BPW International Vice Presidents’ Messages

Gabriella Canonica, International Vice President


Midnight 31st December 2010 / 1st January 2011

Dear BPW Members and friends around the world.

This is my last *Midnight* letter as your 1st Vice President of BPW International.  In many countries the church bells are ringing in the New Year, and I am thinking of you all at this time.

“Oh dear! Another year has gone… 12 months!” This and similar words are heard here and there. Yes, it is true; time seems to fly, here and there, for you and for me.

Reflections on the past ‘Midnight’ letter 2009-2010

I wrote about the new challenge, the long way we will go together and the wonderful chance to move forward towards reaching our goals.
Unfortunately, I did not have the chance and honour to meet all of you individually, but nevertheless, I had a wonderful opportunity to speak with many of you face to face and to learn from you about your concerns, thoughts, ideas and wishes, as well as your sorrows, which I carry in my heart and pray that you feel better as each day passes.

The past 12 months:

We do not speak with the same fear about the financial crisis as we did the year before; this is a good sign, a positive light in our lives.  Our International network can give us lot of energy, mental support and confidence. It is in our hands, to reach out for this! You can share your stories with us! Be one of our next Women of the Week!

We mourn about dear family members and friends we lost. Let us think of them with gratitude, that we had the good fortune to know and live with them! Let us thank them for the moments in our lives when we were together. I wish you courage to accept these sad moments in your life.

We are proud that we were able to welcome new BPW Clubs in the 5 Regions! We wish them to enjoy our Sisterhood, our professional Network and to liaise with all the BPW Members worldwide. In 2011 we have the wonderful opportunity to meet during the International Congress in Helsinki!

I enjoyed the honour to participate at the following Events in the 5 Regions:

•    Opened officially the first English speaking Club in Geneva, Switzerland (Europe)
•    CSW UN New York, (North America)
•    80th Birthday Celebration BPW International, New York, (North America)
•    BPW President’s Seminar in New York (North America)
•    BPW NEW York Annual General Meeting (North America)
•    Opened officially the new Club Waregem in Belgium (Europe)
•    General Assembly of my Home Club Basel, Switzerland (Europe)
•    Meeting with prospective New Members in Copenhagen, Denmark (Europe)
•    Opened officially the new Club La Valletta, Malta (Europe)
•    European Commission Network Women in Decision making, Brussels ((Delegate))(Europe)
•    Event BPW Club Zürich, Switzerland (Europe)
•    Registration of BPW International in Geneva (Europe)
•    Media Conference Registration of BPW International in Geneva (Europe)
•    LENA Award in Geneva, Switzerland (Europe)
•    BPW Latin American Regional Congress in Buenos Aires, (Latin America)
•    Annual General Meeting of BPW Canada in Toronto, (North America)
•    D A CH Meeting in St. Gallen between Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Europe)
•    Opened officially the new BPW Club in Athens, Greece; (Europe)
•    BPW North America Regional Congress in Las Vegas, (North America)
•    Young BPW International Congress in Las Vegas, (North America)
•    First General Assembly of the new Federation of EPW USA in Las Vegas (North America)
•    BPW Asia Pacific Regional Congress in Singapore, (Asia Pacific)
•    Visited the BPW Club Harvey, Australia; (Asia Pacific)
•    Participated in the VIP Belmont Small Business Awards in Perth;(Asia Pacific)
•    BPW Australia Annual General Meeting in Perth ((I am so proud to become an Honorary Member of BPW Australia!)) (Asia Pacific)
•    Visited BPW New Zealand,  Visited Clubs in Auckland and surroundings;  (Asia Pacific)
•    BPW Pago Pago in American Samoa to participate in the Leadership Seminar; (Asia Pacific)
•    Visited BPW Los Angeles; (North America),             and,
•    Finished 2010 travels by attending the BPW Forum in Cotonou, Benin; (Africa)

My contributions: Opening Speeches, Talks, Round-Tables, Presentations, Seminars, Workshops. All these travels proved an enrichment for me, I learned so much from you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time you let me spend with you and your members!
Let me please also thank you for the warm welcome, the hospitality you extended to me around the world.

Coming back to my reflections of the last 2 years 2008 – 2009.

Promised changes? Yes, we did change.  And together we can change more!
We will make big steps towards Gender Equality, including the awareness of the Pay Gap, Gender Budgeting and the Girls Bill of Right. Together we can change the thinking in our wonderful world.  And you play an important role; every BPW Member is an active ambassador of change throughout world and takes part as a ‘History Writer’ of our BPW International organisation.

We will meet in Helsinki! June 16 – 21 where the Midnight sun will shine for us!

There is always a lot to learn, to share, to follow under the aspect of *open eyes*. International Congresses are not just for fun… there is so much we can learn and enjoy! As an International organisation, we are blessed to have this great chance of multicultural exchange in many languages.
And… be honest: we all speak the BPW Language. This is the language from the heart!
BPW International is the Life School par Excellence; do not keep it as the best secret in town! Talk about it!  ‘Speak Up and Speak Out’

In closing this letter, I want to send warm wishes to all Members who are suffering from illness, who have family members and friends who are unwell. I wish you strength to carry this burden with the hope of a speedy recovery.

Wishing you a wonderful and positive start into the New Year 2011, full of energy and optimism!
Best and warm regards

Yours sincerely,

Gabriella Canonica,  1st Vice President BPW International 2008 – 2011
Chair Membership, Chair Friends and Fellows


Freda Miriklis, International Vice President

Happy New Year!   Lots of exciting things are in store for members participating in CSW 55 in New York this year. BPW members will be able to participate in all the planned BPW events, NGO activities and have input into CSW outcomes. The NGO/CSW programme, together with the planned BPW activities, will provide a platform to share and exchange ideas and meet new people sharing similar passions.  Access to BPW delegates during morning BPW Caucus Meetings will be held at the President’s Suite in the Murray Hills East Suites. Specific efforts are being made to ensure that BPW perspectives are considered in the outcome document and don’t miss out on some of our special activities that we have in store!   Start planning your itinerary and remember to visit the website as we are updating details regularly.

The Equal Pay Day workshop: Closing the Pay Gap has now been confirmed for Wednesday 23rd February 2011 at 1:00pm – 3:00pm. Details are available on the BPW website – Mark the date in your diary now!
Freda Miriklis, 2nd Vice President
Chair United Nations Committee on the Status of Women


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