Women’s history month – reflecting on the Hazeldean Women’s Institute

Local artist, Perpetua Quigley, celebrates October 18, 1929 when women were legally proclaimed as Persons in Canada. October is Women’s History Month, a time to remember the work of Lady Tweedsmuir. Perpetua shares her watercolour of the Union Church what was once the home of the Hazeldean Women’s Institute. She writes her Haiku on the Women’s Institute and Lady Tweedsmuir’s encouragment to document the local community history.

Women’s Institute
Lady Tweedsmuir Herstory
for home and country

To celebrate Oct 18,1929 when women were legally proclaimed as Persons in Canada and October as women’s history month, I present a watercolour sketch and haiku of Union Church on Young Street which was home for the Women’s Institute in Hazeldean Village of Goulburn Township, now known as Kanata.

In 1897, upon the death of her child due to impure milk, Adelaide Hoodless of Salt Fleet, now known as Stoney Creek, Ontario, advocated for the improvement in agriculture education, family health, women and children’s rights and community service.

The groundswell of women advocates became the foundation for the Women’s Institute in Ontario.  In 1919, this entity grew into a national organization to become the Federation Women’s Institute with Judge Emily Murphy as the first president. Judge Murphy was one of the Famous Five Women who fought for the change in law to the British North American Act (BNA 1867) to ensure women were legally recognized as Persons on Oct 18, 1929.

In 1930, Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of Governor General Tweedsmuir, encouraged the Women’s Institute to document the histories of their local community. These documented stories are known as Tweedsmuir History Books. The Tweedsmuir stories are digitized for public access. https://fwio.on.ca/tweedsmuir-history-books.


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