President's Message

Once again, the seasons have changed and a New Year has been heralded in.  I had the honour and pleasure of attending the New Year’s Day Levee at Queen’s Park, hosted by the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.  2017 promises to be an exciting year with events celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday and our own special WI milestone - starting with WI Day on the 19th of February.  Check out the FWIO website to download the calendar stickers for WI Day – share them with your family and friends!

The Bears, Books and Blankets project is underway again this year.  If possible, please deliver your packages where you feel there is a need to comfort children the week before February 19, 2017 and send your photos to the Provincial Office so that they may be displayed at the Erland Lee (Museum) Home during the “Tea at the Lee” event.  Special dignitaries have been invited and thanks to the generous donation of Dan Lee, the chandelier in the Dining Room will be operating once again to shine its light on 120 years of WI, where it all began!  Everyone is welcome, but if you cannot attend, please hold a “Tea” with your Branch, District or Area and tell us all about it. 

Other events to look forward to in 2017 are the Provincial Conference and ACWW Canada Area Conference being held in Pembroke, Ontario where ACWW World President, Ruth Shanks will be in attendance along with other special guests.

Our Canada 150 project’s book launch will take place at the Provincial Conference.  Order your copy of “Ordinary to Extraordinary – 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them” before March 31st to receive a discount.

Don’t forget to order your WI Rose bush to commemorate WI’s 120th birthday.

The WI 120 project is underway – take a picture of any hall, monument or structure that the WI helped to build or fund and upload them to collections.fwio.on.ca in our virtual archives.

Thanks to the generosity of Hollie and Marlene Archer, the Black Smith Shop at the Erland Lee (Museum) Home will be renovated soon.  Another part of history being preserved for our future generations!

Special thanks to the Erland Lee (Museum) Home volunteers, FWIO Office staff and committee members for all of their hard work. They have done an amazing job.

Congratulations to the “Women Involved” of the new Board.  I am looking forward to working together with them to build a stronger future for WI.  What we do today becomes the history of tomorrow.  How can you help to build a stronger FWIO?  Invite one person to your Branch meeting, hold a ROSE Session or share your issue of the Home & Country ROSE Garden with a friend or neighbour.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is Success.” - Henry Ford

Looking to the future and wishing you all the best for a Happy New Year!

For Home & Country,

Margaret Byl

As printed in the Winter 2017 issue of the Home & Country ROSE Garden.