Cham, 27.03.2019

Ladies' Association of Cham celebrates its centenary

This year the Ladies’ Association of Cham celebrates its centenary; to mark this occasion a number of special events are to be held.

 

In its first year, back in 1919, the membership of the association amounted to just 250, whereas now there are some 900. “We are indeed a large organisation these days,” said Margit Conrad, who is co-chair, along with Susanne Staub. There are in fact seven members of the board, five of whom can be seen in the photograph, namely, from the left, Petra Behrend, Patricia Frisone Schnurrenberger, Margit Conrad, Susanne Staub, Claudia Braun-Arreger and Monika Elsener; unfortunately, Margrit Baumgartner and Nicole Indra were unable to attend. Staub mentioned that, up until 1978, members used the formal “Sie” form of address to each other before it was agreed to use the less formal “du”. She mentioned how the umbrella organisation of the association, the Swiss League of Catholic Women, was very active in supporting women’s issues from the outset, it having pushed the case for women’s suffrage, for example, then it is involved in many social and charitable affairs, too.

 

These days the association concerns itself with other matters such as offering a number of courses, women’s film nights, women’s fairs, and an annual trip. Every year the Association has a stand at the Villette Festival, too.

 

As mentioned, the association has strong links to the Church, it having been set up on the initiative of the priest at the time. As Staub explained, even today, the current priest, Thomas Rey, attends the AGM. What is interesting to note is that, in all the hundred years of its existence, there have been only 85 AGMs, none taking place during WW2 and none during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, either.

 

In earlier days’ too, the association provided women with the opportunity of meeting up with others, young mothers often joining, too, a tradition which continues. Indeed, in its statutes, the association is there to show responsibility in family, social, Church and State matters, as well as build up networks and contact with others. As Conrad, who came here from Germany several years ago, said, “It is nice to see people I have met through the association on the streets here. It makes me feel I belong.”

 

It is not always easy to find new members of the board, particularly with so many of them in work these days, and not least because involvement is very time consuming.

 

As mentioned, over the course of this centenary year, a number of events are planned, though some will be for members only. We felt it important the individual team members and helpers got something back,” said Staub, while adding that some events would be for the public, too, such as a guided tour of the town concentrating on women’s involvement. “We got this idea after many of members said what interesting stories old people had to tell when they visited them at Christmas time,” said Staub.

 

 

As mentioned, the association has strong links to the Church, it having been set up on the initiative of the priest at the time. As Staub explained, even today, the current priest, Thomas Rey, attends the AGM. What is interesting to note is that, in all the hundred years of its existence, there have been only 85 AGMs, none taking place during WW2 and none during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, either.

 

In earlier days’ too, the association provided women with the opportunity of meeting up with others, young mothers often joining, too, a tradition which continues. Indeed, in its statutes, the association is there to show responsibility in family, social, Church and State matters, as well as build up networks and contact with others. As Conrad, who came here from Germany several years ago, said, “It is nice to see people I have met through the association on the streets here. It makes me feel I belong.”

 

It is not always easy to find new members of the board, particularly with so many of them in work these days, and not least because involvement is very time consuming.

 

As mentioned, over the course of this centenary year, a number of events are planned, though some will be for members only. We felt it important the individual team members and helpers got something back,” said Staub, while adding that some events would be for the public, too, such as a guided tour of the town concentrating on women’s involvement. “We got this idea after many of members said what interesting stories old people had to tell when they visited them at Christmas time,” said Staub.

 

No fewer than 369 members have let it be known they intend to attend the AGM to be held in the Lorzensaal shortly, proof indeed that the association is thriving.