Marburg WI

Port Dover



Meeting Times: Second Thursday of the month at 1:30pm (No meetings in July/August) - location varies

Main Focus:

Marburg WI is proud to celebrate 95 years plus of women’s education and community service. A proud supporter of Marburg Hall and community projects of Norfolk County.

Guests are welcome.

Branch Secretary: Madeleine DeVries

Phone: 519-583-3553

Latest News:

February 2016

The February meeting of the Marburg Woman’s Institute was held at the Port Dover Library where the members and guests celebrated the 159th Birthday of Institute co-founder Adelaide Hunter Hoodless. Representatives from the Hunter Hoodless Homestead, Erin Fawcett and Wendy Hamilton were present to talk about the life and legacy of this remarkable Canadian woman.

Adelaide Hunter was born on a farm in St. George, Ontario on February 27th 1857. After attending “Ladies College” in Brantford she married Hamilton businessman John Hoodless. Her public life began following the death at fourteen months, of her son John Harold. Although he died of meningitis, it was strongly believed that he originally became ill from drinking contaminated milk. At that time pasteurization was just beginning and many dairy practices were questionable. Milk was even delivered to the homes in open unrefrigerated containers. Blaming herself for his death, Mrs Hoodless began a campaign to insure that women had the education and knowledge to safeguard their families. Using the YWCA in Hamilton she organized and taught classes in domestic science.  She spearheaded the movement to include it in the Ontario school system and wrote a text book that became part of the home economics curriculum. Later Adelaide was the main driving force behind the formation of three faculties of Household Science at the university level. Besides being involved with the Hamilton YWCA, she worked with Lady Aberdeen to found the National Council of Women, the Victorian Order of Nurses and the National Association of the YWCA. On February 12, 1897 she was invited by Erland Lee of Stoney Creek to address his Farmers Institute’s ladies night. It was during this lecture that Adelaide suggested that they form a group with the purpose of widening the knowledge of domestic science and agriculture for rural women. One hundred and one women attended an organizational meeting the following week and the Women’s Institute had begun. Mrs Hoodless, Erland and Janet Lee wrote the constitution for the W.I., which besides spreading across Canada is now internationally organized through the Associated Country Women of the World. The Woman’s Institute is currently in seventy countries and has a membership of over 9 million. In 1959 the Federated Woman’s Institutes of Canada purchased the Hunter Hoodless Homestead restoring the house to the time when Adelaide would have lived there. Now a historic site, it operates as a museum as well as holding events, workshops, programs and summer camps. Anyone wanting to find out more about the activities at the homestead please check their web site @

Following the program those present celebrated with refreshments and birthday cake.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADDIE !


January 2016

The January meeting of the Marburg Woman’s Institute was held at the Marburg Hall on Thursday January, 2016. President Karen Napper welcomed nine members and three guests. Our gust speaker for the day was Sarah Smith who works for  Haldimand Norfolk Women’s Services. She talked about a “Supportive Mothering Group” program which is run through the Woman’s Services with facilitators from HNWS and the Children’s Aid Society. Sarah is the coordinator of this program which is designed to help mothers improve their relationship with their children. Many of the women recommended to this program are suffering from or have suffered long term trauma, domestic violence, childhood abuse or trauma or substance abuse. Although they are trying to raise their families, they may have never developed or experienced good mothering skills. It is a sixteen week program the goals of which are to give the women an understanding of how different mothering strategies and choices can affect their children. They are then given the support and proper tools to develop good skills in hopes of strengthening the mother child relationship. The members found her talk both interesting and informative and they asked many questions in the discussion that followed. Carolyn MacKenzie thanked Sarah for speaking and presented her with a gift.

The meeting continued with the president reading the thought for the month “When something bad happens you have three choices. “You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” Members then answered the roll call and donated items to the “kid’s pantry” at Woman’s Services. They also reported fifty six volunteer hours. The Secretary Treasurer Madeleine De Vries read the minutes and financial statements and Sandra Hoag the Social Secretary reported on the cards and gifts that she would be sending out. Karen Napper reported that crafts at Dover Cliff had resumed and the residents had made air fresheners from oranges and cloves and they had rolled pine cones in peanut butter and sunflower seeds to be hung out beside the bird feeders. There are a number of events coming up so it was decided to have the President email the list to the members. Alison MacKenzie our program coordinator led a discussion on possible programs for next year and the ladies contributed ideas that they would like to see incorporated. Our February meeting will be held at the Port Dover Libraries Meeting Room on February 11, 2016 at 1:30. February is Woman’s Institute month and we will be hosting an afternoon presentation celebrating Adelaide Hunter Hoodless the co-founder of the Woman’s Institute. Representatives from the Adeleide Hunter Hoodless Homestead will be there to discuss the woman behind the W.I. and her legacy in Canada and around the world. Anyone who is interested in hearing about this remarkable woman is welcome to attend. There will be no admission charged however donations to the AHH Homestead will be accepted. The meeting closed with the singing of O Canada

Celebrated 90 years…

posted on: Friday Jun 3rd – 2011

From the pen of Helen Young, Marburg W.I. PRO. November 2010

The highlight of Marburg WI’s 90th anniversary celebration was the planting of a red oak tree at the Marburg Hall.




Two members who are also 90 this year, assisted in the planting – Eileen Wight (left) and Elsie Lawrence (right)

..the secretary read the minutes from the first meeting, held exactly 90 years before, on Nov. 4, 1920. It was noted there were 50 members that year, and membership fees were 25 cents each. But the bank interest was 59 cents, more than it will be in 2010. To raise funds members held an oyster supper, a social evening, a garden party, a corn roast, a concert, a bazaar, and tied quilts. A quilt was donated to Sick Children’s hospital.

A Women’s Institute song that had been written for a competition in the 1950’s by two Marburg members was introduced by Marjorie Porter. The words were written by Mrs. T.B. Barrett and the music by Mrs. Leo Challand. A tape recording was found of Mrs. Challand playing the organ accompaniment, so the group was given copies of the words and sang along. The words are still very meaningful today……


Above: Helen Young (left), Secretary/Treasurer & Public Relations Officers, and Annie Mason (right), President, cut the 90th Anniversary cake.


England’s Homeboys sent to Canada
posted on: Wednesday Jun 1st – 2011

Catherine Hammond introduced Stan Blundell who told us about his father being a homeboy – one of Dr. Bernardo’s boys. He had come to Canada in 1924 at 11 years of age with his twin brother, Joan and their 14-year old brother, Percy. About 100,000 British children whose families were too poor to look after them were taken away on ships between 1868-1930 to faraway countries like Canada. It is estimated there could be 4 million of their descendants here now. Many of these children were poorly treated in their new homes, but Stan’s father and brothers ended up in good homes. Each arrived with a small trunk bearing their name and containing only bare essentials.