This is a collection of images from our exhibit in the Sam Jim house regarding the Pemberton Women's Institute.
The First Women’s Institute (W.I.) meeting in Pemberton was held in February 1940. The first year’s meetings were attended by Sidsel Ross, Irene Blakeway, Annie Ronayne, Mrs. Prendergast, Edith Lansdowne, Mrs. Blattler, May Taillefer, Dorthy Girling, Adla Fowler, Clarice Urdal and Maud Ronayne.
Early efforts of the W.I. were contributing to the war effort by making garments and canvassing for funds for the Red Cross; preserving food for relief, collecting salvage wool for blankets and comforters, donating clothing, comforters and money for Russian relief, sending comfort parcels to local boys serving overseas, and to Canadian soldiers so they could spend their leave at home; joining with the Rangers, holding a V.E. day celebration with ceremonies, speeches, songs, field sports and a ball game.
With all their war work the W.I. found time to hold Quilting Bees, cater to field days at the Illustration Farm, organize dances, picnics and sports days. As early as 1943, Frances Decker appealed at a W.I. meeting for a permanent record of the Pemberton Pioneers. This early initiative led to the creation of the Pemberton Pioneer Women’s Committee consisting of Mary (Mollie) Ronayne, Frances Decker and Margaret Fougberg who began collecting records and artifacts associated with permanent settlement in Pemberton & District. The current museum collection is the result of the early foresight by the leaders of the Women’s Institute in Pemberton to ensure the community memory was captured for posterity.