On September 27th a special plaque was unveiled, commemorating the Memorial Park Library becoming a national historic site. It details the vision and hard effort by Annie Davidson and the women of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club to build a library. Doloris and Margaret were delighted to be part of such a heartfelt ceremony, which was attended by CPL’s own Bill Ptacek, and representatives of City Parks and Parks Canada, among others.
Sept 27 2018 plaque unveiling at Memorial Park Library
CBC’s Rachel Ward was in touch with Mary Carwardine.
Click here for the charming article that ensued.
… and click here for more on the Memorial Park Library.
Mary Carwardine was able to connect with Annie’s great-grandson and invite him to the Historic Calgary Week presentation. Sadly, Donald was unable to attend Historic Calgary Week but sent the following. He did attend the Library’s 100th celebration six years ago, which coincided with the release of Brian Brennan’s book, The Calgary Public Library: Inspiring Life Stories Since 1912.
“After travelling the world most of my life as an aviator, I am now limited by a debilitating walking disability which curtails most of my current travel. I will not be able to get to Calgary in July. I wish you all the best in executing an excellent program. I appreciate your consideration.
I have examined the “Historic Calgary Week” program and find it all very interesting. So many of those places and experiences were part of my life growing up in the City until I was eighteen years old and left for Military College in Kingston. During WW II we ( my brothers and sisters) covered the whole much smaller City by bicycle many times. The air was filled with aircraft training airmen for the war via the
and the streets with uniforms from around the Commonwealth and Europe. I attended schools in Capitol Hill, Mt. Royal, Bowness, Balmoral and Crescent Heights High. I got my first pilot’s license at the Calgary International Airport at the Calgary Flying Club.”
Donald A. Davidson, Great Grandson of Annie & Richard Davidson
Hooked? In addition to the link on BCATP above, here are links to two aviation museums in Calgary:
Hangar Flight Museum
Air Force Museum of Alberta
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
“Open old book, studio shot” by Siri Stafford (Licenced by Getty Images)
Happy summer everyone!
As part of Historic Calgary Week, Sue Carscallen and Mary Carwardine will be presenting:
The Fight for Books:
The Calgary Women’s Literary Club
Sunday, JULY 29TH
Memorial Park Branch
We hope those of you NOT away on holidays will come to cheer on our unbeatable CWLC research team/presenters!
With a photo of the front entrance and the bold headline “A National Treasure” on the front page of its January 19, 2018 edition, the Calgary Herald announced that Memorial Park Library has been designated a national historic site.
Although the article on page A2 doesn’t mention the Calgary Women’s Literary Club by name, it does explain that the library “was built thanks to the efforts of a group of local women, including one of Calgary’s cultural pioneers, Annie Davidson.” Memorial Park Library served as the city’s main library from 1912, when it opened, until 1963.
Although it may not be published, I did write the following e-mail to the newspaper:
Open old book, studio shot (with permission from Getty Images)
The Calgary Herald’s Swerve Magazine has once again given our Club a lovely tribute, this time to our founders who championed bringing the first library to Calgary. The article ends by reminding us that our Club has been using the Memorial Park premises for 103 years!
You can read the entire article here:
New Central Library, East Village
Click below for more about:
And while you are at it, Sue recently gave us a presentation:
CWLC Archives at the Glenbow
There is no surer sign of Spring in Calgary than the first flowers we see! It’s also the time for the CWLC President to review the past Fall and Spring Season,. Margaret Sparkes has eloquently recapped our 2016-17 season. Your Webmaster will also archive it under the website page, Our History.
Was there anything that stood out for you this last year? Let us know!
CWLC President’s Report 2017