31 March 2012
Frances Capper was a foundation member of Catholic Women’s League having joined 68 years ago in 1944, the year the League was formed.
At that time CWL was run from Wellington. After meeting in various places the bishop finally secured a room in Taranaki Street where they could hold their meetings.
It wasn’t long before Frances was involved at archdiocesan level. She was also largely responsible for the suggestion to decentralise the League with the support of other Council members under the presidency of Mrs Eileen Williams.
Frances felt that decentralisation was necessary if the League were to reach beyond the elite to the women in the ‘Church pews’. This paved the way for branches to spring up from parishes throughout the diocese.
Frances went on to be archdiocesan treasurer from 1959–1962 and president from 1968–1972.
During Frances’s term as president, the League enjoyed its highest membership – 67 branches and 4,253 members. She also called the first chaplain’s meeting where there were 20 members. She earned herself an archdiocesan life membership.
Frances moved to Lower Hutt after her husband’s death. She joined the Ss Peter and Paul indoor bowling club and later became its patron.
She always maintained an active interest in CWL attending meetings and conferences. She was keenly interested in what was happening in CWL until age and health recently started to take their toll.
Frances died on Monday January 30, 2012 at the Home of Compassion. She was 98.
Her Requiem at Ss Peter and Paul Church, Lower Hutt was celebrated by Frs Bruce England, Noel Delaney, Kevin Connors and Brian Quin.
League and indoor bowling club members formed a guard of honour as the funeral procession took her casket from the church.
Frances was laid to rest with her husband at Makara Cemetery.