Membership Monday – Featuring Quebec Women’s Institute

Today for Membership Monday, we feature the Women’s Institutes of Quebec. Sheila Needham, the editor of the Quebec Women’s Institute Newsletter, graciously agreed that we could reprint the pictures and summarize the content of the Autumn/Winter issue for you. The journal is very well done and full of great photographs and good news stories.  Read on to learn what the women of Quebec have been up to.

If you haven’t already done so, you might want to connect with the Quebec WI on their Facebook page. Click on the logo to surf on over. After you’ve read this post, of course!

logo QWI

QWI Rally in Shigawake, Bonaventure County, Gaspé Sep 2014

QWI Rally in Shigawake, Bonaventure County, Gaspé Sep 2014

Late in September, a group of QWI women attended a rally in Shigawake, Gaspé. After lunch and opening ceremonies, the women spent the afternoon discussing recruitment and promotion. Some of the ideas that arose from the workshop were

  • Encourage, motivate, and praise the current members
  • Have fun
  • Spread the word about WI – use local print media to announce meetings
  • If a member leaves, try to find out why and encourage her to re-join.

Not only is it a challenge to recruit new members but it is just as important to maintain the ones we have! The members within each branch need to work together to create interesting programs, keep business to a minimum, and use various tools to keep their organizations strong.

After the discussion, the women took part in handicraft demonstrations such as quilling, learning a “finger pin-cushion”, and quilting; Norma Sherrer demonstrated how to knit a star dishcloth. Star knit dish cloth

The second day of the trip was as sunny as the first. The women toured the beach and craft shops adjacent to Percé Rock. Next, it was off to Fort Ramsay, the home of the Gaspé County President Darlene Williams. Everyone enjoyed refreshments including Christine Mullins’ Mars Bars Squares which were a big hit.

Mars Bars Squares

In the President’s Report segment of the newsletter, Norma Sherrer announces that the QWI are able to award not one, but two Frances Taylor bursaries. The two recipients are Sierra Ellen Sanchez, of Caplan, in the Gaspé. Sierra is in the Science Acceuil Program at John Abbott College. The other recipient is Cameron Burns of Cookshire, QC. Cameron is in the Farm Management and Technology Program at John Abbott College.

Sierra Sanchez, Norma Sherrer, (pres QWI) Evelyn Lewis,(/fordyce) Elizabeth Milroy,(Fordyce) (back) Pat Clarke,QWI treasurer) Judy Page Jones,(QWI President Elect) June Lamay,(Fordyce) Vicky Fraser(AubreyRiverfield)

Sierra Sanchez, Norma Sherrer, (pres QWI) Evelyn Lewis,(Fordyce) Elizabeth Milroy,(Fordyce) (back) Pat Clarke,QWI treasurer) Judy Page Jones,(QWI President Elect) June Lamay,(Fordyce) Vicky Fraser(AubreyRiverfield)

Cameron Burns receives Frances Taylor Bursary from Norma Sherrer

Cameron Burns receives Frances Taylor Bursary from Norma Sherrer

The bulk of the newsletter is devoted to the assorted events throughout the counties. The following is a gallery of photos from those reports. You can click on each to access the gallery, or just hover your mouse over the picture and a caption will appear.

The newsletter includes information on the Past-President’s Essay Contest as well as photos of this year’s winners:

Grade 1: Mia Plourde, Alix Marois, Michael Oborne.

Grade 2: Lydia Grace MacArthur, Nellie Patriquin, Madelaine Lepine.

grade 6

Grade 6: Rachel Lussier, Felix Brochu, Mandy Roy.

A page of the newsletter is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Richmond WI. The following poem was written and read by long-time member of the Gore WI of Richmond County, Hazel Carson:

90 Years of Service

We are all getting older – of this there is no doubt,

But the important thing is that we still know what we’re about!

Some of us are plump. Some are thin. Some are short and some are tall,
But I think we are a handsome looking group, overall!

Some excel as leaders; others at handicrafts and making cups of tea
Each has something to contribute, on this we all agree.

To those who founded this great institution over 100 years ago
We raise our voices in gratitude and on them our thanks bestow.

For ninety years this County has produced outstanding WI workers,
In an effort to make life better, there have been no shirkers.

For many years the community of WI has helped in both tangible and
intangible ways –

Let’s hope that this great Institution will continue to thrive
And flourish in the many roles it plays!

And of course, there was cake!

Richmond County WI 90th

The final page of the newsletter includes a report from FWIC, a calendar of future events including the Triennial Convention in June 2015, and coverage of the 50th anniversary of the installation of the Commemorative Cairn in Dunham.

cairn 50th

Congratulations to the women of Quebec, and thank you for sharing your stories! By doing so, you encourage and inspire us.

2 thoughts on “Membership Monday – Featuring Quebec Women’s Institute

  1. In england we are celebrating our centenary of the womens institute. I see yours was a few years ago. We have lots of events.Some of us from Cornwall, England are visiting near to you in september, and would love to meet up, we are travelling with a male voice choir, who will be doing some concerts. Do get in touch,


    • Hello Eva! By all means, do let us know when and where you perform so that our members can make arrangements to meet up. If you are planning to be in Ontario, near Toronto or Hamilton for instance, you must plan to visit the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead or the Erland Lee Museum. Both were involved in launching the very first WI.


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