From the President’s Pen – February 2017

It has been said that November and January are the longest, darkest and loneliest months of the year for many who face mental health issues. The commercials for Bell Let’s Talk on the TV bring a ray of hope to those who are suffering. Reach out to family and friends every single day – they may need an encouraging word and your voice could be the ray of sunshine for the day.

President Linda Hoy holding a sign that reads "#We are WI"We have just had our Executive Officers participating in the second Skype call on Saturday, January 21st for 4 1/2 hours. They have come out of their comfort zone to hook up to modern technology and I think you are awesome!

Discussion included finances, moving forward with the Board Restructuring Ad Hoc Committee, IPG Scholarship, FWIC 100th Anniversary, WI Logo, rebranding and launches. As you can see, we have lots of exciting things being worked on. Our next Skype call will be March 4th.

President Linda Hoy holding a sign that reads "February WI Month"I declare February as WI Month. How will your branch celebrate February 19th, Founder’s Day or Adelaide’s Birthday on February 27th? Send us your photos and we will display them on our website and Facebook pages. Tie blue & gold ribbons to your mailbox or vehicle antenna for the month of February.

Linda Hoy
FWIC President

#IAmWI #Addie160

An Historic Event in an Historic Setting

You may recall the announcement earlier this year when we reported the unveiling of the plaque denoting Margaret “Madge” Watt as a Canadian Woman of Distinction. What follows is the account of the August 14th, Parks Canada ceremony designating Mrs. Margaret “Madge” Watt as a Person of National Historic Significance.

Mrs. Watt, born in Ontario and a former resident of Metchosin and Victoria, initiated the Women’s Institutes in Great Britain and went on to gather the rural women’s groups from around the world into the Associated Country Women of the World of which Mrs. Watt served as the first president, from 1933 to 1947. She passed away in Montreal in 1948 and is interred there.

Under the Canadian Federal Elections regulations, no publicity of events such as this may be distributed during an election campaign as it could give the impression of favouring one political party over the others. Hence the delay.

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Madge WattAn Historic Event in an Historic Setting
On August 14, 2015, the historic Colwood Community Hall rang with laughter and joy, as Parks Canada joined with the Women’s Institutes everywhere to celebrate the designation of Mrs. Margaret “Madge” Watt as a Person of National Historic Significance. Nearly 70 members and friends joined together to celebrate the life and achievements of this remarkable woman.

Special guests for the event included British Columbia Provincial President Janet Bangs and Vice President Colleen Hooper, Past World President Lyndsay (Hackett-Pain) Mundy, Sharon Hatten, current Chairman of the ACWW United Nations Committee and Joan Holthe, President Elect of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada. Lyn Gough of the Victoria Chapter of the Women’s History Month group, as well as Maureen and Nina Duffus. The Duffus ladies represented the Watt family – Maureen’s cousin was married to Robin Watt, Madge Watt’s eldest son.
Special messages were received from the Associated Country Women of the World, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes of England and Wales, Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and Dr. Helen Geissinger of New South Wales, Australia, great-niece of Mrs. Watt.

The hall was adorned for the occasion with table décor of greenery and small Canadian flags. The 100th anniversary Women’s Institute display, prepared by the Royal British Columbia Museum was enjoyed by many attendees, as well as a display of quilts, and of course, one on Mrs. Watt. A historic British Columbia Women’s Institute flag was graciously loaned to us for this occasion by the Sunshine Valley Women’s Institute. This flag was a hand-painted rendition of the BC Women’s Institute official emblem. Members from Kamloops went to the effort of bringing one of the Provincial banners for the occasion. Ladies in turn of the century costumes greeted guests at the door and added a touch of Mrs. Watt’s time in history to the occasion.

Chairman for the day was Dr. Hal Kalman, from Parks Canada, who introduced the panel and spoke about the appellation Mrs. Watt has been granted. This was followed by speeches by BCWI President Janet Bangs, BCWI Provincial Historian Ruth Fenner, and Dr. Helen Davies of Parks Canada, all of which celebrated Mrs. Watt’s life and achievements. Dr. Helen Davies cited a quote from Mrs. Watt as “service to humanity is the finest flower of civilization”. We believe this is true today of the efforts of Women’s Institute members everywhere.

Next, the plaque was unveiled, and the cameras all came to the fore. The message on the plaque is inscribed in both English and French, and the English text reads as follows:

MARGARET “MADGE” WATT

In 1909, Mrs. Watt helped found the first Women’s Institute in British Columbia, bringing rural women together to learn agricultural and domestic skills and to promote civic reform. After moving to Britain in 1913, she used the Canadian model to establish Women’s Institutes there, leading women during the First World War in a critical campaign to alleviate food shortages. Following the war, Watt became a driving force behind the foundation of a major international rural women’s organization, the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), serving as its first president from 1933 until 1947.

Just when the plaque will reach its final public site is, at the time of this writing, unknown. But members everywhere can rest assured that those of us who have worked on this project since it was first suggested by the Women’s Institute, Lyn Gough and the Women’s History Month group will be watching and asking until this too, is achieved.

Our thanks to all who attended, and all those who have in whatever way, contributed to the success of bringing this about. Mrs. Watt may no longer be with us in body, but her spirit will live on through this and other sites where we and other Women’s Institute members have helped to establish public plaques and cairns to commemorate her life and worldwide accomplishments.

Another milestone achieved — may there be many more!

Ruth Fenner,
BC Women’s Institute Provincial Historian

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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.

 

F.W.I.C. Quilt “A Story in Patchwork”

Wanted

A piece of your fabric

Not just any piece.

Looking for one of your favourites that tells a story.

100% cotton

Any shape piece of new fabric will do.

Up to 3 entries per person

Deadline for submission of fabric August 30, 2016

Attach your name and story of the piece and send to:

Donna Henderson

725 Napier St W.

Listowel Ontario

N4W 3M2

Questions? email donnahenderson80@gmail.com

You may recall Donna’s quilt that she created and donated as a fundraiser for FWIC just this past summer. That one was special. This one will be too!

patchwork quilt

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Find us on Facebook 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.

The Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Woman of the Year Award

The collective impact of our country’s female leaders cannot be understated.

Introducing: The Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Woman of the Year Award is the premier national award of Women’s Institute celebrating the achievements of the most successful in this inspiring group. This award recognizes a woman for demonstrating excellence—from leadership to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors. We are honored to shine a spotlight on her.

Nominations Now Open
We have a wonderful opportunity to recognize some of the top female leaders in Canada through the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Woman of the Year Award. These women do not have to be members of Women’s Institute. This Award seeks to acknowledge dedicated women whose contributions make their communities and our world a better place to live.

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Woman of the Year Award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and support that these women have offered and continue to offer as they give leadership, inspire others, and make a difference while exhibiting the qualities of Adelaide Hunter Hoodless, the founder of the Women’s Institute Organization. Adelaide Hoodless dedicated her life to ensure women had educational opportunities. Adelaide Hoodless was called “one of the most famous Canadian women…yet one of the most obscure.” She is credited as being co-founder of the Women’s Institute, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the National Council of Women, the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), and a major force behind the formation of three faculties of Household Science.

Adelaide Hoodless exemplified women supporting women, through education, encouragement, and social action.

To nominate yourself or a friend, please complete the one page nomination form downloadable from the FWIC website and submit it to fwican@gmail.com.

Nominees will be judged based on the leadership they have exhibited and the ways they have given back to community by mentoring or supporting other women.

Nominations will close at midnight on December 31st each year and winners will be notified in February.

Please contact your WI provincial office or visit our website for the one page application. Please note nominations are open to all living Canadian women who inspire others and work for positive change for their community or country. Applications are due to FWIC by December 31 of each year.

Dr. Ellen McLean being presented with the award in her home by Nova Scotia WI member Eleanor Lilley.
Dr. Ellen McLean being presented with the award in her home by Nova Scotia WI member Eleanor Lilley.

Congratulations to Dr. Ellen McLean of Nova Scotia for being the premiere recipient of The Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Woman of the Year.

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Find us on Facebook 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.

Winner of the Federated Women’s Institutes Quilt Draw

Winner of the Federated Women’s Institutes Quilt draw at the Triennial Conference in Fredericton New Brunswick is Denice Glaze of Fordwich Ontario, pictured here with her husband Joe and children Ashley and Matthew. She is absolutely thrilled as her 2 children greatly resemble the ones in the quilt.

DSCF0358-002 photo 2
Second photo with the quilter, Donna Henderson. Congratulations, Denice!

 

P.E.I. WI recipe for success: Beet Cake

 

After months of work, Helen Dawson, argricultural convener, left, and Miriam Lank, home economics and health convener, and show the results of their project – the Women’s Institute Island Product Cooking Contest Cookbook.
After months of work, Helen Dawson, agricultural convener, left, and Miriam Lank, home economics and health convener, and show the results of their project – the Women’s Institute Island Product Cooking Contest Cookbook.

If you have a surplus of beets in your garden, you might want to consider this prize-winning recipe. It was awarded “Best of” The Women’s Institute Island Product Cooking Contest Cookbook.  Copies are available at the WI office, 40 Enman Cres., Charlottetown, or by calling 902-368-4860.

Winning recipe: Beet Cake from the June 19th article in The Guardian, by Sally Cole.

3 egg yolks
1 ½ cup white sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. hot water
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded raw beets
½ cup raisins or nuts
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Mix egg yolks, sugar, oil, vanilla and hot water together. Add shredded carrots, shredded beets, raisins, flower, baking powder and salt. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour in tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees C for one hour.

Icing

¼ cup margarine
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup icing sugar

Blend together in a bowl.

If you have a super surplus, give this recipe for Chocolate Beet Cupcakes a try, too!

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Find us on Facebook 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.

 

Making Change Count!

Planting Seeds of Change - Looking Forward
Planting Seeds of Change – Looking Forward

Making Change Count! A letter of introduction from President Linda Hoy. Please share with your membership.

Hello WI,

Welcome to the new Triennium.

The FWIC Convention was a wonderful opportunity for WI to come together to share and plan for the future of this organization. We held a plenary session where we asked for input from all convention attendees on how to ensure the viability of our organization. These key words and phrases were repeated many times:

• Be more visible • Publicize • Promote • Recruit • Reach out

Many of our members at the branch level may not realize how uncertain the future of our organization is. We continue to lose members at a steady rate that even our most successful recruitment strategies at the provincial and national level have not been able to combat. In many branches, WI continues to function as it always has. It is perceived that there is no need to do anything differently or that change will come from above: the provinces or the national level. The truth is, we must all be proactive to revitalize this great organization for women. As a grassroots organization, the power to thrive lies is in the hands of the individual members and the WI branches themselves. The future of WI lies within you and must happen in your community first.

It is imperative that you understand that we need to do things differently. We need to market and promote and be more visible.

Here’s how you can help: if WI is to survive, we need to make ourselves available and open to attracting new members. We need to be visible to gain credibility among other nonprofits and for-profit agencies and funding bodies. This means we must be proud of our organization and promote ourselves.

Get into the habit of alerting the public of upcoming meetings and special WI events by writing press releases and reports before and after your events. Designate someone in your branch as Media Coordinator: it could be considered THE most important role if the WI is to succeed.

In most areas, the local newspapers are eager for content and will print your meeting and event reports in their entirety. Take pictures and include them. Remember to smile!

Once you’ve tackled print media, set your sights on social media. Facebook has been credited over and over for outstanding marketing success. It’s free, it’s fun. It’s folly to ignore it.

Let us all continue to work together, For Home & Country,
Linda Hoy, President
Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada

***

Find us on Facebook 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.

Adelaide’s Cookies

By special request! Visitors to the homestead today asked for Addie’s cookie recipe. I am happy to oblige, but must warm you: the recipe does not indicate an oven temperature. Compared to other recipes, I’d say about 350 degrees. But watch the first batch to make sure the oven is not too hot.

Cookies (plain).

1/2 cup butter.
1/4 cup milk.
2 even tsps. baking powder.
1 cup sugar.
1 egg.
Flour to roll out thin. (at least two cups)

Cream the butter, add the sugar, milk, egg beaten lightly, and the baking powder mixed with two cups of flour, then enough more flour to roll out. Roll a little at a time. Cut out. Bake about 10 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from

PUBLIC SCHOOL DOMESTIC SCIENCE

BY

MRS. J. HOODLESS,

President School of Domestic Science, Hamilton.
This Book may be used as a Text-Book in any High or Public School, if so ordered by
a resolution of the Trustees.
TORONTO:
THE COPP, CLARK COMPANY, LIMITED,
1898.
Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight, by The Copp, Clark Company, Limited, Toronto, Ontario, in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture.

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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.

WI CENTENARY CAKE

Here is a cake recipe found on the UK Facebook Page – the “Unofficial” site. A social media site very much worth a look if you’d like to watch and learn from over 220,000 inspiring women.

Her Majesty  cuts the cake.
Her Majesty cuts the cake.

WI CENTENARY CAKE

As published in WI Life, Good Food Magazine and WI Cookbook

Ingredients:
225g (8oz) butter, slightly softened
225g (8oz) soft dark brown sugar
4 large free-range eggs
175g (6oz) plain flour55g (2oz) self-raising flour
80g (3oz) ground almonds
80g (3oz) glace cherries, cut into quarters
400g (14oz) currants, small pinhead
170g (6oz) sultanas
55g (2oz) mixed cut peel
½ tbsp marmalade
A wineglass of rum

Method:
1. Line a 20cm square tin with a double layer of non-stick baking parchment
2. Make a collar of folded newspaper for the outside of the tin, plus a thick piece of newspaper for the cake to sit on
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the flours and ground almonds
5. Fold in the fruits, followed by the marmalade and the rum. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed
6. Transfer to cake tin and smooth the top
7. Bake the cake at 160°C /fan oven 140°C gas mark 3
8. Turn down the heat after ½ – ¾ hour to 150°C/fan oven 130°C/gas mark 2 and bake until cooked – anywhere between 2-3 ½ hours
9. Use your common sense and turn down the oven as necessary if the cake is getting too brown

Anne Harrison, SWNS WI
Anne Harrison, SWNS WI
Patricia Tulip, one of the cake bakers.
Patricia Tulip, one of the cake bakers.

The cakes’ creation has been a military exercise for retired home economics teachers, Anne Harrison, 72, a dairy farmer’s wife from Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, and Pat Tulip, 75, from Bilton, Northumberland.

They spent 11 full days last month baking 44 12 x 12in cakes 3.5in deep between them. Divided up, this provides enough cake for the 5,000 members.

Miss Tulip said: ‘We’ve been very careful with costing. We used cheap flour and bought eggs in bulk. If we hadn’t had some donations, it would have cost about £1,100.’

The pair followed a recipe chosen following a competition for the WI’s 200,000-plus members won by Julie Clarke, 66, from Coverdale, North Yorkshire, who is chairman of the WI’s North Yorks West Federation.

As you can imagine, an undertaking of this magnitude was not without headaches. You can read more about that here, from the Daily Mail.

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Find us on Facebook 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.

Happy 80th Newfoundland and Labrador

In her letter to the members of the Newfoundland and Labrador WI, President Jane Laite writes:

Spring is a special time of year. Many of the memorable activities that we enjoy in the Women’s Institutes occur at this time of year.

Our District AGMs, ACWW Women Walk the World, Earth Day, activities highlighting volunteer activities and the environment, not to mention branch closing activities. This year there is a lot of talk of Conventions, both the FWIC one taking place in Fredericton in June 2015 and the NLWI already taking shape for May 2016 in St. John’s. Connected with the Conventions are the Competitions and the opportunity for NLWI members to display in a tangible way their creative skills.

80th cakeAs you know, 2015 is the 80th anniversary of the NLWI in Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of this recognition, I have asked members to send in their short stories or memories of their time in the Womens Institutes. The submissions don’t have to be long. A paragraph can do. The first eighty submissions will be placed in a booklet and brought to the 2016 Convention. It is entitled 80 Years, 80 stories. I have only received a few so far, but I am sure that there are many more to follow.

I wish the membership an enjoyable summer full of fun, relaxation and exciting activity.

I’ve extracted a couple of items from the newsletter for this blog post, but if you’d like to read more about what’s going on out on the east coast, you can download the newsletter by clicking on this link: Spr 2015 NLWI

all entriesThe newsletter details the Competition Guidelines for the 2016 Provincial Convention. All the usual categories are discussed: needlework, artwork, baking and preserves among them.

 

Speaking of baking, Cherry Bran Bread is one of the several recipes in the newsletter.

Bran_Cherry_Bread

Cherry Bran Bread
INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup All Bran
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 lb cherries
1/4 lb walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp flavoring

DIRECTIONS
Beat eggs, add milk then add melted butter.
Add the dry ingredients and bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for one hour.