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Archive for the ‘Women’s Institute News’ Category

Bruce Brine accepting the Erland Lee Award

Bruce Brine has been awarded the Erland Lee Award of Appreciation, a prestigious award that is given to a man who exemplifies those qualities of Erland Lee which led to the founding of Women’s Institute. Erland Lee was farmer, teacher and head of a Farmer’s Institute in Stoney Creek, Ontario. He was a forward thinking man and provided the assistance needed to launch the first Women’s Institute that is now found around the world.

Bruce’s name was put forward for the award for PEI by the Clyde River W.I. Here is an excerpt from their nomination:

It is with great pleasure that the Clyde River Women’s Institute is submitting the nomination of Bruce Brine as a candidate for the Erland Lee Award of Appreciation.

Since becoming Administrator for the community of Clyde River in 2009, Bruce has given his full support to W.I. activities and endeavours, and he has strengthened the relationship between the Community Council and W.I. as both groups work to enhance our rural community.

Each year, in his administrative role, Bruce applies for government assistance to hire a summer student. He then spends many volunteer hours mentoring and training the student in the duties involved in keeping the community’s public spaces – the Community Centre, Park and Pioneer Cemetery – looking their best. In addition to facilitating the Community Council’s and the Women’s Institute’s joint efforts in maintaining the outward attractiveness of our community, Bruce has been instrumental in assisting the W.I. in obtaining funding from provincial and federal sources for infrastructure upgrades to our Community Centre.

Since 1973, the Centre has been owned and managed by the Clyde River Women’s Institute. The addition of insulation, a new furnace and energy efficient windows has made the former schoolhouse a comfortable site for Institute and community events, and the improved air quality is beneficial to the community museum that is being developed in the basement of the Centre. Bruce’s help in achieving these improvements to our building has been invaluable. As well, Bruce is generous in volunteering his considerable technical expertise to historical lectures, watershed presentations and private functions at the Centre.

Bruce Brine has certainly made an outstanding contribution to the Clyde River’s Women’s Institute as we strive to fulfill our national aim to promote women, families and communities.

His name will also be forwarded for the Canadian Erland Lee Award.

Editor’s note: On behalf of the Friends of Clyde River and our website audience, we congratulate you on this award. Bruce has worked oftentimes behind the scenes over the years as Community Administrator. Bruce, you have done an exemplary job of running the community’s business and it’s your time to shine and receive the recognition that you so richly deserve.

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Canada Day Celebrations: Sunday, July 1, 12:30 to 2:00, Riverview Community Centre: It’s a birthday party! Be a kid again or still. Enjoy hotdogs, cupcakes and ice cream. Help us raise the flag, sing the anthem and celebrate Canada’s big day.

Strawberries and Ice Cream Social: Wednesday, July 11, 6:30 to 8:30, Riverview Community Centre: The big summer event for Clyde River Women’s Institute is, of course, the annual Strawberries and Ice Cream Social where young and not so young gather to enjoy the scrumptious desserts and meet friends and neighbours. Admission at the door.

Art in the Park: Saturday, July 21, 9:00 to Noon, Murchison Place Park (shine or light rain): Art in the Park welcomes all levels of painters, especially the beginner. Come on out for an enjoyable morning of painting with new and old friends under the dappled canopy of the park. We also welcome those who enjoy watching art being created. All are invited to join a free demo and painting lesson in an interactive workshop style with artist Julia Purcell, starting at 9:30 am. Get started working in Plein Air painting and learn to develop a well-built start for your painting by using a view finder to shape a limited focus, plus many other painting insights. Bring your own painting materials and easel if you have one. View finders will be provided. If you plan to participate in this lesson, we ask you to pre-register by emailing juliampurcell@gmail.com. Coffee and water provided. There is a washroom on site.

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We are pleased to share this lovely memoriam submitted by Emily Bryant.

People who remain in the same area for their entire life have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on their home communities and they are a vital link for their families and neighbours. Wanda Jean MacPhail is a perfect example of one who has made an important contribution to her life long communities. Clyde River and New Haven lost a favourite long-time resident when Wanda Jean MacPhail (Livingstone) died on January 20, 2018. Of course, Wanda’s loving family, including her husband Eric, will miss Wanda most of all but all of us who had the privilege of knowing her have fond memories of this hard-working, kind woman who was friendly and welcoming to all.

Sympathy is extended to Wanda’s faithful loving family who include her husband Eric P. MacPhail, her daughters Ann and Ruth, son-in-law Allan Nelson and daughter-in-law Jo-Ann. As well, Wanda was a proud grandmother to Mark (Megan), Victoria, and Peter MacPhail, Callie and Drew Nelson, and Grace MacPhail-Wagner.

As the only child of Watson and Lillian (Hyde) Livingstone, Wanda grew up listening to a lot of adult conversation. Her mother had kept a scrapbook of community events and Wanda, who has always valued community, carefully protected this information for many years. When the history of Clyde River was developed a decade ago, this scrapbook was a valued source of historical information.  Wanda’s stories and insights were a big help as well.

It is hard to even say Wanda or Eric without saying them together ‘Wanda and Eric’, as they were a life long team. They always knew each other as, even though Eric’s family lived in New Haven, Eric chose to attend school in Clyde River – probably influenced by Wanda Livingston, a beautiful young girl. Eric and Wanda were married in 1949 and were devoted spouses for almost 70 yrs.

Wanda grew up living and working on the Livingstone farm and when she married Eric, she lived and worked on the MacPhail farm. She worked harder than most people realized and harder than most of us would or could. Not only was Wanda a dedicated mother and homemaker, but Eric would be the first to say that Wanda did more than her share of work with pursuits that he initiated such as growing cucumbers, turnips, strawberries, or summer savoury or building and operating several cottages in Argyle Shore –Desired Haven.

Clyde River and New Haven Women’s Institutes have benefited greatly from Wanda’s faithful service as did the Baptist Church in Clyde River. Wanda made and served hundreds of squares and sandwiches to help these causes. She also helped friends and neighbours experiencing illness or loss. Her kindness, quiet manner and good nature inspired everyone.

Working with the small committee that wrote the community history, I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with Wanda and Eric. I enjoyed these hours and we all were richer by the contribution they made to the book: The History and Stories of Clyde River. They offered wonderful oral history and interesting and humorous stories. Eric could eloquently describe many aspects of life in this community, but it was Wanda who laughed and was animated when she talked about Clyde River School and the fun she and her friends had at the River or when playing games. (I saw the same twinkle in her eyes when she spoke of her grandchildren.)

Wanda was happy that their daughter Ruth chose to live in the Livingstone house. This historic house on the Clyde River Road was built in 1840 and, beginning in 1998, it was lovingly restored by Eric and Wanda. By 2003, these renovations were completed by Ruth and Allan Nelson and they have lived there ever since.

When Wanda and Eric moved into Burnside Community Care, Wanda could look out at the River she loved and her childhood home. Sadly, illness took away some of Wanda’s joy and the last months have not been easy for her. It is important for us to remember Wanda as the kind, strong, smiling wife, mother and community worker that she was for most of her long life.  I think she would want this to be her legacy.

Rest in Peace, Wanda Jean MacPhail.

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Strawberries and Ice Cream Social, Wednesday, July 12th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Riverview Community Centre

The big summer event for Clyde River Women’s Institute is, of course, the annual Strawberries and Ice Cream Festival where young and not so young gather to enjoy the scrumptious desserts and meet friends and neighbours. Admission at the door. The museum featuring a collection of artifacts and heritage photos will be open for tours.

Art in the Park: Saturday, July 22, 9:00 to Noon, Murchison Place Park (shine or light rain).
Art in the Park welcomes all levels of painters, especially the beginner. Come on out for an enjoyable morning of painting with new and old friends, under the dappled canopy of the park. We also welcome those who enjoy watching art being created.
All are invited to an optional demo and free painting lesson in Plein Air landscape painting starting at 9:30 am to 10:30 am. In a workshop style, with local artist Julia Purcell, participants will learn to develop a well-built start for their painting by creating strong compositional thumbnails through the principles of Japanese notan and by using a view finder to shape a limited focus. There will be an explanation of the three properties of color and a discussion of how to implement a color strategy by using a limited palette in landscape painting. Bring your own painting materials e.g. acrylic or watercolor paint. Please include a sketch book and soft pencil such as an 8B. Using an easel is recommended. View finders will be provided. If you plan to participate in this lesson, we ask you to pre-register by emailing juliampurcell@gmail.com. Coffee and water provided. There is a washroom on site. Murchison Place Park is located among the trees at the corner of Trans Canada Highway and Clyde River Road.

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Heads up…the latest edition of the Clyde River Newsletter will be sent out to all community households this week. Stories include details on:

  • Upcoming Spring & Summer Events:
    • Murchison Place Park Cleanup – May 13th, 9:00 to Noon
    • Canada Day Celebrations, July 1st, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Riverview Community Centre
    • Strawberries and Ice Cream Social, Wednesday, July 12th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Riverview Community Centre
    • Art in the Park, Saturday, July 22, 9:00 a.m. to Noon, Murchison Place Park
  • Public Meeting to discuss Cornwall Bypass crossing Clyde River Watershed, June 8th, 7:00 p.m.
  • Youth Summer Opportunity
  • News from the Clyde River Women’s Institute
    • Roadside Cleanup, May 13th
  • Recreation and Swimming Reimbursements Available

PDF version here.

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Riverview Community Centre before latest renovation

Many of you are aware of the latest renovation of the old Clyde River School House, but the previous renovation was in 1986. The following is the story that was featured in The Guardian 31 years ago (news clipping from Hazel Beer’s scrapbooks):

W.I. Renovate Old School House Into Centre of Community Activity, by Kathy Jorgensen

In 1972 the Clyde River Women’s Institute purchased the 152-year-old school house in that community and began the long task of renovating it into a community centre.

The original school house had only one room, and in 1964 a second room was added. The goal of the W.I. members was to upgrade and maintain these two rooms and have the building serve the community in many capacities.

Jean MacLean and Neila MacKinnon, both W.I. members, were involved with the renovations over the years. They talked about the work and the many needs it has filled in the community.

The two women, obviously proud of the fresh, new look that the W.I. has given the building, noted they lowered the ceiling in the old section and took out a hatch that led to a clay basement.

“We then had a cement basement poured.” said Mrs. MacKinnon.

The cloak room for the girls was renovated into a small kitchen, and later a large addition to that kitchen was constructed. Recessed lighting, paper, paint, curtains and pieces of furniture were all part of the many additions that made Clyde River Community Centre the central gathering place for special events.

The old “Clyde River School” sign has been left on the building as a matter of heritage. There renovated building was aptly named Riverview Community Centre. Behind it flows the Clyde River and a picturesque view of the river can be seen from the grounds and most windows inside the building.

Mrs. MacLean explained that there had been a hall in the community, but noted it was too run-down to be bothered with. It had been torn down and moved piece by piece to another location and used for a barn. Furniture in the old hall, which had been purchased by the W.I. was moved to the new community centre.

Fixing the grounds was also part of the W.I. project and much landscaping and planting had to be done. Shrubs and flowers were planted, a flag raised and the centre was ready for operation. Now with the community using the facility for teas, anniversaries, picnics, Christmas parties, children’s functions, and community showers, the W.I. feels its work has been worthwhile.

They are still in the process of paying for the many renovations and will hold an auction sale on September 10th beginning at 6 p.m. Both women noted that donations are needed for the auction and they will take almost anything.

Future plans for the centre will mean finishing the basement so it can be used as gym area. The W.I. of Clyde River will be working on that over the next year or two and looking forward to seeing the completion of this project.

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Here is our second excerpt from Meadow Bank W.I. Tweedsmuir History from 1951 which talks about the establishment of the Women’s Institute in 1913 and re-establishment again in 1938. 

Meadow Bank was one of the pioneer Institutes organized on Prince Edward Island. In The Guardian of March 17th, 1913, we find the following item:

On March 14th, 1913, despite the inclemency of the weather, Mrs. A.E. Dunbrack (the organizer) had a large number of residents of Cornwall and vicinity to listen to her interesting talk on the Women’s Institute movement, after which she gave an illustrated lecture on the principles underlying the cooking of meat. Mrs. Dunbrack was given authority to announce to the government that forty-five women were anxious to organize themselves into an Institute in that section and would guarantee that the movement would have their untiring support.

Also, in The Guardian of April 8th, 1913 appeared:

Women’s Institutes were organized yesterday afternoon at Cornwall and Meadow Bank. The objective of the Institute is the improvement of the conditions of home life in our Province, and it is hoped by means of the meeting of the practical and enterprising women of each community to discuss the improvement of homes and surroundings; the condition of schoolhouses; public health, in short, anything that goes to the wellbeing of the district as well as the interchange of thought and information will bring the desired result.

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Mrs. W.W. Crosby, first president of the Meadow Bank Women’s Institute

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Mrs. Mary E. Roper, first secretary of the Meadow Bank Women’s Institute

Mrs. W.W. Crosby and Mrs. Mary E. Roper who had both attended the March 1st meeting at Cornwall were on April 7th (our official birthday) made president and secretary, respectively, of the Meadow Bank Branch and continued as such for the next six years during which time the women of the district met monthly, sometimes in the school and sometimes in the different homes.

It was the time of World War I and sewing and knitting and the packing of boxes for the boys overseas was a major project. One of the first improvements to the school was a hardwood floor which served until the year 1950 when it was overlaid with plywood and battleship linoleum.

 

With the cessation of hostilities in 1919, interest on the part of some waned and it was decided to disband. For a number of years, a few of the women joined the Cornwall-York Point Branch and this branch was gradually joined by others.

The care and management of the Cornwall Hall was given over by the shareholders to the Institutes who have made many improvements to it. Among these might be mentioned, redecorating, installing of electric lights, stage properties and a piano.

On December 7th, 1938, the Cornwall-York Point Institutes, having grown inconveniently large, members of Meadow Bank reorganized their own branch but continue to contribute one-third of the maintenance cost of the hall.

Officers since 1938 have been:

Presidents:

  • Mrs. Frank Boyle
  • Mrs. Victor MacPhail
  • Mrs. Colin MacPhail
  • Miss Laura Crosby
  • Mrs. Charles Hyde
  • Mrs. Stirling Clow
  • Mrs. Pearl Scott
  • Mrs. Victor MacPhail (2 years)
  • Mrs. Elmer Clow
  • Miss Laura Crosby (2 years)
  • Mrs. L.H. Drake
  • Mrs. Victor MacPhail (2 years)
  • Mrs. Harvey MacLean

Secretaries:

  • Mrs. Norman MacFadyen
  • Mrs. Stanley Hyde (2 years)
  • Mrs. L.H. Drake
  • Mrs. Stirling Clow
  • Mrs. Norman MacFadyen
  • Miss Laura Crosby (3 years)
  • Mrs. Harvey MacLean
  • Mrs. Charles Hyde (2 years)
  • Mrs. Sterling Clow
  • Mrs. Stanley Hyde (2 years)
  • Mrs. James Yeo

Notes:

  • On July 10th, 1950, Mrs. W.W. Crosby was honoured with a Life Membership in the Prince Edward Island Women’s Institute because of her pioneer Institute work in this Province.
  • The Meadow Bank W.I. prepared the community history from which this series of featured excerpts is taken.
  • If you have any photos of the Meadow Bank W.I., please send them to vivian@eastlink.ca and we will add them to this story.

Stay tuned for our third excerpt that talks about the establishment of a school in Meadow Bank.

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