Membership Monday – Connecting the UK to BC

Earlier this week we heard from a member of the UK branch in Holmsforth. Sorry, Holmfirth. (There were a few minor glitches, to be expected since Mercury is retrograde and all that.) Our ACWW pen pal member from Nova Scotia sent this message:

England and Wales are celebrating 100 years of WI. One group in a small town of Yorkshire, England contacted me with a request to hear from Canadian WI and association groups as a way of marking this event. Interestingly, their group of 76 members was organized in 2013 by a 26-year old. Members range in age from 23-75 and are diverse, not only in age, but background. I encourage you to write a note to them if you wish.

So, I did. Or I should say, we did. I broadcast the email to all of the provincial federations. Holmfirth will receive our emails any day now and I look forward to a lively exchange over the next few weeks. If you didn’t yet receive the memo, you can contact Michelle at president@holmfirthwi.org.uk

In the meantime, thanks to those aforementioned glitches, I had the pleasure of meeting Fay Van Horn, the president of the Glenwood WI in Smithers BC. This is perfect, I said to myself. I have content for the next Membership Monday post!

BCWI  Fay Van HornClick on the image above to read Fay’s bio. Then use the back arrow in your browser to return to the blog!

Like Calhoun WI on the opposite coast, Glenwood WI is a small group of ten, ages range from 40 to 75. The branch is near Smithers, BC and meetings are held in their own building, Glenwood Hall. Which happens to be the name of their Facebook page, if you’d like to drop by and say, “Howdy.”

Glenwood Hall
Glenwood Hall
Smithers BC
Smithers BC

The branch is very active providing support to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, and the hospital in Victoria.

Fay writes,

We have a bake sale every February and the money raised goes directly to benefit the children. We have a competition amongst the groups at the end of April each year and take turns hosting. Our competitions this year are a double crust apple pie, a decorated tea towel, a pint of pickles, a tote bag for carrying grocers or other items, a pint of mincemeat, and a lap robe made from felted wool sweaters. Our WI has won for the last few years.

Glenwood supports the ACWW in every way they can. They have made inquiries into finding a pen pal group through ACWW to exchange stories.

Hence, I gather, the interest in contacting the gals from the UK.

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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

We Work for the United Nations

Sheila Needham
Sheila Needham

Last night I told my husband about my latest project. It’s a continuation of the membership profile I wrote about Sheila Needham. On December 9th, 2014, Sheila, who is the Canadian Area President of the Associated Country Women of the World, was interviewed by CBC radio. The station has graciously permitted us to use the recording of the show hosted by Susan Campbell, as a way to promote the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW).

It’s been fun scouring the internet for photos to use as illustrations to accompany the radio interview.

It’s also been educational, as is the case on some many of the pieces I write for this blog. “Did you know,” I told my hubby, “That the WI has direct ties with the UN?”

“Really?” he said.

“Yup. It starts right at the local branch level. We collect money for the ACWW, and then there are regional and national committees and sub-committees that advise the UN on women’s issues. Cool, eh?”

“Well,” he said. “I guess you work for the UN, then.”

Huh.

I guess we do!

You can watch the video here. Enjoy.

un-building-web

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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.

A New Year’s Resolution

Jar Project

Here is something that I’m going to try this year. It is part of my plan to include more kindness and generosity and other positive elements in my life. I know that there are plenty of good things going on all of the time, but my focus is elsewhere. Keeping a jar/journal/blog will help me simply recognize the good things when they happen.

Many years ago, the members of our household kept a house journal on the kitchen table and we’d all write in it whenever the urge hit. “Deer in the yard today – at least a dozen” or “Family for Thanksgiving” or the daughter drew a picture of her boyfriend… stuff like that. It was sort of like a manual of daily statuses. Pre-blogging or Facebook. That was fun.

We know we have challenges and trials and tribulations. No need to be reminded of those. The harder bits of life have a way of dominating our world and shoving aside the smaller but nourishing good bits. You might like to do this for your family, or for your WI. Keep a record of the small victories. Then, at the end of the year, or whenever the need arises, take the time to read and remember.

Happy New Year to you!