Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross
The Story of How We Became An International Organization
(August, 1935 issue of The Torch - paraphrased by Marilyn Ross)
A great distinction was earned by Rilla Billings, formerly a member of California Alpha Eta at Oakland.
"Rilla moved with her family to Vancouver, B.C., and was the only Beta Sigma Phi in a country of ten million people. Around the ideals that were a part of her life, she built Alpha chapter of Canada. She accepted the challenge of a rare opportunity that will come to no other member of Beta Sigma Phi--the opportunity of leading this organization into a broader life with unlimited possibilities. Where there is one Beta Sigma Phi . . . there is Beta Sigma Phi!
Rilla wrote: "In talking to all of the girls I have stressed certain facts, namely, that in addition to the literary program we become Beta Sigma Phis in order to learn that friends and friendship can be unlimited. Also, that we do not become members because someone else does, but in order to satisfy an individual need."
The Beta Sigma Phis in Canada at the beginning were: Rilla Billings, Jean Story, Isabel Story, Edna Dodson and Miss Alice Keenleyside, the Director. A Petition for Charter was granted to this group under the leadership of Rilla Billings, to form a nucleus around which a splendid chapter would be built.
Miss Alice Keenleyside, under whose direction Alpha of Canada went forward, was chosen for this honor because of her outstanding qualities. She was principal of St. Clare School for Girls in Vancouver and the sister of the Assistant Canadian Minister to Japan. Her background served her well in the guidance of Beta Sigma Phi in this new country.
Rilla sent the following message to our Beta Sigma Phi Offices and to her sorority sisters in the spring of 1935: "How I wish that some of you might be here with us when our little group gathers for the service which holds out such opportunity for all who join in it! I feel sure that your thoughts will be with us, however, and you may be sure that a more sincere group has never met in the interest of Beta Sigma Phi."
The possibilities that lie before Beta Sigma Phi were clearer now than ever before. There were unlimited worlds to be reached. We could dream our dreams and know that they would come true!"
And these many years later, we can still say: "There are unlimited worlds to be reached. We can dream our dreams and know they will come true. We are Beta Sigma Phi!"