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Chelmsford Women's Institute
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1949 - 1960
The Chelmsford Women's Institute was founded on June 3rd, 1949. It was created by the women of Chelmsford as a branch of the pre-existing Women's Institutes in Canada, founded by Adelaide Hoodless in 1897. Mrs. Grace McCrystal (nee Vaillancourt) organized the first meeting at her home in Chelmsford and sixteen ladies attended to listen to District President, Mrs. H. Williams, and District Secretary, Mrs. J. Hamilton, explain the work and aims of the Women's Institute.
The organization was founded as a non-partisan and non-sectarian group with the primary goal of education. Standing committees included Agriculture and Canadian Industries, Citizenship and Education, Community Activities and Public Relations, Historic Research and Current Events, Home Economics and Health, and Resolutions.
The Women's Institute helped local families in need, usually by raising funds, donating clothing or sending flowers. They also gave monetary donations to national causes, such as the Red Cross, presented papers at meetings on the topics of agriculture, local history, geography, shopping and hygiene and hosted events for members, such as baby showers, Christmas gift exchanges and sleigh rides. The group also took it upon themselves to document the history of Chelmsford with the creation of their Tweedsmuir History Scrapbooks between 1949 and 1956. The research for these scrapbooks was undertaken by their Historic Research and Current Events Standing Committee Convener, Rose Cvitkovich.
The Chelmsford Women's Institute officially disbanded in 1960.
Former Presidents of the Chelmsford Women's Institute include:
Mrs. A. Rheaume (1949 - 1950)
Mrs. Albert DeFinney (December 1950 - April 1951)
Mrs. Yvonne Trottier (nee Paquette) (1951 - 1952, 1953 - 1955)
Mrs. G. Castonguay (1952)
Mrs. R. Cvitkovich (1956)
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