When I received the phone call informing me that I was the recipient of the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Woman of the Year Award for 2018 I was most surprised. I knew I had been nominated in 2017 but I had become involved in other matters and the pending announcement for 2018 did not occur to me. So, I thought perhaps a note on this award would be suitable for the BCWI History column on our website. The explanation of the award is on internet and reads:
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.
Deadline: January 15th of each year
Nominations can be made to the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada (FWIC)
Form available on the FWIC website http://fwic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2017-AHH-Cdn-Woman-of-the-Year-Award-Application-Information.pdf
This award was presented for the first time in 2015. On reading the accounts of the previous award recipients, I found myself in the company of some very high profile Women’s Institute members from three other provinces. Although I have not had the opportunity to personally know Florence Ellerton of Quebec, the 2016 winner, I feel privileged to have met and enjoyed the company of both Dr. Ellen McLean of Nova Scotia and Marie Kenny of Prince Edward Island .
Dr. McLean, the 2015 winner of this award, has served the Women’s Institute at many levels, and with great distinction at all times. She spoke at the British Columbia Women’s Institute Convention held in Nelson in 1974 – it was my first Provincial Convention and the combination has left a lasting impression on me. Upon returning home, I accepted the nomination for District Secretary and was elected. The following year I became District President and before another year elapsed, was elected to the Provincial Board.
Dr. McLean was an informative and impressive speaker After her term as Provincial President of the Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia, she served as President of Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada from 1973 to 1976, then as Canada Area President of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) from 1977 to 1980 and from 1983 to 1989 as President of ACWW. What a record of service!
Marie Kenny, 2017 Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Woman of the Year winner, served as FWIC President from 2009 to 2012 and I met her in Sidney when the National Convention was hosted by the British Columbia Women’s Institute. Marie Kenny is not only a wife, mother, grandmother and Women’s Institute member and officer, but also a Pastor, as well as a remarkable speaker. I am honoured to be the 4th member of this group.
My sincere thanks to all who participated in the nomination, the presentation and who sent congratulations and good wishes after the announcement, I am humbled by this tribute.
Yours For Home and Country,
Ruth Fenner, Provincial Historian, BC Women’s Institute
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