Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Lis Eddy and I went to visit Mary Stowe. "Who is Mary Stowe?" you ask.
She was the conference director for the Seattle 1976 IAWP Conference. She is sharp as a knife with a great personality. We asked her about her law enforcement career.
She started as a Seattle Policewoman in 1952. Wow. She wore a skirt, high heels, and had a purse with her revolver in it. They would not let the women officers work the street until 1962, which was the year of the world's fair in Seattle when the space needle was built.
When Lis and I asked her what she wanted for lunch. All she wanted was Taco Bell.
I asked her about the 1976 conference. She said that there were about 125 people that attended at the Edgewater hotel(which by the way is a very nice hotel right on the water).
I asked her what was positive about the conference and the IAWP and she said, "meeting all the women from all over the world". She loves the fact that it's an International organization.
When I asked her about the negative, she piped up and said, "I hated it when some of the brass would show up and expect to get a free meal"
She also said, which really cracked me up, "I don't like the IAWP saying that we are having annual conferences. Like the 47th or the 48th. It's just a conference. Say it's the IAWP Seattle conference 2009" She said that she tried to bring it up at board meetings, but never got anywhere.
We didn't know this, but she was awarded the Heritage award. She does not know the year, but when we went back to her home, she showed us a beautiful crystal vase with the IAWP star on it. She smiled from ear to ear showing it to us.
She still has boxes of conference goodies that she has collected over the years. She even told us that she has the very first IAWP newsletter. She couldn't remember the year.
She is a lifetime member of the IAWP, and held the position of a vice president on the board for several years.
She also has a stack of 1976 Seattle conference photo's in her house, but she wanted show us them another time. Lis and I think she has many boxes of IAWP history as well as Seattle P.D. history. I hope one day we can go there and look through her treasures.
I've attached a picture of Mary and I. It was an honor to meet her. I have invited her to join us for opening ceremonies and told her that we would recognize her in the audience. She turned red in the face and with a big smile said, "I would love that, guess I need to find a nice dress to wear". It was a great day for all of us.
Beth A. Lavin/ Conference Director
47th Annual International Association of Women Police Conference
Seattle, Washington September 20-24th, 2009