The TGWL, a legacy of community building

Thorncliffe Greenview Women's League
The Thorncliffe Greenview Women’s League gather at the TGCA to celebrate founding member Yvonne Arkley’s 90th birthday in 2021.

By Leslie DeGagne, TGCA President

In the year 1973, TGCA was a fledgling community, a community looking at finding an identity. Residents came together, shared ideas and came up with a vision of what a great community should be. Thorncliffe Greenview is the culmination of ideas that blossomed into being one of the best family-friendly communities in Calgary. Their vision included the building of a complex where residents could gather and build relationships, a place where their children could have programs and activities to participate in and thereby build new friendships with their neighbours and peers. This community had assets: land, an outdoor rink, an ATCO trailer, a small Scout hall, and people power in the form of volunteers. What it didn’t have was a brick-and-mortar building that could hold all the plans these forward-thinking members had hatched.

The hard work was yet to come, and these people were not to be deterred, they knew what was needed and were willing to put the effort forward to make this complex happen. They knew that this family friendly gathering place would only become possible with major cooperation between our volunteers, the City of Calgary and the Province. They knew that much fundraising and hard work were facing them, but they persevered, and the complex came to be.

Within this group of residents was a group of ladies who saw a need and volunteered to fill it. The need; a canteen for our fledgling Bingo. This led to the formation of the Thorncliffe Greenview Women’s League, a fraternity group that pitched in and filled the volunteer needs of the community and built friendships that spanned decades. These amazing ladies, with their dedicated community work, formed the identity of what we now call Thorncliffe Greenview Community, these caring women are the community conscience, we look at how they give, and we see the result of selflessness and know what the right thing to do is. Teaching community values through actions is their strength. Inclusivity matters and they were the ones who opened the doors of acceptance which allowed them to be a vital part of what TGCA is over the years; all were welcome to join in and help build the vision. TGWL success stories resulted in creation of a Christmas Craft Fair, Wine and Cheese at Christmas for community members, Mother’s Day Tea, children’s parties, sponsorship of children’s programs (youth bowling, figure skating), weekly craft group, and funeral lunches to name a few. The heart of the community is its members and the TGWL provided the heartbeat for our small town values within the growing city.

Ladies, your beacon of light has guided us for fifty years. You are now passing the torch and hopefully we have learned the values you taught us through the years. The torch lights our way and the new generation of TGCA volunteers will work hard to keep it lit. Ladies, you have shown us all the value of community and volunteerism. You have shown us what community means to you through your dedication and now it is time for TGCA to show you what you mean to us. This note of admiration and our thanks for your service is just the start. Without great people like yourselves using your creativity, talents and sensibilities our community would not have succeeded in being that small town within the big city that we now enjoy. Thank you for making this community one of the most respected in the country.

T-alented, thoughtful, Thorncliffe Greenview women

G-raciously giving gifts of time, friendship and mentorship

W-ithholding nothing, inspiring others, community builders of renown

L-eading with love of each other to create an amazing legacy for future generations

Thank you, ladies, for your time, your friendship, and your commitment. Thank you for bringing this community to life.

TGCA Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator

Programming and Community Engagement Coordinator at the TGCA,

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