Jean Murch


Honorary Life Membership
In Recognition of

Jean Murch

Jean was born at Wakaw Saskatchewan on March 23, 1928. In 1950 Jean married Clifford Murch and went to reside on the farm at Lancer.

Jean recognized the inadequacy of the public library system to meet the ever increasing demand for informational materials covering new developments following the Second World War. It was her feeling that adequate library service to satisfy the demand at the local level could be provided only by a co-operative library system.

Following the organization of the North Central Saskatchewan Regional Library (Wapiti) in 1950 she realized that this could be the answer to the need for public library development in rural Saskatchewan.

In 1960 she headed a group of interested volunteers known as the Southwest Regional Library Steering Committee. Tireless efforts were made by Jean and her Committee for many years. She spent many years travelling, talking, promoting and persuading people in their own districts of the value of adequate library service, all of which was done on her own time and at her own expense.

On November 16, 1966 Mrs. Murch represented the Lancer District Home and School Association, which she had been instrumental in organizing in the late 1950's, at an organizational meeting in Swift Current for a Regional Library System in Southwest Saskatchewan.

At a meeting of the Steering Committee, with 67 delegates and interested persons, on November 4, 1967 chaired by Jean Murch, a pro tem executive was elected and a proposal made that the Chinook Regional Library be officially proclaimed by the provincial government. "The hard work and devotion of Jean Murch and her Committee cannot be too highly commended!" - Swift Current Sun, November 9, 1967.

Dr. Robert Lodge of Swift Current was elected chairman of the Chinook Regional Library Pro-tem Committee, with Jean Murch, representing the R.M. of Miry Creek #229, as Vice-Chairman.

Jean was instrumental in the preparation of a brief for presentation to the Saskatchewan Library Inquiry Committee in 1966 for their study of Library Service in Saskatchewan.

It was in early 1971 the provincial government announced in the budget address the establishment of a regional library for southwest Saskatchewan, with headquarters in Swift Current. In April of 1973 Dr. Lodge moved to Regina and Jean Murch became Chairman of the Executive Committee , a position to which she was unanimously reelected each year until 1985 when she declined to let her name stand for nomination.

Jean's presentation of a Brief to Cabinet in Swift Current on February 5, 1974 resulted in the establishment of the capital grant programme which continued through 1979.

With the retirement of Baden Campbell in September 1979 Jean was appointed to represent the Chinook Regional Library on the Executive of the Saskatchewan Library Trustees' Association. Her volunteer work with the Association entailed working on committees to review legislation and make recommendations for change and improvement, as well as being involved in the preparation of briefs and proposals for presentation to government and other organizations. For two years she co-ordinated the Association's annual conference which is the main member development event of the year. Jean served in this capacity until September of 1985. Mrs. Murch fought very hard for her region in southwest Saskatchewan but she also strongly supported the one-province library concept.

Although Jean has relinquished her position on the Executive Committee of the Chinook Regional Library Board and the Saskatchewan Library Trustees' Association she continues to represent the R.M. of Miry Creek #229 an the regional board and the Abbey Branch Library Board.

Jean's dedicated service is not limited to libraries only. She was on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Media Corporation from its inception in 1975 to 1978. In the local community she has served in many ways: Secretary to the rural telephone company for eight years; Chairman of the United Church Board; Sunday School Superintendent; a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies' Auxiliary (Abbey Branch) and the local committee of the Cypress Hills Community College. She was one of the people who undertook to compile and write the history of the United Church in the Abbey, Lancer and Portreeve charge.

She has been a tower of strength to her husband Cliff during his many years of very active involvement in co-operative, credit union and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool organizations, both locally and provincially.