October 21, 2019
By Janice Biehn
The 61st year of PWRDF’s work began with the addition of new board members at the Annual General Meeting held in Toronto September 28. The make-up of the board is now seven women and six men, achieving near gender parity.
The board was pleased to welcome Archbishop Linda Nicholls, 14th Primate of Canada, who has an automatic seat on the board. “Archbishop Linda has already demonstrated a keen interest and strong commitment to the work PWRDF and we look forward to a long partnership together,” says Will Postma, PWRDF Executive Director.
Cynthia Haines-Turner of the Diocese of Western Newfoundland was elected to the board. As the prolocutor of General Synod from 2016-2019, Haines-Turner is familiar with navigating the structures of the church. As a former parish rep, diocesan rep and diocesan coordinator for PWRDF, she is also well versed in our programs and our volunteer structure.
The Rev. Valerie Isaac of the Diocese of Moosonee was also elected. A long-time diocesan rep, Rev. Isaac has been championing PWRDF in her diocese for several years.
The Rt. Rev. Jenny Andison, Area Bishop for York-Credit Valley in the Diocese of Toronto, replaces Bishop Rob Hardwick of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle as the House of Bishops representative. Having recently visited Tanzania and India and serving in an ethnically diverse area, Bishop Andison has a special interest in the worldwide Anglican Communion, women’s empowerment and poverty reduction.
The board also said farewell to Lillian Newbery (Diocese of Toronto), who served PWRDF for nine years. Newbery has worked as a reporter at the Canadian Press in Toronto and Edmonton and was the first female editorial writer at the Hamilton Spectator and the only full-time writer covering HIV and AIDS at the Toronto Star early in her career. She has served on numerous boards, including the Anglican Journal and Canadian Science Writers Association. As a member of St. Peter’s, Erindale in Mississauga, Ont., Newbery has served in many capacities including coordinating parish sponsorship and resettlement of two refugee families in Canada. “Lillian invested much time in PWRDF,” says Postma, “from managing and improving the nomination process to orienting new directors to writing donor thank you notes. I will miss her humour and commitment to an organization that she has supported for many years, long before her time on the board.”
The board said farewell to Rev. Margaret Dempster who has served the Board as Executive Committee member and Board Secretary. This included important work in documentation and communication. Rev. Dempster brought commitment and insights to the PWRDF Investment Committee and helped it direct a growing amount of investments to Indigenous reconciliation and other social impact investments such as affordable housing and renewable energy. “We are grateful and all the better because of Rev. Dempster’s hard work and dedication,” said Postma.