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Tree planting celebrates 100th anniversary of Catholic Women’s League of Canada

St. Joseph’s CWL plants oak tree next to Memorial Bench for the Unborn and Infant Loss in Sunset Cemetery
With the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of Canada celebrating its 100th anniversary of service this year, CWL councils all over the country are planting trees to commemorate the event.

The St. Joseph’s Catholic Women’s League of Moose Jaw did their part on Wednesday night and decided to make it just that little more special.

The group gathered at the Memorial Bench for the Unborn and Infant Loss in Sunset Cemetery to plant an oak tree, which will grow over the years to offer shade and comfort to those who may seek it.

“It’s a hardy tree that lives a long time, so hopefully that’s going to be part of this place for a very long time,” said Rosalie Boots, president of the St. Joseph’s CWL. “It’ll provide service to people who sit on that bench and it’s also just a thanksgiving to God for 100 years of the Catholic Women’s League.”

The location was chosen as part of the CWL’s ongoing objectives — the sanctity of life has always been a tenet of the organization and honouring the smallest of us who have died with a tree that could last centuries seemed like a fitting tribute.

That’s one of the reasons more than two dozen members came to witness the planting, which was conducted by City of Moose Jaw horticulturalist and CWL member Sarah Regent.

Regent had a hand from a few youngsters on the scene as well, and for good reason: three members of the newly formed Catholic Girls League (CGL) were on hand to help with the transporting of materials and everything else involved in the project.

The group formed last fall and currently features five members.

“What happened was, one of the girls saw the promotional video we had in November for our membership drive and she asked ‘how old do you have to be to join the league’. I said ‘16, how many years away is that for you?’ and she said ‘five’,” Boots said, indicating the tone of sadness the youngster had over the long wait. 

“So we thought we might have a small group of girls, but we can do this. So it’s really special they’re out here too, we have members who have been members for 60 years and the new girls who have been with us since last November.”

The CGL has been busy since their inception. While they haven’t been able gather as often as they like, Zoom meetings have shown them how to plant houseplants and make cards, and when they could head outside, the girls worked on the flower beds at St. Joseph’s and will be looking after the gardens throughout the summer.

“So they’ve been doing really well and we’re really happy to have them,” Boots said.

Once the planting was completed, participants gathered in Connor Park for a special presentation to the CGL crew, including a certificate of appreciation and 100th anniversary CWL pin.