Growing vital liberal religious communities in Canada since 1951
Milestones in CUC History, 1940-2002
Compiled by Charles Eddis, 2002
1940 The Canadian Unitarian published from Ottawa. Publication ceased in 1946.
1945 The Unitarian Service Committee of Canada founded, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, Executive Director.
1951 Rev. Rosalie A. West served as the first Canadian Unitarian Universalist woman minister at the UU Church of Halifax for three years (source: “Universalists in Nova Scotia” by Heather Watts)
1957 The Canadian Unitarian resumes publication, Campbell Sabiston, Toronto, editor.
1960 meeting held to discuss an Ontario-Quebec association. Steering committee appointed and met, explored opportunity to form national organization.
1961 Constitution approved and the Canadian Unitarian Council founded in Boston on May 14.
1962 first annual general meeting of CUC, Toronto, May 20. Charles Eddis elected President.
1962 first national meeting of Canadian ministers November 7-8. From N.B. to B.C., all attended.
1963 Unitarians in Canada – first CUC pamphlet published, with 6400 copies printed.
1963 CUC Education Assistance Fund established for prospective ministers and DREs by virtue of a donation from the Rev. Angus Cameron.
1964 Violet Kochendorfer first woman minister of a Canadian Unitarian church (Calgary).
1965 Annual meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the first such meeting outside Ontario and Quebec
1965 CUC affiliates with the Canadian Welfare Council, The Family Planning Association of Canada, the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (hq in London, England).
1965 first capital social action workshop in Ottawa.
1968 John May elected first lay CUC president.
1969 Vote of CUC to secede from the Unitarian Universalist Association fails by narrow vote. First Accord negotiated with UUA. CUC gets to do denominational fund raising in Canada, getting over half the proceeds; UUA agrees not to oppose CUC membership in IARF, and for the CUC to elect a member to the UUA Board, gives CUC authority to certify ministers in Canada for weddings.
1970 Mary Lu MacDonald elected President. CUC first national religious organization to have a woman chair its board. Visits every congregation in the country.
1971 first Canadian lay chaplain, Martin Keefe, appointed by Hamilton congregation, authorized by the CUC.
1972 CUC becomes full member of The International Association for Religious Freedom, and invites the 1975 Congress to meet in Montreal.
1973 first religious education material produced: cultural studies of French Canadians and Innuit.
1975 first bequest received from estate of Florence Pool, Port Albertni, B.C..
1978 Unitarians in Canada by Phillip Hewett published (revised edition 1995).
1978 Barbara Arnott retires as executive secretary after 17 years. Thelma Peters succeeds her.
1979 CUC office opened at 175 St. Clair Avenue West, home of Torontos First Unitarian Congregation.
1983 Kathleen Hunter begins work as CUC Executive Director; CUC thereby gets professional leadership.
1983 Ria Van Holten first Unitarian to enroll at a theological school in Canada (Vancouver School of Theology).
1984 three Unitarian students enroll at Vancouver School of Theology, one (Maureen Killoran) at Toronto School of Theology.
1988 The Language of the Land: the Canadian context discussed by many congregations and then theme of annual meetings in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
1988 First long range planning process launched; calls for visibility, growth, and better communications.
1990 Our Common Future, a Canada-wide discussion in congregations of the Bruntland Report leading up to the global summit on the environment in Rio de Janiero.
1990 Ellen Campbell becomes CUC Executive Director.
1991 first CUC extension project: Kelowna Unitarian Fellowship developed with professional ministerial leadership.
1993 Endowment campaign launched; raises over $400,000 in two years.
1995 International Council of Unitarians and Universalists formed with 22 national groups.
1996 Canadian Unitarians For Social Justice recognized by CUC.
1997 CUC Commission on Delivery of Services formed, consults congregations with 93% participation. Congregations call for growth, visibility, Canadian identity and mutual support.
1998 Rev. Wendy Luella Perkins, Project Manager, thus becomes the first CUC program staff appointment.
1998 Seventh Accord, financing and service agreement with UUA, dissolved by mutual agreement
1999 The Commission on Delivery of Services recommends evolutionary change towards more Canadian service delivery and programs, with priority to religious education and growth.
2000 CUC annual meeting authorizes discussion with UUA to forward such change. UUA informs CUC negotiators evolutionary change will not work for the UUA. Canadian congregations can either stay in the UUA, paying the UUA the same per capita fair share as Americans and receiving all UUA services, the UUA being freed to do any additional fund raising in Canada it chooses, or they must go on their own with the CUC providing all services except for ministry, youth, and young adults, the UUA transferring U.S. $1.5 million to help the CUC go on its own on July 1, 2002.
2000 Mary Bennett becomes CUC Executive Director.
2001 CUC annual meeting votes to accept second alternative.
2002 CUC annual meeting authorizes plan to implement delivery of services.
2002 On July 1 the Canadian Unitarian Council became the main association and service provider for Unitarians and Universalists in Canada.