Feb. 16, 1999, by Daily News Staff
The week of February 15 to 21 has been declared Women’s Institute Week in Dawson Creek in acknowledgment of the efforts of a movement that has flourished for more than 100 years.
In 1897, Adelaide Hoodless suffered the loss of her 18-month-old son, a death she deduced to have been caused by impure milk.
In response, she formed the Women’s Institute, a group made up of rural women that would get together to educate themselves about such problems and find ways to tackle them.
Guided by the motto “For Home and Country”, Women’s Institutes, or W.I.’s remain alive and well today according to Patsy Nagel, who is president of the B.C. chapter. Indeed, the W.I. has become an international organization that now spans more than 70 countries under the name of Associated Country Women of the World.
There are some 183 members in the Peace area, and while their focus on home and country remains the same, the causes they’re working on have changed somewhat.
A workshop on illiteracy will be held tonight at Northern Lights College, 7 p.m. start. The evening will include a video featuring Peter Gzowski, which W.I. helped produce. Nagel, meantime, recently completed a workshop in Ottawa on the subject and is ready to help bring the ability to read to more people.
“We found that a lot of people don’t realize they have a problem or they don’t admit it,” she said. “And we would like to find a way to overcome this.
W.I. Week will also feature a tea this Saturday at the Senior Citizen’s Hall, 2 to 4 p.m. But the W.I. is busy throughout the year. The organization has been instrumental in getting the B.C. Children’s Hospital off the ground. Locally, the W.I. has been a major supporter of the Mizpah Transition House. Possibly the largest local highlight is the annual Night of Country Sounds, set for March 24 at Unchagah Hall. The popular fundraiser showcases the local country music talent.
The W.I. is always looking for new members. Those interested can phone Patsy Nagel at 786-5565 or regional president Gloria Coons at 782-8969. “It’s a very worthwhile organization,” Nagel said.