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Thirty-five War Brides attended the first meeting at the Cornwall Street Legion. Gloria outlined what they hoped to accomplish by founding a Saskatchewan War Brides Association and after a vote was taken, Gloria was unaminously declared Founding President. Kay became Secretary Treasurer, and the other ladies chosen in the same way. So on Thursday, June 9, 1975, the first War Brides Association in Canada was born.
Gloria explained until the Association was registered with the Government of Canada, they could not ask for money from the members. However, they could ask those present to donate one dollar which would be ready to go in the bank at such time that a bank account was set up.
It was decided to act as quick as they could so Gloria asked Kay to phone the Land Titles Office so they could do the research on the Association name which the 35 brides had voted on at that first meeting. Kay, Gloria and Gloria's husband John went to the Office where the Association's Bylaws were reviewed and then stamped with a Seal stating no-one else had this name. With that stamp of approval, the small group from Saskatchewan officially became the first War Brides Association!
Then they had to go to the Secretary of State and because Kay could not get away that day, John drove Gloria and Dorothy Wastrodowski in to Regina for the interview. The Secretary of State then asked many questions of Gloria, such as why they wanted to start this Association and would all the brides from other countries be allowed to join? Gloria and Dorothy told him their rules read that a War Bride is a woman who met and married a Canadian serviceman overseas.
The Association's goals included bringing the War Brides together at least once a year to help each other in any way they might need, to foster better relations between War Brides in different provinces to another and to form a platform to the government on anything ofimportance to the War Brides. The Minister checked all their papers and said, "I wish I had you working for our Legion!" He photocopied their papers, then stamped it with the Seal and stated he would be in touch with them as soon as the government passed the application.
The first reunion was held at the Executive Motel in Sakatoon but by this time, the small group of 35 had grown to 100 war brides and the hotel was too small to cater to a group that big. So the Motel Manager took them to a motel just a few blocks down the street where they had a wonderful dinner. Later, they went back to the Executive Motel and danced and sang the night away to the accompaniment of some taped music John was wise enough to bring along. It was a happy crowd.
The second reunion was held at the Landmark Inn Hotel on South Albert Street, in Regina. As the group grew, they moved their reunions to larger facilities and one day, while in Regina, Gloria heard there was to be a big Motel being built close to the city train station. She found out where the office for the business was situated and talked her husband into taking her there.
There they found a very nice young man by the name of Mr. Jim Kilkenny. The room was full of boxes and only a desk and phone. Gloria told him the War Brides were growing out of most of the Hotels in Regina and could he give them a good rate if they had a reunion there when the hotel was finished the following spring? The hotel turned out to be the Ramada Renaissance on Hamilton Street, Regina, and as the reunions grew, the War Brides continued to have their gatherings at that location mainly to the kindness of Mr. Kilkenny who was a great General Manager... Click to read more