Meet our Provincial Presidents
President, British Columbia
BCWI Website: www.bcwi.ca
After emigrated to BC from England in 1959 with my parent’s brother and sister, we finally settled in Vanderhoof on a Dairy Farm. In the late 1970’s after marrying my husband Larry and having two children, my mother, Evelyn Hall a long time supporter of W.I., persuaded me to join the local Women’s Institute. Since that time I have held numerous positions in the W.I. at both the branch and district level including a director on the provincial board for three years Vice-president for three years and now just got elected as President.
While my children were growing up I helped on our Beef and Dairy farm along with my brother and sister. I spent most of my time taking care of the financial end of the farm. Which I’m still working at today part time.
In 1992 we bought a retail store in Vanderhoof which consists of Ladies and Men’s Fashion, Shoes, Kitchen Gadgets and a very large Quilting Shop with about 2000 bolts of cotton fabric. Also sell and service Serge’s and Sewing machines. This has consumed my time and energy for the last 22 years, but today I am fortunate to have a very supportive staff that allows me more freedom to spend with the Women’s Institute. I also have five beautiful grandchildren that I can look after in my spare time.
AWI Website: awi.athabascau.ca
Our new Alberta Women’s Institutes Council have adopted the theme for the 2014 – 2017 triennium as: “Women’s Institutes Taking Action”.
Our Council consists of 5 very dedicated Directors: Frances Bogner of District 1, Sharon Molzan of District 2, Diane Dammann of District 3, Florence Berkavitch of District 4, and Bernice Willsie of District 5 as well as President Elect Cathleen Thurston and myself as President.
Our Executive Director, Fern Killeen keeps our office running smoothly and is very highly regarded by the membership.
We have just finished our first council meeting and are laying plans for the next three years. Finances and increased membership are high on our priority list. We have one new branch organizing and another resting branch being revitalized this fall, and I have received a couple of phone calls and emails from women who are interested, so this is very exciting.
On a personal note, I was born and took some of my schooling in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. My Dad was in the Air Force so our family of 4 kids moved to Fort Churchill, Manitoba and when we moved from there to Penhold, Alberta, we become a family of 5 and later 6 kids.
My parents moved on to Ontario while I stayed on in Alberta. I married a farmer, Glen, and we raised a family of one daughter and one son. We are now the Grandparents of 3, Stepgrandparent of 1 and Stepgreat grandparents to 4. We have retired from active farming but Glen still gets his farming fix by helping the family that rents our land.
I joined the Ridgewood WI in 1967; I always call it my centennial project. But I remain a member because I believe this is a great organization that does wonderful work. WI has given me so much over the years, self confidence, learning, good friends, the opportunity to travel and meet other members across our country and around the world.
I enjoy swimming, reading, travelling and cross stitch.
SWI Facebook: Saskatchewan Women’s Institute
I grew up on a farm near Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask. I completed Grade 12 and then graduated as a Registered Nurse from the Regina General Hospital in 1961. I worked general duty and completed my career working in Long Term Care. I was employed by Extendicare Inc. and held positions of general duty, Director of Care, Administrator and Nursing consultant. I completed my working time in Fort Qu’Appelle when I managed a private care home from its opening in 2004 to when it was sold in 2008.
I am a widow and have 5 children, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great grandsons. I do lots of family activities including camping and special holiday occasions.
I began attending SWI in 2010 and was one of the original members. I became a Board Member, then Vice President, and now am President.
My interests include quilting, reading mysteries, playing word games and some computer games. I enjoy socializing with friends and family, playing cards, and I am also a member of the Red Hats. I like music especially the old Country and Western but also enjoy light Classical.
In May 2016 I took over as president of Manitoba Women’s Institute. I have also served as Executive Officer for Manitoba. I am an individual member of Women’s Institute.
A Home Economist by profession, I worked for 39+ years with our Department of Agriculture in Manitoba. That meant I had a close working relationship with many branches of WI in the areas I worked. I have very fond memories of speaking to many women in the branches and at regional and provincial conventions. That sparked my interest in WI and when the opportunity to join as an individual member arose I jumped at the chance.
Manitoba is in a similar position to many other provinces – our members are getting older, membership is declining and we find ourselves looking for ways to attract new members. In early 2016, MWI took steps to hire a Marketing and Communications firm to help us. Step one – a new and exciting website launched in August 2016. Now, we will be moving on to other areas of work to see how we can increase our membership.
I grew up in the small town of Newdale MB and my routes have stayed rural apart from my 4 years at the University of Manitoba. My husband, Paul, and I have one daughter Elizabeth and for a number of years we raised purebred red and black Angus cattle. Now retired, we enjoy watching the cows in the pasture but know that the work is our neighbours – as he rents our pasture!
Our daughter graduated from Brandon University and is now teaching full time 1 ½ hour drive away from us. We enjoy her visits as well as visits from our ‘adopted’ daughters. Her former roommate is from China and enjoys her visits to the farm and her Canadian ‘parents’. Over the years we have hosted exchange students and enjoy hearing from them and having the occasional visits as well. We truly live in a global community and the world is very small with all of our rapid technology.
During my term as president I hope Manitoba Women’s Institutes and other groups across the country can continue to grow and prosper.
My term as President of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario began in November, 2014. I have held many positions over the 15 plus years at Branch, District and Provincial levels as a member of the Virgil WI, Lincoln District, and Hamilton Area.
We were very pleased with the WI Rocks the World Rally held on April 2, 2014. Over 470 WI members & guests from all over Ontario came together for a day of inspiration, friendship, education and celebration. The positive feedback from our Sisters in WI was outstanding.
On September 21, 2014 the move of our Provincial Office from Guelph to the Erland Lee (Museum) Home, in Stoney Creek – birthplace of Women’s Institutes was celebrated. Currently we are blessed to have the HRAI, Golden Horseshoe Chapter along with a number of manufacturers and patrons donating their time, money and equipment for the upgrading of the heating and air-conditioning systems of the both the Museum Building and the Carriage House where our Provincial Board Meetings, workshops and special events are held. This has been a 2 year project that will be completed by early summer, 2015.
Our Provincial Membership Coordinator, Debbie Bauer is on a “Membership Tour” giving workshops with positive results throughout the province.
On May 21, 2015, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario and the Erland Lee Museum Home will be the recipients of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce Community Recognition Award as part of the Citizen of the Year Awards 2014.
On a personal note, I have been married to my husband, Lane for 42 years. We have one son, Lane Jr; two grandsons, Brayden (6); Dylan (3) and one step-grandson, Ethan (7). We will also be blessed with the arrival of another grandson in July, 2015.
The Women’s Institutes has been an inspiration to me. I feel honoured and blessed to be a part of this wonderful organization that exemplifies the extraordinary strengths, gifts and accomplishments of women everywhere, for Home & Country.
Judy Page Jones
I am a third generation of being WI member, although I did not join until my early fifties. I became a member of the Dunham WI Branch, the first branch to be founded in Quebec. During the last sixteen years I became President of Branch, County and now Provincial, also served on many committees. In 2015 I became Provincial President, with a three-year theme of “Nurturing Growth”.
Besides the W.I., I am also involved with the local church from mowing the lawn to making soup and organizing many fundraisers.
My working career has revolved around cooking. I have worked in restaurants, had my own café and then worked in retirement homes. I have two sons and four grandchildren. My husband and I are both retired from full time jobs but we still work at things we love, his with outdoor work and myself still cooking part time for a caterer.
President – New Brunswick
I am a member of WI because of what I learn from each woman I have served beside and met over the past twenty plus years. Many years ago I was invited to visit the Richmond Corner WI monthly meeting. During that meeting I learned how to make introductions, to thank people and present a gift of appreciation, to run a meeting, bring forth a motion and vote…so many things all in 90 minutes. Having studied Robert’s Rules of Order at Mount Saint Vincent University I understood the structure, but in person with people I knew…WOW, that was learning? I can safely say that there is rarely a situation I come upon when I do not think…How would Peggy or Lois or Holly handle this? The countless mentors/members in this great organization are with me always and I cherish their guidance, with all of our strengths and challenges.
After joining the original Branch I visited, I moved to the Debec WI because it is in the community where my husband and I live on the family farm. We both work off farm, but made the commitment many years ago to enjoy living close to family and being part of community. I was a decorator for over twenty years and retired, only to find myself at NBCC to gain computer skills and refresh my French, business, and journalism competencies. Since then I have worked as a project manager and also completed my BA at UNB, with emphasis on leadership and sociology. Currently I work in Fredericton and am half way through my Masters in Adult Education at UNB, where we actually learn about the Women’s Institute across Canada and the role it played in facilitating women and families in the 20th century.
During the three years of my term the theme is Celebrating Creativity at Every Age. Each year we have a special focus; year one is aging, year two is young adults, and year three is women in business. Members have provided many great ideas to help these ideas along, but our greatest challenge is communication. Time, geographic distance, technology, money are some of the challenges to communication, yet our Branches are working hard to help fill in the gaps. On behalf of New Brunswick Women’s Institute we send fond wishes to all Institutes in Canada and extend a welcome to everyone as they plan to visit in 2015 or anytime. Welcome, bienvenue we look forward to seeing you soon!
President, Nova Scotia
I was born in England, educated in London. After leaving school, I was employed by the Meteorological Head Office, two counties north of London, pleased to be away from the noisy, industrial and polluted capital.
Several years later I married and moved to Canterbury, Kent, south east of London and we enjoyed many years there taking the children to the Strait of Dover to experience the rugged coastline and the white cliffs of Dover from the ferry returning from Europe.
In 1974 we immigrated to Nova Scotia and settled in the Annapolis Valley, the farming belt of the province; although not farmers we did enjoy raising a few beef cattle and chickens. It was a much more relaxed way of life, something that would not have occurred in England.
I now live near Truro and am a member of North River WI having met Coni through a mutual friend on the newly opened golf course in North River in 2001, we no longer play. The more WI meetings I attend, the more I learn, it is distressing to witness the potential demise of such a wonderful, world-wide organization which has provided community education and aid for over a 100 years.
President, Prince Edward Island
I was born in Nova Scotia, and completed my education there. After becoming married we moved to Prince Edward Island, and have lived here ever since.
My work and volunteer positions have been quite varied and allowed me many unique opportunities which has led well to the positions serving the WI Provincial Board on Prince Edward Island.
I became a school bus driver, driving for 36 years which resulting in becoming very involved in leadership union initiatives at local, provincial, and national levels. In those positions, I was fortunate to travel to third world countries on working tours.
Volunteering has also provided me with diverse and enjoyable times where I served in various executive roles in Girl Guides, Red Cross, Home and School and now, Women’s Institute.
On a more personal note, I am a widow, with 5 children, 13 grand-children, and numerous great-grandchildren. Get-togethers in our family are a joy, and we do them often! My interests include reading, playing word games, crafts of all kinds, camping, playing cards, and socializing with family and friends. I enjoy all kinds of music, from country to opera (not rap). My friends are quick to point out my humorous side which has led well to enjoying all scenarios I have been privy too whether they be with career, volunteering or with family/friends.
I became a WI member in 1978, and have since been active at many different levels. After becoming a Board Member of PEIWI, it eventually led to becoming Vice-President, and now President – a role which is a most busy but an enjoyable one in Prince Edward Island.
President, Newfoundland & Labrador
Bio coming soon!