An exceptional legacy
Pat Meikle was passionate about advancing the causes of women.
She was involved in aviation, getting her pilot’s wings at a time
when it was rare for women to be more than passengers or
flight attendants on an airplane. She taught high school physical
education, showing her students that athleticism and femininity
weren’t mutually exclusive.
Meikle was also a longtime member of the Zonta Club of Niagara
Falls, a service group dedicated to bettering the lives of women.
To ensure her legacy lived on, Meikle left the club a gift from her
estate after her death in 2005. For years the Zonta Club of Niagara
Falls used the money to award scholarships that supported the
post-secondary studies of female students graduating from Westlane
Secondary School, where Meikle taught.
But the club had hopes of the fund existing in perpetuity. The
Niagara Community Foundation would help it achieve that goal and
continue to honour Meikle indefinitely.
“We didn’t think we had enough money but when our discussions
started, we were delighted to find this was something we could do,”
club member June Mergl recalled.
Establishing the Zonta Club of Niagara Falls Fund in 2014
provided stability for Meikle’s investment and guidelines for how the
money would be administered. The Pat Meikle Memorial Scholarship
will recognize a female student having excelled in Physical Education
over four years, with preference given to those who champion other
women, volunteer and contribute to the betterment of their schools.
“We realized even though we were a small club, we were able to
establish a wonderful legacy in Pat’s honour, which also helps us to
get the scholarship out there in a bigger, better way,” Mergl said.