Amherst Island WI




Inception Date: November 1

Meeting Times: Third Wednesday at 7:00pm

Main Focus:

Enriching, supporting and advocating for our closeknit community is our main focus. We try to be aware of the needs of island residents, groups and organizations so that we can reach out and offer whatever assistance is needed.

New members and guests are always welcome.  We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 at a member’s home and sometimes in the afternoon in winter.  Contact Joyce Haines at 613-634-7894 if you would like to attend,

Additional Interest:

Fundraising so that we can make donations to local, regional and international causes is an on-going activity but education, fun and celebrations play an important role too. For example, Kids’ Day at the Market is a great success every year and our Seniors’ Christmas Dinner is a wonderful community event with a traditional dinner, entertainment and good cheer.  A special feature is a slide show of community events with lots of pictures of community members and lots of memories.

We have a long history behind us and our contributions to the community are appreciated and valued.

Branch Secretary: Denise Wolfe

Branch Contact:
Joyce Haines

Phone: 613-634-7894

Branch Officers:

Amherst Island WI is transitioning to a minimalist governance structure with only a Secretary and a Treasurer with members taking responsibility for specific events and tasks.

Branch Members:

Kirsten Bennick
Sherri Jensen
Andrea Cross
Norma-Lynn Cole
Denise Wolfe
Ann Adams
Deb Barrett
Nancy Dunn
Judy Bierma
Judy Greer
Claire Jenney
Jackie Sylvester
Marilon Pilon
Lily Horner (Jozkow)
Jane Miller
Mary Kay Steel
Anne Henderson
Carol Kolga
Joyce Reid
Leslie Gavlas
Marian Glenn
Coralie Marshall

Branch Report Annual 2015
Did your Branch celebrate: Internation Women's Day No
International Day of Rural Women No
Link with Individual pen pals with other country Yes England
Pennies for Friendship, we collect change at meetings
Donations: Amherst Island Public SchoolGraduation Award and Plaque annually
Hospice Lennox and Addington Seniors Outreach Services
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Amherst Island,
St. Alban's Anglican Church, Amherst Island
Sand Beach Donation, Amherst Island
Student trip to Africa
Ameriks Scholarship Fund
United Nations Day No
1380 hours temporary total
more hours to come when more members reply

Latest News:

Amherst Island WI Celebrates 115 Years in 2015

2015 was a special and proud year for the Amherst Island WI as we marked 115 years of service to the community.

Irish Canadian International Dry Stone Festival
Amherst Island Sept 25 – 27 2015

What a magical weekend and a proud day for the Amherst Island WI! Joyce Haines President of the Amherst Island Women’s Institute was among the dignitaries along with His Excellency Dr. Ray Bassett Irish Ambassador to Canada and his wife Patricia, the Honourable Michael Coteau Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport and his family, author Jane Urquhart and artist Tony Urquhart, and Deputy Mayor Rick Brisee who spoke to the Festival crowd.

Joyce had the privilege of laying a stone sent by the Ards Women’s Institute in Ireland in the Fiedin or Irish Sampler Wall constructed over the weekend. The stone symbolizes the connection between Irish settlers on the Island almost 200 years ago and marks the beginning of twinning the Ards and Amherst Island WI’s.

Andrea Cross, a WI member, was the Festival organizer for Dry Stone Canada, and her amazing spirit and “can do” attitude created a stellar event. WI members along with everyone in the community welcomed guests and wallers from Ireland, the Queen’s waller from Balmoral Castle, the US and Canada. We billeted, cooked, baked, served, washed dishes, staffed displays and cheered Rick Mercer and his crew.  It was a remarkable weekend!


Our History

Our WI branch celebrates its 115h anniversary in November 2015.  The Women’s Institute began in 1897 right here in Ontario, in Stoney Creek, and the Amherst Island branch was the fourth to be established in 1900.  The WI quickly became a Canada-wide organization, and then a global volunteer organization with consultative status in several United Nations’ agencies including UNESCO and UNICEF.  The international version of the WI is called Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) with headquarters in London, UK. All branches in Canada support it and often become quite involved with its various projects. We Amherst Island members are very proud of this heritage and thank our community for its support and encouragement over more than a century.

At the time of the first WI branch’s birth, rural women and their families were much more isolated than today with all our current means of high speed communication and universal access to education.  The WI has evolved with the changes in our world, and still has considerable relevance for rural and small communities today. While WI membership numbers have fluctuated both up and down with urbanization and other changes, the membership now includes at least as many “city” women as rural making for a fruitful mix of talents and interests.  Here on the island, our twenty-some members definitely embody that mix, and our many projects reflect that healthy sharing of values.

Our recent achievements include:

  • learning from informative guest speakers at our open meetings;
  • providing a refreshment wagon at the Saturday Island Markets;
  • donating a new laptop computer and an award for excellence in history studies to our island school;
  • supporting our community centre, radio station, museum, and other local causes such as the Kingston and Lennox and Addington hospitals;
  • making financial donations to selected charities both regional and international and to the Ameriks Scholarship for island post-secondary students;
  • beautifying our village and parks with container gardens;
  • conducting our famous bake sales on Fridays before long summer weekends
  • maintaining a library of medical equipment such as walkers for the community
  • contributing to facilities at Sand Beach