Beginning Friday, Oregon Federation of Women’s Club members from across Oregon will meet at the Holiday Inn Express in Astoria.

The last General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) convention in Astoria was in 1903.

Following the Presentation of the American Flag by the Honor Guard from Camp Rilea, the convention will be opened by Astoria Mayor Willis L. Van Dusen Friday morning.

The speaker will be International GFWC President-Elect Mary Ellen Laister, as the group celebrates the role of women in history. Other speakers will include Ann Bain from the Grand Bahamas American Women’s Club on diversity and Sally Freeman from Fort Clatsop on the role of women on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

State President Agnes Petersen of St. Helens, has had “Unity in Diversity” for her theme for the past two years, and will bring her term of office to a close. Gloria Linkey, an author from Seaside, will speak about Native American women, and will hold a book signing after noon Friday in the lobby of the hotel.

Members will participate in a service project for the women’s shelter, preparing personal welcome bags with supplies needed during their stay at the shelter.

Saturday evening, the 2012-14 Oregon Federation of Women’s Clubs President, Jamie Rockwell of Salem, will be installed by Laister.

Women and men interested in the Oregon Federation of Women’s Club may contact Peterson and her officers while they are in Astoria.

GFWC has a history that began in the 1890s, tackling such issues as child labor laws and women’s rights, and was instrumental in founding numerous libraries including the library in St. Helens.

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