50 Years of History


Welcome to our on-line journey through our fiftieth year as a service club in the city of Niagara Falls, Ont. Over the year we will remember, interview, quote, and analyze our evolution as individuals and as a club – both locally and internationally. We will also highlight progress for women and their particular issues in our community and our country.

The Zonta Club of Niagara Falls Ontario received its charter from Zonta International on May 25th, 1968, after months of preparation and the recruitment of twenty-seven founding members. When our only remaining founding member, Muriel Slinn, was asked if it was difficult to get so many members, her response was: “Not really. At that time, there was fewer opportunities for working women to work together on issues of concern to all women. A considerable number of our founding members were small business owners”.

Zonta International, founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York by women who had worked to achieve suffrage for all women in the United States, was organized to provide service and leadership on women’s issues locally, nationally and internationally. Its structure provided women with opportunities for service to their local community and personal growth as they could progress through local positions of responsibility and on to regional, national and international levels.

An important component of Zonta’s organizational structure was a system of classification by occupation. This perspective highlighted aspects of experience to share and strengthened the club in terms of local contacts and areas of possible growth for individual members. Training programs were created and regularly up-dated to provide both confidence and practical experience. This is still an important aspect of Zonta membership. Emphasis on a variety of classifications served to ensure women from many backgrounds and professions had/have a wide range of personal skills and perspectives. When the Toronto club chartered seven years later, Zonta became truly international and being affiliated with an international organization was also an incentive to join.

In the course of our journey together this year, we will see that Zonta as an organization has shown the ability to evolve continuously at the membership level and through to its international structure all the while maintaining our ideals. Over its ninety-nine-year existence, Zonta has grown into an international service club and NGO recognized nationally and internationally through its working partnerships with the United Nations many other NGOs. Our ongoing mission is, and will continue to be, reflected in our slogans, creeds and choices for action. We hope you will enjoy the ride!