Membership Monday – Meet Sheila Needham

Sheila Needham
Sheila Needham

“We’re not good at tooting our own horn,” says Sheila Needham. Allow me, then, to share what I have learned about this WI gal!

As you will recall from a recent Membership Monday, Sheila Needham, the editor of the Quebec Women’s Institute Newsletter, graciously agreed that we could reprint the pictures and summarize the content of the Autumn/Winter issue. Her name has appeared here before on the FWIC blog. It was Sheila who alerted us to the fundraising projects undertaken by the Canadian WI’s in support of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). Sheila is the editor of the ACWW newsletter as well.

The ACWW has had a hand in improving the lives of women from all walks of life, and by extension, society as a whole. Endeavours include building hospitals, lobbying for access to fresh water, or funding projects to educate and empower women.

As it happens, our Sheila, who was recently elected Canada Area President of the ACWW, has been discovered by more than just yours truly. Not only did CBC Radio’s Susan Campbell interview her, Matthew McCully of the Serbrooke Record wrote a wonder profile piece titled Sheila Needham-Think locally, act globally. 

Sheila joined the WI 42 years ago. “My mother-in-law brought me to a meeting when I was first married,” she said. “I think that’s how most women get involved; a mother, a friend, an aunt, someone invites you to a meeting.”

To read more about this inspirational woman, click on the link below to download a .pdf copy of the newspaper article.

Record article about Sheila Needham

After you read the article, drop on by to Sheila’s Facebook page to wish her a happy birthday!

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About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

The Good Ol’ Days

GH Iron Dec 1916

Indulge me please, in a wee rant. Look at this advertisement from December 1916.

Just look at it!

There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t know where to begin.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Which is good, because I’m speechless.

OK, not speechless any more:

That contraption? It’s an IRON!?

What were they thinking when they built that bad boy?

Here’s what:

This, Dear, Is the Gift I Knew Would Please You Most

Really.

YOUR husband would choose this Gift, too, if he but knew how much it meant to you, to your health, your youthfulness, your comfort. A little hint, such as you use when you really set your heart on having something, will let “him” know that a “Simplex” would prove the most acceptable Gift this year.

[stifling gag reflex]

“him” Why the quotes?  I don’t get it. Is the guy in the picture not her husband, but her “him”? Either way, I have lost all respect for “her”.

30 Days’ Free Trial–Small Payment Down

I’ll just bet they wanted a small payment down.  Grab the money and run fellas!

Just what every Housewife needs and wants, because it banishes the ironing drudgery forever; eliminates the headaches, backaches. And keeps her supplied with an abundance of fresh, beautifully-ironed linen all the time without labor.

LIES! “Without labor”, my Aunt Fanny!

Two cents for heat, using gas or gasoline, and even less when a motor is used to turn it, is the total expense of an average ironing. In one hour the “Simplex” finishes an ironing which requires four to five hours by hand; gives a better finish and is easy and safe to use.

But wait! There’s more! It’s gas operated! Guess she’ll be ironing out doors!  Or not, if she elects to turn the thing by hand.  Oh, that’s right. My mistake: it’s “without labor.”  I’m going to ignore the fact that without this unit it takes her four to five hours to complete the ironing. Otherwise my head will explode.

Write today for our handsomely illustrated book on ironing. The “Simplex” is sold by all dealers handling the better Grade of family washing machines. The Gift that Gladdens 52 Times a Year.

Gotta give ’em props for precision: “The Gift that Gladdens 52 times a Year. Not 51, not 53, but exactly 52.

I’m off to Google “the better grade of family washing machines.  If you don’t hear from me, just grab a mop and clean up the puddle that will be what remains of my, um, remains.

If you liked this bit of surrealism, (and that’s what I’m calling it because it kills me to think that this is a bona fide ad) you might like to read about my early introduction to the sublime task of ironing.  

FWIC Competitions

trophy writing competition

Many of us are enjoying Christmas holidays with friends and families. I have the luxury of three weeks with no school work to complete! What a relief. I am aware of the irony, then, that my mission today is to nudge you toward taking part in a FWIC essay writing competition.

Along with offering scholarships, such as the Peace Garden Scholarship, FWIC also holds competitions, as do provincial branches.  Earlier this year we wrote about the FWIC at One Hundred PAST PRESIDENT’S COMPETITON 2015. In the Autumn/Winter QWI Newsletter, the Quebec Women’s Institute announced their Past President’s Competition which encourages elementary school-aged children to take part. The details copied here:

Essay Competition

Here are some others that might strike your fancy:

The Senator Cairine Wilson Competition

Entries are invited for the Senator Cairine Wilson Competition for the 2012-2015 Triennium.

In 1957 by Senator Cairine Wilson established the award for the most outstanding project in Citizenship. The current topic is Canada through the Eyes of a New Canadian.

Cairine_Wilson
Senator Cairine Wilson – click for Wikipedia entry

Tweedsmuir Competitions (2012-2015)
In 1945, Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of Lord Tweedsmuir who was Governor General of Canada, donated three silver cups to the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada for competitions to be held each triennium. The trophies with awards winners’ names, are displayed at the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead.

Currently there are three categories

  1. HANDICRAFT COMPETITION Project: Table Runner
  2. CULTURAL COMPETITION Project: A Provincial Historical Photo Story of your province
  3. HISTORY COMPETITION Project: An Essay detailing the history of “My Family Homestead”

For details about the competitions, click here for the FWIC website, if you wish to bookmark the link.

So, if you have some time on your hands over the holiday, or sometime during the winter, grab a tea, a plate of cookies (or two) limber up your fingers and get ready, set, create!

 

 

 

Closed for the Holiday

Click for Source
Click for Source

The FWIC Office will be closed from December 19, 2014 until January 5, 2015

But we’ll be poking around on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

Who knows, maybe even here on the blog!

Have a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2015!

Christmas Gumdrop Cake
Christmas Gumdrop Cake – click on the image for a recipe from Mae Tunnicliffe, Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Mae got the recipe from her mother – this would be in the 1920’s or thereabout.

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About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

Introducing FWIC Craft Advisor

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s a quick video snippet to accompany a blog post by FWIC’s Craft Advisor, Sara Naim.

Toddle on over to her brand new blog. Something tells me that you might want to bookmark this site. Click on the image below to go now.ginger

 

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Follow FWIC on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

Traditional Brandy Snap

I just received a wonderful newsletter from the British Columbia WI Provincial Board. Now, I must confess that I didn’t read the greetings very closely because I was distracted by a snap. A Brandy Snap, to be precise. What is that? Well, stick around, and I’ll tell you!

In her message, Janet writes

When I was very young and still living in England my parents always took us to the “Hull Fair” and while we were there we always bought some brandy snaps (If you Google Hull Fair you can read about their history; it has been going for 7 centuries) (Also Google Brandy Snap and you can find the recipe). When we immigrated to Canada we thought we would never have Brandy Snap again, but my Aunty Irene knew how much we liked it, so she sent us some the next year and every year for the last 55 years. Every year it arrives just before Christmas and not only my brother and sister and I look forward to it but our children and grandchildren now look for it.

I love nothing more than an invitation to use Google for research. Allow me?

A photo of Hull Fair taken on Friday 13th October 2006 from the top of the 'Big Wheel'. Reginald Herring.
A photo of Hull Fair taken on Friday 13th October 2006 from the top of the ‘Big Wheel’. Reginald Herring.

Very nice. Pretty lights. Crowds. Noise. Ooh, maybe too many lights and people and too much noise. I need some distraction. Something to sooth. Ah! A treat! That ought to do it! Where is the Brandy Snap man?

Brandy Snap. Candy, Crisp, or Cookie? Would you believe “all of the above”?

Brandy snaps are a popular snack or dessert food in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. They are edible, tubular, brittle, sweet, baked casings that are typically 10 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. They are sometimes served filled with whipped cream. They are commonly made from a mixture of golden syrup, flour, ginger, cream, sugar and butter and are baked briefly as a flat disc that is then rolled while still hot and soft. They do not contain brandy.

I cannot decide if I am disappointed by the last sentence. I think, in the spirit (get it?) of the season, I shall remain unmoved. No brandy? Fine.

You can make your Brandy Snaps, if you wish. Click on the image here for a recipe from the BBC.

Click on image for a recipe from the BBC.
Click on image for a recipe from the BBC.

Alternately, you can buy them online, but shipping is limited to the UK.

Brandy snap

There you have it! Happy Snappy from the UK, British Columbia, Google, and me!

Knitted Star Dishcloth

In her newsletter to the Quebec WI’s, Sheila Needham wrote about a craft demonstration where Norma Sherrer tought the members how to knit a star dishcloth. Today I have the instructions for you. The image below is of Sheila’s Christmas coloured dishcloth.

Click on the image for a larger view.
Click on the image for a larger view.

STAR DISHCLOTH by Norma Sherrer

#7 Canadian or #4.5 Metric (or any size you wish)

I use 17 stitches, as this makes a bigger dishcloth.
Directions call for 15 sts. (Directions for 17 sts. in brackets)

Cast on 15 sts. ( 17 sts. ) Knit 1 row.

*K 1, YO, K 12 (14) – turn, slip 1. K to end
K 2, YO, K 10 (12) – turn, slip 1. K to end
K 3, YO, K 8 (10) – turn, slip 1. K to end
K 4, YO, K 6 ( 8 ) – turn, slip 1. K to end
K 5, YO, K 4 ( 6 ) – turn, slip 1. K to end
K 6, YO, K 2 ( 4 ) – turn, slip 1. K to end

*K 7, YO, K 2 – turn, slip 1. K to end
(the K 7 is only when you use 17 stitches)

21 stitches on needle ( 24 stitches on needle )

Bind off 6 stitches ( 7 sts. ) K to end. 15 stitches on needle (17sts. on needle )
Knit back *

Repeat from * to * 11 times for 12 points. Bind off loosely. Sew together.
Pull up centre stitches tightly.

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Follow FWIC on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

Membership Monday – An Invitation to Engage and Connect

Virtual Potluck

You are invited to a

Potluck Christmas Party!

Yes, You!

And all of our Facebook Friends

When: December 14th to 24th

(or longer, if demand dictates!)

Where: On Facebook

Post a picture of your Christmas baking, or celebration dinner. Perhaps you could write out a cherished seasonal recipe and share it with us. Or, if you have a link to a recipe that’s online, that’s great, too!

Post a simple message of season’s greetings. Or not so simple. Reminisce. Share photos of your Christmas tree or sparkling lights or that funky sweater that once was an eyesore but is now all the rage.

Send us a snap of snowbanks or winter landscapes. Maybe even send a picture or yourself all decked out for the holiday.

Whatever you like, we would be delighted to hear from you. This is a chance to engage and connect with the women across the country and across the world.

Please share!

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Follow FWIC on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

British Columbia WI Newsletter

WIFYI logoI like the title of this publication: WIFYI News.

Here are the highlights from the British Columbia Women’s Institutes Newsletter for November, 2014.

Janet Bangs, the editor and president of BCWI included a link to the recipe for her traditional Battenberg Cake. She writes that she has never made it but her mom has taught her daughter-in-law well, so the tradition continues. It looks like a great tradition to experience, don’t you think? Click on the image for instructions.

Click the image for recipe from the BBC.
Click the image for recipe from the BBC.

Thanks to the newsletter, I’ve found another blogger to follow. Click on the image below for the instructions to knit boot cuffs, or as the blogger Wake & Whimsy calls them, leg warmers. These accessories are apparently all the rage.

boot cuffs

boot cuffs instructions

Last, but by no means least, some Facebook links for the gals out on the west coast. They would love for you to drop on by to say hello.

Click on the bold text to surf on over:

BCWI
Northside WI

Atchelitz WI has a Facebook Group page and the only difference here is that you will need to request to join. While I was visiting Atchelitz, I ran across yet another group, Upper Sumas WI.

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Follow FWIC on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

 

 

Take 10: Chicken Pot Pie

Christmas is coming and you know what that means! Leftovers!

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Submitted by FWIC President Elect, Linda Hoy

This recipe came to me from my ex-grandmother (who at the age of 98 I still visit and love dearly). Grandpa didn’t like the traditional biscuits on top so Grandma put stuffing on top instead. Everyone loves this recipe. A great way to use up left over chicken and turkey with a little dripping saved from cooking.

1 chicken
1 onion
1 celery stalk
Boil these 3 ingredients.

Take chicken apart. Put in casserole, spread apart.

Mix together and add to casserole:
3 tbsp margarine (melted)
3 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 can chicken soup
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 can peas/carrots, drained

Spread layer of dressing over all. Bake in oven until bubbly. (350º F suggested temperature)

[Ann Mandziuk’s note – when Linda mentioned this recipe I saw it as a great way to use Christmas and New Year’s turkey leftovers. Leftover gravy, vegetables, potatoes would make great additions as well. If using leftover gravy I might leave out the soup and milk. This recipe came from a community school cookbook. I have quite a collection of ‘community’ cookbooks – they have fabulous, tried and true recipes that were obviously family favourites.]

Members of the St. George W.I. in Ontario making a tasty stuffing covered Chicken Pot Pie for the local Lion's Club dinner. It was a big hit with the Lion's!
Members of the St. George W.I. in Ontario making a tasty stuffing covered Chicken Pot Pie for the local Lion’s Club dinner. It was a big hit with the Lion’s!

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Follow FWIC on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

About WI

Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.