Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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These are just a few of the highlights of the history of the Women''s Association or Parsonage ladies'' Aid as it was first called. Need for a parsonage brought about this organization.

The records show the first Gordon-Osprey ladies'' Aid was organized on November 9, 1904 Present at the meeting were: Rev. & Mrs. Parson Mrs. Ralph Mrs. Zang Miss Sirett Mrs. Sirett Mrs. Davidson Mrs. Blackwell (Mary Sirett) Mrs. lee Mrs. E. Murray Mrs. Willoughby Mrs. McKone Mrs. Cutting Mrs. Ducklow The officers elected were Mrs.

Parson pres., Mrs. Ducklow vice pres., Miss Sirett sec., and Mrs. Blackwell treas. Membership fee was set at one dollar per year with monthly dues of 104: Mrs. Zang, Mrs. Sirett, and Mrs. Boyes were to solicit new members.

An inventory of the parsonage was taken. It consisted of: Dining Room - one extension table, five chairs, one arm chair, one side board, one sofa, one centre table, Mclarry airtight heater and pipes.

Bedroom - two iron beds, mattresses and springs, one dresser, one square carpet, two wash stands, one toilet set, one square of linoleum.

Kitchen - cook stove, boiler, tea kettle, granite stew pan, fry pan, steamer and cover, two drip pans, pudding pan, two granite pie pans, coffee pot, granite spoon, dust pan, fire shovel, stove iron, wooden pail, ten roller blinds, tin pail, fibre pail, wash basin, double boiler, wash tub, crystal wash board, Royal Canadian wringer, rolling pin, chopping board and knife, four glass sealers, one saw, one kitchen table, two kitchen chairs, one mirror, one curtain pole. As can be seen every item was carefully listed.

Here is the first membership roll call: Mr. Parson, hon pres. Mrs. Blackwell, treas.

Mrs. Parson, pres. Miss Sirett, sec.

Mrs. Ducklow, vice-pres.

Mrs. G. McKone, Mrs. J. Ralph, Mrs. R. Davidson, Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Cutting, Mrs. Sirett, Mrs. Willoughby, Miss Ducklow, Mrs. D. McFarlane, Mrs. Habkirk, Miss Davidson, Mrs. E. Hamilton, Mrs. W.

Whelpton, Mrs. Zang, Mrs. Street, Mrs. Boyes, Mrs. Chisholm, Miss McLaughlin, Mrs. J. Whelpton, Mrs. Patterson, Mrs. E. Murray.

At their first meeting, December 7, 1904, after organization they made plans for an entertainment to be held in the Gordon Church. Programme committees were Mrs. Cutting and Mrs. Boyes for Osprey and Mrs. Parson, Mr. Sirett and Miss Sirett for Gordon.

February 15,1905 was their second meeting. It was moved by Mrs. Blackwell and Mrs. Chisholm that a square of carpet be purchased for the parsonage parlor. It was to be selected by Mr.

Parson. A parlor social was also planned to be held at Mrs. Siretts. As near as we know the parsonage was located just across the road from where the church was located.

In the spring a garden party was planned to be at Mr. Siretts with a sale of work. Those days the men were also put to work. Mr. Blackwell, V.

Stonehouse, Fred Sirett, Mr. Boyes, and Mr. Scott were the sports committee. Mrs. Manning and Mr.

Parson were to find the candy makings.

Mr. Parson, George Stonehouse, R. Davidson, J. Scott, and Fred Sirett were to take charge of the fruit booth. J. Ducklow, Bert Davidson, Will Boyes, Jas. McLaughlin, and Victor Stonehouse were to wait on tables.

At this garden party they took in $119.70 and cleared $71.70. These picnics were held annually until 1908.

Altogether, this first year the Gordon Osprey Ladies'' Aid raised $233.65.

From the minutes of October 11, 1905 I''ve copied this paragraph. "That whereas there is a large quantity of valuable furniture, the property of the Glendale circuit in use in the parsonage, therefore the Ladies'' Aid Society feel that it should be insured against fire, and do hereby memorialize the quarterly board to take such steps as they may deem necessary at the earliest possible opportunity to have the same insured. The Ladies'' Aid to pay the necessary premium." This was taken over when the circuit was changed. In 1906 the parsonage was moved to Brookdale when they came into the circuit. Every other month the Ladies'' Aid paid parsonage rent of $9.30.

Many of the meetings of this era were held at the home of Mrs. Willoughby.

The Gordon-Osprey Ladies'' Aid were invited to visit Brookdale Ladies'' Aid at their September 2 meeting.

In the minutes of October 21,1908 the meeting planned a fowl supper for November 26. Admission to be 3Sq: adults and ISq: for children. There is no further mention as to how it turned out.

For the first anniversary supper July 1909 the secretary was instructed to arrange a football match between Lorndale and Gordon.

From the time the parsonage was moved to Brookdale until this time the furniture had been in storage. Now having a basement in the church they got the parsonage stove, for which they later paid $8. It was also moved at this meeting to purchase five dozen knives and forks.

At the last meeting the suggestion of Mrs.

Sirett to change the name from "Parsonage Ladies'' Aid of Gordon Appointment" to "Ladies'' Aid of Gordon Appointment" was moved and seconded by Mrs. Stonehouse and Mrs. Whelpton.

On December 9,1909 a fowl supper was held at the opening of the new basement in the church. Mr.

H. Davidson was responsible for bringing the dishes from Osprey to Gordon. On February 9 they offered Osprey $8 for the ice cream freezer, dishes and oil cloth which was accepted. Mr. Thos.

Drayson was authorized to buy chairs for the church to the value of $8. Six coal oil lamps were bought for $5.40.

An ice cream social was held in Mr. Drayson''s grove on June 13th, Mrs. Strohman to prepare the ice cream. Net proceeds from this social were $30.85.

In April 1911, minutes reported $27.50 being paid on parsonage debt interest as Gordon''s share.

We assume a parsonage was purchased shortly before this as rent was paid in May 1910 just a year previous.

On November 29,1911 due to poor attendance at meetings it was decided to dissolve as a society and meet as a committee and to meet quarterly or as often as necessary. The committee was to be Mrs. Murray, Mrs. Stonehouse and Mrs. Hockin.

However in July 1912 they decided to resolve into a society again. Officers elected were: honourary president - Mrs. Willoughby, president - Mrs. F.

Sirett, vice president - Mrs. Strohman, secretary - Mrs. E. Hamilton, treasurer - Mrs. W.R.


They were to meet quarterly or as often as necessary. Other members were Mrs. E. Murray, Mrs. Hockin, Mrs. F. Murray, Mrs. Chisholm, Mrs.

J. McLaughlin, Mrs. Grassie.

In 1917 the roll call had changed considerably with quite a few names. Mrs. Strohman, Mrs. 1.

Bosnell, Mrs. W.R. Sumner, Mrs. F. Hockin, Mrs.

Geo. McLaughlin, Mrs. John Whelpton, Mrs. E.

Hamilton, Mrs. Geo. Stonehouse, Mrs. F.A. Sirett, Mrs. W. Willoughby, Mrs. Ernest Drayson, Mrs.

F.H. Drayson, Mrs. 1. Kerr, Mrs. W. Kew.

December 14, 1920 the meeting was held at the home of Mrs. e. Taylor. It was moved by Mrs.

Hockin and Mrs. E. Drayson to buy a new collection plate for $4. This plate was in use until about 1957.

An autograph quilt, started in 1911 when materials were purchased, was finished. Total proceeds from this one and another they made were $7l.25.The fowl supper seems to have been held annually until 1922. The anniversary supper had been discontinued. It was decided to try to revive it again. On August 18, 1923 the Home Bank closed its doors. The Ladies'' Aid had $71 in their account there.

May 6, 1924 $30 was voted to be paid over to the parsonage trustees on Gordon''s share of the debt, another $50 was paid August 21, 1924. The ladies also said they would buy the paint for the church if the men would supply the labor.

April 14, 1925 Mrs. Hockin and Mrs. Kerr moved to try to payoff the balance of the parsonage debt of $55, Gordon''s share.

Net proceed of 1925 anniversary supper was $112.29.

Now the 1928 roll call will have familiar names to more readers: Mrs. T.e. Drayson - president, Mrs. W.R. Sumner - vice president, Mrs. W.

Sherritt - secretary-treasurer , Mrs. L. Watson, Mrs. F. Hockin, Mrs. R. Chisholm, Mrs. Geo.

McLaughlin, Mrs. A. Ishenberg, Mrs. A. Forsyth, Mrs. F. Sirett, Mrs. R. Williamson, Mrs. Strohman, Mrs. e. Drayson, Mrs. Keefe, Mrs. Whelpton, Mrs.

Hill, Retta Hill, Mrs. J. Nelson, Mrs. G. Whelpton, Mrs. Hebe Hockin, Mrs. Stan Hockin.

Many of us remember when we had rows of chairs fastened together in the church. In August 1928 it was first mentioned in the Ladies'' Aid minutes to buy pews. They were bought in 1930.

In October 1929 it was voted to payoff the debt of what was to be the new parsonage. At this meeting Rev. McNeill gave an address "Place of Prayer in Modern Life". It was much appreciated.

Mrs. McNeill invited the Gordon Ladies'' Aid to the parsonage for the June 1930 meeting.

August 1930. It was moved by Mrs. Sumner, seconded by Mrs. Williamson, that $85 be paid on the pews and $300 borrowed from Mr. 1. Kerr for the balance. This debt was paid off in August 1932.

At this same meeting it was moved the Ladies'' Aid pay $7 on Mr. Sirett''s fine. For the anniversary supper he had consented, much against his better judgement to use an old truck he had no license for to transport a stove etc., for the event. As it happened he was stopped on the road by the R.C.M.P. and couldn''t produce a license. The members thought seeing he had taken it out just to help out, that part of the fine should be paid. Mrs.

Sirett said, "This is the first time the Ladies'' Aid ever paid a fine." The first picnic at Hebe Hockin''s was held in 1931, it was an annual event until 1953.

The piano was purchased in 1933. Fifty dollars was paid in cash and a note given for $50, a total of $100.

In May 1935 it was noted Mrs. Watson gave a paper on the Doukabor problem.

In recent years the society had its name changed from Ladies'' Aid to Women''s Association of the United Church when we joined the W.A.


In 1942 the new full length chimney was built on the church. In 1944 the new ceiling was installed. In 1952 in a wind storm the church was moved off its foundation, an entire new basement was put under it and in 1957 a new oil furnace was installed.

We are still working. There always seems to be something needed.

We also have plans for the future, God Willing.


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