‘Unofficial’ 95th Anniversary

ZCO CA Members,
Happy ‘Unofficial’ 95th Anniversary of the first luncheon & meeting at the
Chateau Laurier on May 15, 1929!!

We celebrated our ‘Unofficial’ 95th Anniversary, with High Tea at the Chateau Laurier on May 28, 2024

Read an excerpt below that I've copy/pasted from:
Empowering Women:
Zonta Club of Ottawa, Canada
1929 - 2019
Written by:  Valerie Knowles
(Talented Author/Writer & Member since Oct. 1, 1980)



The Zonta Club of Ottawa traces its formal launching to the spring of 1929, a time when optimism reigned supreme in Canada. In those buoyant, carefree days before the onset of the Great Depression, Ottawa had a population of over 165,000 and a skyline dominated by the impressive peace tower. Striking an exuberant note so typical of the time, the city directory boasted “Everything that makes life worthwhile is to be found in Ottawa.” Notwithstanding such hyperbole, the city was then a shabby place with drab downtown streets and slums crisscrossed by railway lines. It was a national capital, where, day in and day out, the screeching of numerous lumber mills filled the air, and the stench of Hull’s E.B. Eddy pulp and paper factory assailed one’s nostrils. It would take the Second World War, post-war reconstruction, and the eclipse of Ottawa’s wood products industry to confirm the city as a government town and an even longer time for it to take on the air of a world capital worthy of the name.

But all this would have been far from the minds of the twelve Zontians who assembled for their “opening meeting,” as it has been described, at the venerable Chateau Laurier on May 15, 1929. According to the now defunct Ottawa Evening Journal, the event took the form of a “delightful” luncheon featuring tables “prettily” adorned with Zonta International’s official flower, the yellow rose. A gift from the Zonta Club of Hamilton, the roses not only linked the infant club with its parent, they also symbolized the heady optimism surrounding this occasion, for which the organizers had chosen a prominent male speaker. He was Karl Conger, past president of the Rotary Club of Ottawa, which had been partly responsible for the founding of Zonta Ottawa.

In fact, the impetus for the club’s founding came from one of Rotary’s leading members, John J. Allen, later mayor of Ottawa, who was a champion of men’s and women’s service organizations. In December 1928, Allen, then president of the Ottawa Welfare Bureau, approached Thelma Williams, the Bureau’s executive secretary, about the advisability of establishing a branch of Zonta International in the nation’s capital. As Allen saw it, such a branch would be a sister club to the local Rotary club, whose selling points he extolled at length. The dedicated Rotarian spoke so enthusiastically about the work and comradeship of Rotary that the social worker immediately agreed to meet some Buffalo Zontians.

**there is lots more to read and learn about our club through our first 90 years.

Zonta Club of Ottawa    ‘Video History’   Part 1…

You can view our video history on our website, use link below:

Members of Zonta are individuals who are willing to support the objectives of Zonta. Chartered in 1930, the Zonta Club of Ottawa, Canada has been a member of Zonta International for over 90 years.
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