18 April 2017

Perth & District Historical Society April Meeting

The PDHS meeting this Thursday, 20 April 2017 is "The Unique Story of Ontario's Women's Institutes"

Deborah Ireton, of Drummond/North Elmsley Township, will speak on the work of the Ontario Women’s Institutes – an organisation critical to the history of our province, and now world-wide.

"Deborah Ireton is President of the Lanark South District of the WI and of the Drummond Centre Branch.  Her presentation will follow the WI’s significant contribution to Ontario communities from the formation of the first Branch, in Stoney Creek in 1897, through the organisation in 1919 of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO).  Today the FWIO has 3500 members in 280 branches across the Province – and branches in many countries.

For 120 years, with the motto “For Home and County”, members of the Women’s Institute have actively worked together for family, home, community and country.  The objective of the first Women’s Institute Branch, in Stoney Creek, was to improve women’s skills in the art of homemaking and child care.  The FWIO was organized in 1919 to provide members with a stronger voice through cooperation.  Over time, its original focus expanded to include educational programming and community support, advocacy for social, environmental and economic change, and the personal growth of women.

An important example, the Institute’s ROSE Program (Reaching Ontario Sharing Education), helps increase awareness, and expand the skill sets, of members and others in Ontario communities.  Each year thousands of individuals become more knowledgeable on social, health, domestic and environmental matters through participation.

Deborah will bring copies for viewing of the Lanark South District Tweedsmuir Books – which are legendary to historians throughout the Province as a source of local community history.

Deborah grew up in Wemyss, attended school in Christie Lake and Perth, and took Home Economics at Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology.  She and husband Jim have lived in Drummond Centre, Ottawa and Kemptville, and are now retired in Drummond Centre.  They have two children and two grandchildren.  Deborah is a dedicated seamstress, and crafts person in knitting, crocheting and tole paint, and has volunteered at Drummond Central School, and the Canadian Cancer Society.  Deborah is also a member of the planning committee for the Provincial Conference of the FWIO, to be held in Pembroke in June this year."

The meeting is at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, at 7:30pm (Toonie donation).

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