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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

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Shurvell (1983), Dave and Fran Pengelly (1984-85), Jack and Pamela Stacy (1990-91), Henry Wall (1991-92), Jean Cook (1992-93), Rick (Cecil) and Lena Richard (1992-93), Rosie Koversky (1993-94), and Jacques and Lydia Comty (1997-98).

Former members of the Erickson Swinging Eights Club are as follows: Glen Shellborn, Eileen McInnis, Irene (Wrnth) Montgomery, Mamie Anderson, Jim Marshall, Charlie and Joan Kingdon, Wendell and Mavis Johnson, Ferg Shellborn, Mack and Freda Clow, Bill and Beryl Tinkler, Bernard and Phyllis Lane, Norval and Joan Lee, Bob and Laverne Uhl, Irene Sundmark, Cecil Sundmark (until 1998-99), Cecile and Robbie Pollichuk, Mark and Lynne Wrnth, Melvin and Marjorie Wrnth, Lynn Dimmery, Wayne Dimmery, George and Gladys Woloshyn, Joe and Helen Woychyshyn, Kimberly (Knapp) Ferguson, Bernice Sturgeon, Paul Zariwny, Alice McInnis and Ken and Rae Kingdon. There may have been others we have missed.


The celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Erickson Women's Institute in 1977 was a day of reunion of members now scattered across Canada, a time of remi­ niscing, with a special program and banquet; a day that put new enthusiasm into the years ahead; always committed to Home and Country.

Since acquiring the former municipal office building and remodelling it into a Rest Room, it became our meet­ ing place. With the organization of senior citizens into 'Perky Pioneers' they were in need of a building and this one was approved and remodelled for their use. When they disbanded, a new arrangement was necessary and the Crossroads Community Centre was incorporated, operated by a board of five members from the Institute and five at large. Another remodelling project followed and the build­ ing continues to supply the need for a small hall. What a story this building could tell from its origin as the Erickson Theatre in the days of silent movies to the present.

Joining in the Centennial celebration of the Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam in 1984 was the highlight of the '80's' with over a week of activities, beginning with a mammoth parade. The Institute float featured pioneer days with the ladies garbed in old-fashioned gowns and bonnets demonstrating everything from bathing a child in a wash tub to scrnbbing clothes on a board to spinning wool. The evening program we sponsored was a fashion show with garments from the early days to the present, many being wedding gowns and even a soldier's World War I army uniform. Musical numbers enhanced the program. Several members were involved in the various committees such as the community choir, the publication of the district history book Eorest 10 and the displays of antiques, art and crafts.

Though Institutes are meant to be educational rather than service groups, in our small communities it is neces­ sary for us to support local projects and we have done so faithfully. This has meant many money-making activities as we have gladly helped build the senior citizen home, the district health centre, the rec. centre, the skating rink and the library. As well, we contributed to the purchase of the Handivan and Jaws of Life. Too numerous to mention are anything from a Grade XI bursary, support of the rnral stress line and Child and Family Services to supplying thirty dozen dainties for the fiftieth anniversary of Riding Mountain National Park. Members deliver Meals on Wheels, canvas for cancer and CNIB, and support 4-H and Girl Guides. In 1997, the mini-country fair was success­ fully revived. To the best of our ability, we have supported the projects of MWI, FWIC and ACWW.

It isn't all work, however, as there is fun too. Our monthly programs are planned to be both educational and entertaining. Roll calls vary from sharing embarrassing moments to war memories. Guest speakers are always appreciated and enjoyed. As one member once expressed it, "I never go home from WI. without having learned something." There are extra activities such as a special program for W.I. Day, a dinner out together once a year, the St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew Luncheon, a summer outing, entertainment at the Personal Care Home, the Christmas party, 'Breakfast with Santa' especially for the children and, during the fall and winter, monthly whist parties which many seniors enjoy.

Our anniversaries have been special occasions. For the fiftieth, we hosted the Southwest A District Convention which was well attended. Part of the program centered on our history and a special cake and punch were served. For the sixtieth, in 1997, our MWI president, Barbara Steinwandt, was our guest and main speaker at our 'Open House Tea' and program. She also presented Life Memberships to four members and the three remaining charter members were recognized. With a 'Celebration of Life' memorial, special music and tales form the past and a dainty tea, it was an enjoyable day which many visitors shared with us.

With a membership which has four women with a record of fifty or more years and one with over sixty and the ages of several in their eighties and late seventies, it has been encouraging in recent years to gain several new members. Their energy and enthusiasm is appreciated. When the Onanole Institute disbanded, we were happy to welcome some of their numbers to our group. Too many to recognize are the individual members who, through the years, have contributed so much to our organization. Of these, three are chosen as representatives of the rest. It was Ethel Neilson whose interest and energy led to the organization of our Institute; Joan McInnes, another char­ ter member, with a record of over sixty active years; and