St. Pauls WI 100th Anniversary

Pictured (L-R) are Branch President Marlene Coulthard, Elsie Coulthard, Colleen Coulthard, Jessie Scheuermann, Doreen Van Westrop, Libby Wright, Brenda Watson, Winston Coulthard (representing his mother, the late Jeanne Coulthard), Marie Bean, Roberta Dundas and Miriam Dunbar.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 was a beautiful, sunny day, made to order for the 100th Anniversary celebration of St. Pauls Women’s Institute at the Downie Optimist Hall in St. Pauls.

Each WI Member wore a yellow carnation corsage trimmed with blue ribbon, courtesy of the late Jeanne Coulthard, along with Women’s Institute 100 Year Pins.

Heather Scholtzhauer piped in the dignitaries, who were seated in the second row. Next, she piped in the WI Members, who were seated in the front row.

The Welcome was by President Marlene Coulthard. “O Canada” and the Institute’s Ode were sung, and the Mary Stewart Collect repeated.

There were official greetings provided by MP Gary Schellenberger, on behalf of himself and his mother – a long-time WI Member. He also delivered a letter and certificate from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Official greetings were also provided by Perth South Mayor Bob Wilhelm, Perth County Warden Julie Behrns, and Cathy Winhold, special assistant for Perth-Middlesex MPP John Wilkinson.

WI Member Roberta Dundas introduced Bob Heywood from Exeter. Accordion player, entertainer, storyteller and jokester, he was enjoyed by all.

Greetings were brought by District WI President Pauline Crawford, 1st Vice President of the London Area WI Sheila Greason, London Area President Bernice Harris, Area Voting Delegate Rie Van Steeg and Provincial Board Director Marlene Archer.

There were displays set up for all to view, including: a frame of St. Pauls WI 15 anniversary invitation, old dolls, kitchen articles, ancient lingerie, dishes, glasses, aprons, spoons, spoon racks, toy tractors, etc. There was even a quilt made by Mrs. George Tyler, one of the original WI Members, and given to Lois McEwen as a wedding gift in 1937. Every stitch was sewn by Tyler, and the quilt has never been put on a bed.

Roberta and Colleen were in charge of In Memoriam: recognizing all Past Members, especially Jeanne Coulthard, who passed away just last year. One verse of Amazing Grace, accompanied by the bagpipes, was sung, followed by silence.

A history of St. Pauls WI, compiled by Marie Bean, was read. The first meeting took place on February 23, 1911.

Rekindling traditions first marked 10 years ago, during the WI’s 90th anniversary celebrations, “fortune tellers” Elsie Coulthard and Jessie Scheuermann again looked into the “Crystal Ball” and unlocked the “Time Capsule” – which was made by Gordon Hocking. The contents were revealed: old programmes, predictions of the Members for 2011, Country Women 2001, Federated News 2001, Home and Country 2001, current events book from April 1968 to February 1994, video of the 90th anniversary celebrations, and each Member’s letters.

Two letters were read. We hope all enjoyed our capsule and contents.

Doreen Van Westrop thanked Bob Heywood for the excellent entertainment and presented him with a gift. Elsie Coulthard thanked and presented a gift to the piper, Heather Scholtzhauer.

Pictures were taken of the cutting of the cake, which had a Women’s Institute crest in the middle.

St. Pauls WI Members would like to thank the following helpers: Jane Hynd, Grace Martell and Marjorie Thiel of Parkview Church. Many thanks as well to the planning committee of Marlene, Roberta, Miriam and Marie, and the late Jeanne Coulthard, as well as the 175 people who came out to make the 100th Anniversary a memorable day. We hope all enjoyed this milestone celebration.

God Save the Queen was sung. A lunch of tea biscuits, cheese, jams, apple butter, fresh fruit, tea and coffee was served.

Article Courtesy of St. Marys Journal