We are blessed by our faith, renewed by our prayers, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Thank you, dear secretaries, for your courage in answering the call to grow and share your talents with the Catholic Women’s League of BC & Yukon.

We were asked to say a few words about our experience. I will start with my call to be a Provincial Secretary, comment on your annual reports, and add some humorous incidents that I have collected for secretaries.

I did not expect to be invited to this position, even though I had checked Secretary on the invitation form, but – when the lady who was developing the nominations list phoned me to thank me for letting my name stand for this position, I thought – Uh Oh! When have I ever typed while people were speaking? I practiced though – I tried typing during a few home decorating shows on TV, but what helped the most was using a mouse instead of the pad on the computer. I encourage those of you who haven’t tried to do this – to type your minutes during the meeting, give it a try as it saves a lot of time and effort. And it is a useful talent!

I have been very grateful for the cooperation and support from my sisters on the Executive including the Diocesan Presidents. Thank you!

I am grateful to all secretaries who reported, to their Diocesan Secretaries, and in turn, to the Diocesan Secretaries who reported to me. A rewarding activity that some secretaries reported was special occasion cards that they sent. Many secretaries do not keep a motions book. Even if you do not do this, please consider working with the Past President to review the motions for the year, for her to add to your Policy and Procedure Manual. A safety activity that some secretaries reported was the use of the Bcc space in emails; this is a must for email address privacy. Data storage continues to be a question from secretaries. A criticism that was leveled by one secretary was of the new reporting system format, which she described as ‘data collection’ but that it did not express the ‘feel’ of the good work that Parish Councils accomplish throughout the year, that it takes the ‘heart’ out of the year end reports. Preparation activity needed by secretaries was reported as surprising, but very educational. Thank you all for maintaining the registers and for your helpful comments.

I am closing this report with a couple of humorous incidents that I collected during my time as secretary. The first is from last year’s National convention in Charlottetown. Although it was our sesquicentennial, the idea for the four regions that were loosely connected to formally connect, originated in 1864. At a skit with a ‘Father of Confederation’, the mistress of ceremonies took the “Father of Confederation” to task for not keeping minutes of their meeting in 1864.The second is from a Cornered Cartoon. The caption states that Tim is looking over the minutes of a meeting. The picture shows the sheaf of papers on which is written, “Tick, Tock! Tick, Tock! Tick, Tock! .….

This report is about the faith, fulfilment and fun that is part of being a secretary. I strongly encourage any member to take this position when asked. Being overwhelmed, buckling down to the task, and enjoying our sisters in the League is part of responding to the Spirit and following the guidance of Our Lady of Good Counsel.