Pictured (L-R) are Lillian Peister and Edna Cameron.
It was on September 15, 1909 when a group of 12 local women met around a kitchen table with the goal of establishing a Women’s Institute Branch. The Hamlet of Codrington (population 400) continues to be the home of the Codrington Women’s Institute (Trent Valley Area), now celebrating 100 years of service to Home and Country. This Branch has been a pillar of the community since its inception. Here are a small number of their accomplishments:
- assisted in two World War efforts - making bandages, socks, pants, organizing war bond drives, donating blood for wounded soldiers, and providing meals for soldiers traveling through Codrington;
- continue to make quilts for fundraising and comfort;
- sponsored Tuberculosis, X-ray, and Well Baby Clinics;
- supported music festivals, food banks, hot lunch programs for children, area hospitals, the 4-H program;
- donated money toward building the Community Centre;
- raised money for playground equipment and picnic shelter;
- provide ongoing support to graduating students at the local high school (yearly scholarships), and assistance to fire victims and shut-ins.
The Branch’s longest serving Member, Willa McCann, was a Member for 81 years at the time of her death earlier this year. As the Branch marked its 100th Anniversary, its current longest-serving Members are Lillian Peister (60 years) and Edna Cameron (59 years). The oldest Member is 88; all Members are friendly, hard-working, and vital to the success of the Branch.
On September 12, 2009, Members celebrated their 100th Anniversary in style with a beautifully decorated Open House. They were honoured with visits from the Mayor, MP and MPP, all of whom presented the Branch with plaques that recognized their longevity and importance to the community. They are inspired to get started on their next 100 years!
Past President, Liz Hunt, cuts the Anniversary cake.