By Monique Tamminga/Special to the Langley Advance Times
From thousands of kilometres away, Soroptimists in the Langleys cheered on one of their own as Sharon Fisher becomes president of Soroptimist International at the organization’s annual convention gala held in Malaysia this month.
“This is a great opportunity and it’s nice for our members to have someone come from the bottom to the top,” said Fisher two days before she flew to Kuala Lumpur.
“I will be the first Canadian president in a long time. I believe the last time there was a Canadian president was around 1933.”
Fisher doesn’t officially take office until January, but there was a change of insignia ceremony that took place at the 21st Soroptimists International convention in Kuala Lumpur this past weekend (wrapped up this last Sunday, July 21).
“There will be around 1,000 Soroptimists from around the world there,” she said, ahead of the convention. “It’s a very special event.”
The theme for the 2019 convention is “Soroptimists Enable a Sustainable World: Global Connections, Empowered Women.”
Her new role will involve a lot of travel, she said.
“Within four weeks I was invited to Taiwan, Africa, Indonesia, England and Burnaby,” she explained.
In Africa, near the Ivory Coast, the Soroptimists International are starting a new federation there.
“That is going to be a historic event and I’m excited to be part of that,” she said.
In her travels to developing countries, through her involvement with the Soroptimists, she has gained an appreciation for how good we have it here in Canada.
“The world is in turmoil. We all know there are wrongs and atrocities happening but nobody seems to know how to fix anything,” she said.
That’s why organizations like the Soportimists, who advocate for gender equality and human rights, are so important.
Fisher is a charter member of Soroptimist International of the Langleys. As the sole remaining charter member, she has been serving her community since 1986.
In addition to serving the Langleys, Fisher has played many regional and international roles through the years, including representing Soroptimist International at the United Nations where the global organization enjoys consultative status with the economic and social council, and is a recognized authority on matters that women value the most.
“Sharon will bring a wealth of experience to Soroptimist International, and I am looking forward to working together with her,” said current Soroptimist International president Mariet Verhoef-Cohen.
Fisher is the mother of two and grandmother to two grandsons. She is an avid fisherwoman who, when home in B.C. spends a lot of time between Quadra Island and Whistler.
Sharon is a CPA and CGA. Currently she is the director of administrative services for the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BC CRN).
Founded in 1921, Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement with a network of more than 75,000 members in 122 countries. Advocating for human rights and gender equality is at the heart of Soroptimist International’s advocacy work.
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