The Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Women’s Missionary Society and the Order of Diaconal Ministries established this award to recognize the courageous and faithful work of women within our church. Nominations were received from across the church.
The year 2014 was the inaugural year of the award and, as such, the committee felt it was appropriate to honour more than one woman. Six awards were presented this year.
- Dr. Pauline Brown, India/Canada
- Mrs. Helen Macdonald, St.Andrew’s Pres. Church Orillia, Ontario
- The Rev. Helen Smith, Centennial Pres. Church, Calgary, Alberta
- Dr. Margaret Taylor, Gale Pres. Church, Elmira, Ontario
- Dr. Lois Klempa, Beaconsfield, Quebec (Posthumously)
- Mrs. Doreen McDougall, Westminster Pres. Church, Ottawa, Ontario (Posthumously)
More about the Recipients
Dr. Pauline Brown
Pauline dreamed of going to India as a young girl. At the age of 25, after having served as a navy nurse, the Women’s Missionary Society sent her to work in India as a nurse among the Bhil people. For 55 years she faithfully served God and the Bhil people in various capacities, but always with a focus on health care and education. Though she knew little about being a missionary, she credits the WMS for encouraging her to stay in India to work and minister alongside the people. Now retired, she lives most of the year in Jobat, India as a beloved elder in the community she served for many years.
Helen has faithfully served her congregation for many years and in many roles, including being a member of the mission and outreach committee, ladies auxiliary, cemetery board and clerk of session. Not only has Helen served her church, but she has shared her expertise and talent with her community through Richmond House, Couchiching Jubilee House and helping to found the ODAC (Orillia District and Area Churches). Helen has also actively participated in the Quota Club since 1963, including serving as the International President from 1989-1990. She has worked tirelessly for over 50 years supporting those in their time of need and carrying out commitments faithfully.
The Rev. Helen Smith
Helen serves the church with creativity and faithfulness in a wide variety of ministries. For 35 years, Helen has ministered from Evangel Hall Mission in Toronto, Calgary Urban Projects Society, Camp Kannawin in Sylvan Lake, AB, to congregational ministry in Edmonton, Southern Ontario and Calgary, giving generously of her time and many talents in each ministry. Her wide experience is deeply appreciated as she serves on boards and committees, both in her local community and nationally, working to carry out God’s call to ministry. She represented The Presbyterian Church in Canada on the Caribbean and North American Area Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. She served as chair of the Life and Mission Agency.
Dr. Margaret Taylor
Margaret is a pioneer in the advancement of the status of women in The Presbyterian Church in Canada. She crisscrossed Canada, by any mode of transportation, to present her vision of Christian Education. Margaret was the first woman appointed to the Board of the Missionary and Deaconess Training School and later the chair of the Building Campaign to build a new training college which was renamed Ewart College. As a ground breaker, she was the first woman to chair an Assembly Board of the PCC. She served on a number of national boards and committees within the PCC as a member and chairperson, often as the first or only female member, including chairing the task force on “Liberty of Conscience as it pertains to the Ordination of Women.” Margaret also served as a member of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She is a role model and an inspiration to all women.
Dr. Lois Klempa
Lois, who studied at Ewart College, was a passionate feminist who fought for women’s rights and was a spirited advocate of women in ministry. She travelled and worked in churches in the United States and Scotland and was an energetic member of her home congregations. She was very active in her local WMS and served as president of the presbyterial and synodical, and on the national executive. She also served on the 1997 Presbyterian Hymn Book and Worship Book committees and was a strong advocate for inclusive language in worship. Her enduring legacy is her history of the WMS, Certain Women Amazed Us, for which she was the principal author.
Doreen was a woman of faith that reached out to others, to stand with them during times of stress. She was an active leader in her congregation, serving on many committees such as mission and outreach, worship and nurture, Christian education, pastoral care and congregational life. She was a long-time elder and served as the clerk of session during a very difficult transition and subsequent amalgamation in the life of her congregation. Doreen was an inspiration and a great comfort in all situations, never wavering in her own faith. Well done good and faithful servant.
—Photos courtesy of the Presbyterian Record magazine