santa, from Janet H.

A day in the life…

… of a CWLC President.

In 2018, between one CWLC presidency and the next, Margaret Sparkes and Doloris Duval shared the honour of joining the Calgary Public Library CEO Bill Ptacek as he dedicated a plaque to the Memorial Park Library.

I have a hunch that being a President of our club is never dull, but Doloris had a few unique challenges (Ahem! opportunities.) Her presidency was book-ended by a blizzard requiring her to cancel the first meeting (ever!) in Fall 2018, and the pandemic which meant CWLC’s Spring 2020 season and all its fine plans were nipped in the bud. All in all, Doloris led us in times that often required more than the usual CWLC presidential intelligence, steady hands, grace and fortitude. Thanks so much from all of us, Doloris!

Please read the President’s remarks by clicking here.

Chaim Potok: Rabbi, American Author, Mensch

Photo Deborah Thomas on Wikimedia Commons

Ritta used the word mensch, a particularly good person, to describe author Chaim Potok. Ritta discovered his novels through her curiosity about religions.

Chaim Potok was raised in the Bronx in a conservative Jewish family, received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, then became a rabbi. It was his three years as a chaplain in Japan and Korea after the Korean war that transformed his beliefs. He obtained a master’s and doctorate degree, led an active life as a Jewish academic and teacher, as a magazine editor and writer, in addition to being a novelist.

Not unlike Potok himself, his characters struggle to manage the tensions inherent in wanting to live for themselves against the backdrop of their families’ expectations and their traditional religious beliefs.

My name is Asher Lev, is Ritta’s favourite.

For much more, READ RITTA’S SUMMARY BY CLICKING HERE

Janet H & Helen

New tricks…

At 114 years young, the Calgary Women’s Literary Club will be meeting for the first time ever on Zoom, and not in our beloved Memorial Park Library.

Photo by Meryl Spadaro on Unsplash

If you are new to Zoom and need help getting started, please let us know. One of us will provide support and/or extra practise with Zoom, prior to the first meeting.

Our first meeting on Tuesday, October 6 will be an informal one, to let members visit and try out the technology. So… no commute, no parking woes! Instead, about 1:45-1:50 pm, take a last look in the mirror, grab a nice beverage and snack, and settle into a comfy chair at home across from your computer screen. Find the email you will have received from us containing the Zoom link. Click on it, optionally hold your breath or (better yet) take a sip, and you should be ushered in.

Guests are welcome: Email us at cwlc1906@gmail.com

The following week, we will continue with our long-awaited Cultural Awareness Through Literature session.

Writers of 1920’s Calgary: Join online, July 29

Shaun Hunter, Calgary Public Library’s Historian in Residence, is presenting a talk on July 29. You need only your Library Card to register.

Don’t miss reading Shaun’s article BY CLICKING HERE. Especially interesting is a literary map, where you can find photos and stories for each site.

May I suggest finding a comfortable lawn chair, a shady spot and something cool to sip, as you settle in?


Sharanpal Ruprai: U of C’s Writer-in-Residence

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

On March 10, 2020, Sandra Ens introduced our guest speaker Sharanpal Ruprai, this year’s Canadian Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary. Dr. Ruprai is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies including Exposed and Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets. She is also the author of two other volumes of poetry: Seva, a coming of age collection which speaks movingly about experiences from Ruprai’s Sikh girlhood; and her most recent collection, the humorous and evocative Pressure Cooker Love Bomb, which was named a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry. As Dr. Ruprai engaged us with readings from her body of work, we were encouraged as she was “to cut the noise out of the poetry” and to be mindful of the need for openness about the multiples of culture and religion.

Helen Tubrett

CLICK HERE for more on Pressure Cooker Love Bomb and its poet.

The New York Times recommends…

… Calgary’s new Central Library, in its popular list called “52 Places to Go This Year.” (Calgary entry by Elaine Glusac)

CLICK HERE to find #20, and then contemplate visiting the 51 other Places recommended!

Calgary Central Library a wonder — and a place to wander!

Living, Loving and Loathing Shakespeare (and Laughing, too!)

Image of William Shakespeare

via Pixabay

Cecilia’s lifelong passion for William Shakespeare was clearly evident in her enthusiastic presentation on October 16, structured in the form of a  five-act Shakespearean play.

Each succeeding act consisted of defined topics, such as family and friends who influenced his writing, his humour as well as various characters who inhabited his plays.

Cecilia’s power point presentation (Act IV) in exquisite pictures, detailed her extensive personal experience with Shakespeare’s live theatre as well as journeys to Stratford in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Shakespeare’s words of wisdom, his philosophy of life and humour still resonate with us today.

FOR MORE, CLICK HERE FOR CECILIA’S PRESENTATION SUMMARY

Sue Carscallen

[NOTE: I have re-posted this, as Cecilia has just published her Presentation Summary, which (like all our presentation summaries) is well worth the read. Janet H.]