British Columbia Women’s Institutes celebrated 100 years of service in 2009! Throughout the province, members planned and hosted events to mark this momentous occasion and we would like to share some of those with you.
Summerland Women’s Institute
In February 2009, Summerland Women’s Institute was saluted as the longest serving Women’s Institute in the province. Established in 1909, Summerland WI operated a fruit-shipping department which lasted from 1915 until the BC Tree Fruits Limited was organized, and also worked in close cooperation with the Dominion Experimental Farm at Summerland. A special 100 year certificate was presented to mark this milestone.
Ministry of Agriculture Award
The Ministry of Agriculture saluted the BC Women’s Institute with their Century Farm Award, presented in April 2009. In May members from South Vancouver Island traveled by E and N Railway to Qualicum Beach to join with members from North Island to celebrate our 100th Anniversary.
Continued support for Hospitals and Communities
At the Annual General Meeting held in Chilliwack a cheque for $6,500.00, the first of a number of cheques to be presented, was presented to BC Children’s Hospital as a donation to their new hospital building fund. Our on-going support of this hospital marks the 87th year of our dedication to this facility for BC’s children. Numerous other donations were also made, to the Queen Alexandra Foundation, local community hospitals, Operation Christmas Child, bursaries for students and many, many community ventures.
At the Annual General Meeting, 2009, in Chilliwack – Elvis joined us! We had a wonderful evening with Elvis providing the music, and everyone sharing a fabulous birthday cake – with lots of laughter and reminiscing. In every Women’s Institute across the province, festivities were held throughout the year. Whether they gave extra scholarships, hosted teas, sales, fashion shows or whatever, the members prepared for a wonderful birthday party. We invited members of the community to be part of those parties, for the communities have supported us staunchly over the years and we wanted to share this occasion with them.
Submitted by Ruth Fenner – Member of the Somenos Women’s Institute, BCWI Resolutions Chair Person and BCWI Board Member
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