Fifty Years of Women’s Institutes in New Brunswick
1911 - 1961
A History by Marianne Grey Otty
I had discovered that I could learn a lot
of things by just listening, especially if the adults forgot about my presence.
As I quietly played with the kitten, Mum and Aunt Sadie exchanged the news
of the surrounding communities. I listened very carefully but I couldn’t
figure out why they would be so secretive about a child named Double You
Eye being ten years old.
At bedtime, I asked Mum, “What is the name of this Double You Eye kid who
is having a tenth birthday?”
Mum burst out laughing and replied, “W. I. Stands for the Women’s Institute
and it was ten years ago that a local group was formed in Upham.”
According to “Fifty Years of Women’s Institutes in New Brunswick 1911
- 1961" by Marianne Grey Otty, The W. I. Society had its beginning at
Stoney Creek, Ontario, on February 11, 1897 at a gathering of the Farmer’s
Institute. Adelaide Hoodless’s firstborn son had died from drinking
impure milk, the dangers of which she did not realize. She had an impelling
desire to save other women from this heartbreak by studying the principles
underlying healthful nutrition and visioned this movement as a broadening
influence for the rural women in her vicinity.
When Mrs. James Porter, the wife of the local M. L. A. for Victoria County,
New Brunswick learned of the benefits received by women in Ontario from the
Institutes, she invited leaders from the Ontario Department of Agriculture
to come to Andover, to hold a meeting so that farmers and their wives might
hear about the Women’s Institute. The first Women’s Institute of New Brunswick
was formed there on June 12, 1911 with 19 members with Mrs. Porter being the
The group set at once to work on securing assistance to build a sidewalk,
had the bridge across the river lighted and made several donations to the
Centre Napan, Northumberland County, was the second Institute to be organized
on June 27 with 21 members. Their first efforts were to procure a Flag and
flagpole for the school.
The Department of Agriculture, Fredericton, in 1913 appointed Miss Hazel
E. Winter, who later became Mrs. Harry Crockett, as first superintendent of
the New Brunswick Women’s Institutes.
By 1914, there were 61 branches and a membership of 1,900. By the Golden
Jubilee in 1961, the number of branches had grown to approximately 300 with
more than 6,000 members.
War Brides were presented with a copy of the cook book, “Cook Right, Eat Right,
Live Right”, compiled by Miss. Weldon and her assistants.
Throughout the publication, mention is made of the many recipients of scholarships.
Listings have been included of the recipients of the Life Membership Certificate
Awards and the date of organization of each branch of the Women’s Institutes
in New Brunswick from 1911 to 1961.
The pages of “Fifty Years of Women’s Institutes in New Brunswick
1911 - 1961" by Marianne Grey Otty are filled with the names of dedicated
women throughout the province who contributed to improving community life
and the well being of others. The book is available at several research institutions
throughout the province.
Bustin: Thomas Bustin was a Loyalist who came to Saint John on the Sovereign
in the second fleet in 1783. I am interested in finding out where this ship
came from, and if possible, where I could find a list of the passengers who
were on the ship. If anyone can help me with any other information on
Thomas, I would be most grateful.
56 Hockney Court
Rossetti Road, London
SE16 3EA, England.
Brown - Clark: I am seeking information on the ancestry of Jessica Brown
(1848 - 1915) who married John Malcolm Clark[e] (1852 -1933). The members
of the Clark household in the 1881 census of Chipman, New Brunswick were:
John (29), Jessie (18), Bella M. (1), Catherine (57), William (23), George
(22), Elizabeth (15) and Margaret Jardine (13).
2712 Oak Road, #52
Walnut Creek, CA
Hutchinson: Amos Hutchinson born in 1805 in New Brunswick married Hanna.
In 1861, he was in the census of Prince Edward County, Ontario. Their children
were John, Peter, Samuel,
Margaret and Mary Ann. Possible connection to Marmaduke (Markham) Hutchinson.
R.R. #4 Trenton
Simpson - McAvity - Mahar: Harry Charles Simpson married Helen Phyllis
McAvity in 1926 in Saint John, New Brunswick. Helen was the daughter of John
Arthur McAvity and Mary Elizabeth Maher. Can anyone provide information on
the Simpson children?
106 Saint Paul's Street
Canada, E5N 5R1.