WI bring Hawaii to District meeting


Local Branches from Chesterville, Finch, Ingleside, Newington, Williamsburg, Winchester and Riverside Heights enjoyed the theme Aloha, “From Hawaii” at the Stormont-Dundas Women’s Institute’s District Annual Meeting at the Allan Hall in Morrisburg on May 23. 

Guests were present from Prescott, Prescott County and Glengarry.

Florence Hoople and Betty Wheeler were presented with Life Memberships for their dedication and work with the Women’s Institute and Elaine Hutchinson received the Women of Excellence Fair Award for the years of work at Stormont County Fair and in the community.

Elaine is the mother of seven children, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She helps raise money for her church and attends all WI meetings. 

When the Forbes library in Newington, was closed, Cathy Cloutier,  Alin Dingwall and Elaine  petitioned the then Osnabruck Council to use the building for community activities. 

Later an anonymous donor gave $20,000 to have the building moved to The Lost Village site. 

Elaine is on the executive of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Retired Teachers of Ontario, District 25 and previous to her retirement she had been on the executive of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Womens’ Teachers Federation. 

She was also on the Steering Committee of the Early Childhood Learning Centres.

Back in 1981, while teaching at Newington Public School,  Elaine was approached by Reta Raymond who had drawn up the first prize list for school children to enter their work in Stormont County Fair, under the supervision of the area school teachers. 

Shirley Aitken and Elaine with this initial help from Reta started the first Educational Department at the fair. Shirley helped until she retired a few years later, but Elaine continued for several years.

Elaine has been Vice President of Stormont County Fair, member of the Photographic committee and in 1992 she created the first Donor Appreciation Display to show the prizes donated by area businesses, and the lists of sponsors to the fair.

After greetings from South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds, the Chesterville Branch conducted the Memorial Service in memory of seven highly esteemed  members: Margaret Casselman and Betty Forward from the Chesterville Branch: Eileen Gallinger and Muriel Kenward from the Riverside Heights Branch; Iva Eamer Wylie and Louise Tait from the Newington Branch and Joyce Patterson from the  Williamsburg Branch.  

In the afternoon Jim MCDonell brought greetings from Toronto.

The guest speaker W. Shearing of Morrisburg enlightened the group about the local plans to celebrate the War of 1812. 

New signs are coming for the roadways along the St. Lawrence River to indicate where encounters with the Americans took place. 

The area has its own local hero, John Locke, who risked his life to inform the British that an attack was coming. Locke avoided detection by climbing a tree until the troops had passed.  

Florence Hoople and Ruth (Hoople) Szini dressed in 1812 attire to show their part in the Battle of Hoople Creek video created by teacher Wes Gosling at Rothwell-Osnabruck with students Nolan Thompson, Zach Murphy and Jessica Wilson. 

The report is that in 1812 the Americans crossed the border at Hoople Creek to move on to Montreal and capture Canada. Our Canadian militia were outnumbered, but the delay meant that the British supplies were saved. 

After the battle Elinor Hoople found a serverely wounded soldier near her cabin. The children fetched Mary Hoople who tended him but he died the following day. The Americans retreated back across the border the following day. 

The meeting closed with Lynn Gilmour inviting everyone to District Annual to be held in Williamsburg next year.

Photos & story contributed

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