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In Memory

Farewell To  Nancy Bass

Nancy Bass, life member of BPW Canada (North Toronto Club) and Past President of BPW Ontario (1998-2000) died at her home in Washago, Ontario on October 17, having faced her final illness the way she faced her life – with courage, grace and wit. Her indomitable spirit uplifted all who knew her.

Just a few months ago, at the BPW Canada Convention, Nancy proudly received her 25-year service pin, having joined BPW in Bracebridge, Ontario and then moving to North Toronto, where she served in many capacities, including club President and Director of District 4.

A psychology major and an insurance adjuster by profession, Nancy well understood the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Her commitment to BPW was driven by her strong sense of social justice and her faith in the ideals of our sisterhood.

Nancy’s deliberately casual manner and light touch belied her compassion and thoughtful dedication to her duties. She was passionate about her ideals, embracing her beliefs with her whole heart and bringing intelligence and integrity to everything she did, while also having a keen ability to see the funny side of things even if the joke was on herself. Nancy could switch instantly from intense absorption in serious business to wacky, off-the-wall humour, and then to sophisticated appreciation of fine arts and literature. We will not soon forget her ever-present camera, the silly hats, the bass slippers flapping down Conference halls, her jovial hospitality or her endless repertoire of stories told with equal measures of farce, finesse and insight.

Nancy was well loved and much admired and she will be greatly missed.

By Fran Donaldson, President, and Marge Donovan, Past President


Nancy was a BPW member for over 20 years (as of 2006 it is 28 years). She first joined BPW Bracebridge, then was a member of the Brampton BPW and was a very active member  of North Toronto BPW.

In all three clubs, Nancy held several Board positions. In the North Toronto Club she served as Program Chair, Bulletin Editor several times, Vice President and Club President for two years. In her 16 years at North Toronto BPW, Nancy served on the Board and on several committees at the same time, such as Bursary, Planning, Finance, etc. and acted as our prime negotiator for the leases when we entered premises at 3300 Yonge Street. During her term as our club President, Nancy instituted such changes as a new professional format for our club Bulletin, a library for women's books and articles and a filing system for club reports.

From 1992-1994 Nancy served as Assistant District Director for District 4 and then was voted in as District Director for two years. During this time Nancy visited all the clubs in the District and was available and willing to be a resource for any member or club at all times.

Nancy served as Provincial Vice-President and was Provincial President from 1998-2000. She has been a speaker at many clubs, including a panellist at North Toronto BPW and has done numerous TV, radio and newspaper interviews on behalf of BPW.

In addition to the above, Nancy initiated and was co-editor of the first BPW Ontario Annual Report and continued to work actively in support of successive editors. She developed the first program Booklet for Program Chairs. She also acted as the "official" photographer for the organization. Nancy encouraged the development of the BPW Ontario web site and has been active on the Resource Center Committee.  At the International Congress in Venice, Nancy was a volunteer timekeeper and she acted as a North Toronto BPW delegate at National Conventions.

For several years Nancy  hosted the brain-storming sessions, which she initiated, at her home. The purpose of this gathering is to assist the club Program Chair with ideas for the year's program, such as suggestions for speakers, topics, panels, etc. Nancy continued to encourage clubs and members to work closely together and maintain the aims and objectives of BPW in whatever she does. Nancy received her life membership of the Business and Professional Women's Club in 2001.

By Shirley Giles, Past Provincial President of BPW Ontario, on the occasion of Nancy's life membership.

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Nancy Bass at the 2006 National Conference

Nancy Bass at the 2006
National Conference

 

 

Nancy Bass