Listowel West WI 100th Anniversary

Pictured in the back row (L-R): Eily Martin, Sandra Brears, Muriel Hawthorne, Kathy Doig, Kathy Newbigging, Judy Robertson, Jean Ann Kerr, Cathy Linton, FWIO Board Director Barbara Weese and District President Diane Bender. Front row: Mary Israel, Ruth Bristowe, Wilma Hicks, Sharon Chapman, Ella Stewart and Elaine Carson.

Listowel West WI (Guelph Area) celebrated their 100th Anniversary on June 20, 2013 at the Listowel Agricultural Hall with 55 in attendance.  It was exactly 100 years ago that this WI Branch was organized at the home of Mrs. George Nichol located on Highway 86, west of Listowel with 13 Members in attendance.  Mrs. James Henderson, a young bride and former school teacher, initiated the formation of this group and it has continued to this day.

President Kathy Newbigging welcomed everyone and the Institute Ode was sung and the Mary Stewart Collect was repeated.  Dignitaries, Huron Perth District President Diane Bender, FWIO Board Director Barbara Weese, and North Perth Mayor Julie Behrns all brought greetings.  Tweedsmuir Coordinator Muriel Hawthorne gave a brief history of Listowel West WI and their service to the community.  Sandra Brears and Kathy Doig conducted a memorial service recognizing deceased Members from the previous 25 years by reading a poem composed by Winnifred Mann for the 90th Anniversary.  Each Member received a 100 year pin, while President Newbigging presented Ruth Bristowe with a 70 year pin and Ella Stewart with a 60 year pin.  A group photo was taken by Sue Farrish and the cake made by Mary Ellen Jacklin was cut by the longest serving Members, Ruth Bristowe, Elaine Carson, Mary Israel and Ella Stewart. 

Eily Martin introduced the guest speakers, Agnes and Kim Henderson, granddaughters of founding Member, Mrs. James Henderson.  Agnes and Kim did a short skit of the first meeting in period costume, wearing different hats to represent each Member.  This was very entertaining and brought the history of the day to life.  Old fashioned contests were held with Everdina Bender and Marg McMahon as winners and an apron fashion show was held.  Agnes and Kim performed numerous musical duets on the piano and sang songs from the last 100 years – with many costume changes too.

Ella Stewart thanked the guests for a most enjoyable and entertaining program and the evening ended after a delicious supper organized by the committee of Sharon Chapman, Sandra Brears, Judy Robertson and Jean Ann Kerr.


By Kathy Doig