Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

The New Brant WI – Second Meeting

The fifty women who met at the Arlington Hotel Thursday had a mandate: pick a name and plan the yearly program.

Like all women on a mission they got down to business immediately. After the social part of the program, of course!

Earlier on Facebook, the members suggested ten names for the new Women’s Institute. Chris Quinlan organized the “dotmography” voting system. Chris gave each woman ten sticky dots. The nominated names were mounted, one to a page. The voter could apply all ten dots to one name, or one dot to each of the ten names, or any variation in between. This made for an easy visual to determine the most popular choice.

Women Inspiring Women WI won the ballot. Just by a dot or two, though. The runner-up name, “Adelaide’s Hoodlums” was inspired by an auto-correct error when one gal’s cell phone didn’t recognize the name Adelaide Hoodless, the co-founder of the Women’s Institute.

Paris WI 1905 Picnic at Grand Valley Park with St George and Moyle & Tranquility WI members

Paris WI 1905 Picnic at Grand Valley Park with St George and Moyle & Tranquility WI members

WI women meet for the enrichment of themselves and their community. It has been the mandate of the WI since its inception in 1897. Thursday night, Cassie McDaniel chaired a brainstorming session to determine this group’s goals. By way of comparing then to now, McDaniel read a list of agenda items from the Paris WI of 1905:

  • The care and washing of blankets
  • Sweeping and dusting
  • The care of winter clothing
  • What to do when unexpected company comes
  • Table setting and serving
  • Fleas, flies, and mosquitoes

And a personal favourite: “some things a woman should know.”

Cassie then asked the women to list the activities they wanted included in their Women’s Institute program. Each group of five women presented the top three items on their list.

The suggestions were as varied as the number of members:

  • farm tours
  • garden tours
  • and wine-tasting tours
  • Random acts of kindness in support of those in need and
  • random acts of yarn bombing in support of things in knitwear
  • Learning how to cook and how to manage stress
  • Recording the group’s history as well as that of the community’s via the Tweedsmuir program
  • Offering practical and financial support for mental health programs
  • Lobbying for transportation across the county and lobbying across the country in support of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Last month the group donated food items to a northern community. This month, on March 28, the New Brant WI aka WIWWI are hosting a fundraiser in support of and in collaboration with Nova Vita. The fashion accessory sale and swap will be held at the TB Costain Community Center 16 Morrell Street, Brantford, 11:30 to 2:30pm.

April 9, 2015 will be the group’s inaugural meeting. At that time the women will elect the executive committee. We encourage members to apply for roles such as president, secretary, and treasurer, as well as committee leaders like program, event, and volunteer coordinators.


Categories: In Other News

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33 replies

  1. Honest to goodness, I really am not a fussbudget, but a lot of people, regardless of gender, could benefit from a lecture on a few of those 1905 topics.
    But never you mind me, I still clean upholstery and place the forks on the left.
    My choice would be random acts of kindness. Everyone is capable of kindness, whereas I’m not convinced that everyone can learn to cook, or that all are suited to hunting missing women.
    I love the photo. I wonder what they knew then that we don’t know now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. G’day Maggie,
    Put 50 dedicated ladies in a room with a common goal and there is no stopping them, sounds like you have a winner here, good luck with it. 🙂


  3. Oh My Maggie,
    this sounds like the makings of a great organization. I hope that Zombies are allowed membership because if they ate your brains they have good taste in women.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I particularly like the pairing of cooking with stress. [grin]
    Dunno about the name but: that’s 3 times the word in one phrase … Will look a wee bit odd on stationery or whatever. But as you all liked it most, who am I to bloody comment ?!
    I trust you intend to put up your hand, Maggie …


  5. “Adelaide’s Hoodlums!” I love when auto-correct just can’t accept our intention. And if nothing else, the list of WI programs then and now proves we really have come a long way, baby.


    • That’s why I loved the name – it is an homage to the founder mashed-up by today’s technology with a dash of spunky dame for good measure.

      In a way, yes, we’ve come a long way, but also in a way, we’ve gone full circle. We are on the upswing, and that is very exciting.


  6. Such an interesting post with the past and presence. It sounds as if you have a very enthusiastic group of women, meaning anything is possible! 🙂 Love it!


  7. I would have voted for Adelaide’s Hoodlums. Nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think a good choice was made in Women Inspiring Women 🙂
    Congrats Maggie – it must be very exciting for you to participate in the development of this fledgling group from just an idea!!

    My personal favourite agenda item from 1905 was what to do when unexpected company comes! 🙂


  9. “What to do when unexpected company comes” ??? Didn’t they have locks? I would go with farm tours and random acts of kindness 🙂 Be careful about those administrative positions, that can lead to a lot of work.


    • When someone suggested the farm tours, I thought, “Heck yeah, I’d like that!” And kindness is my number one concern.

      As for the admin work – I’ve got the word “DELEGATE” taped to my monitor. Whether I read it is another matter. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hoodlums!! Too fummy. ( did you see that? What my keyboard typed instead of funny?!?) eerie woo woo

    Let me get this straight – the Women’s Institute now has Women Inspiring Women or … WIWIW. Autocorrect will have fun with that acronym.

    Kindness is essential; let’s hope the group itself uses that when interacting 😋

    I had this taped to my work computer “Don’t Do; Delegate”


  11. This is an encouraging result from your launch and learn chez Arlington. You do have your work cut out for you to get things focused from such an anything goes range of topics. A bit like herding cats, but I know you have a way with cats. So it goes… the conspiring for inspiring begins!


  12. Some of these are funny. What’s yarn bombing? Great post Maggie.


  13. Is there a larger number of indigenous women, compared to their proportion within the population, going missing or murdered up there?


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