Coldstream Women’s Institute celebrates 81 years

It all began in 1931 and the local institution has been a driving force in the community ever since

The Coldstream Women’s Institute has a long history in the Coldstream Valley.

The Charter was received in 1931 and members worked hard to raise money to build the hall on the present site on Kalamalka Lake Road.

The land was donated for a nominal fee and the many husbands helped to build the hall. It continues to be owned, managed and maintained by the present members who take great pride in their building.

“With its big back yard the hall was a great place to hold our family reunion,” said past-president Yvonne Leduc. “I think it’s one of Coldstream’s gems.”

The WI movement began at Stoney Creek, Ont. in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers’ Institute. It was thought that a Women’s Institute could enable women to enjoy advantages similar to those given to the men at the Farmers’ Institute.

“This vital organization contributes to many local charities such as Vernon Jubilee Hospital, the North Okanagan Hospice Society, mental health, and the food bank, as well as to BC Children’s Hospital,” said Diane Toth, with the Coldstream Women’s Institute. “As well, we make blankets for shut-ins; and award college and high school scholarships.

“There is a provincial, federal and worldwide component to the institute with a focus on helping women and children throughout the various regions. There is also time to have fun and enjoy the fellowship of others with birthday lunches, Soup’s On, and to hear various speakers on timely subjects.”

The Coldstream WI invites all ladies to visit and learn more and to become members of the local Women’s Institute to keep the legacy going. (And you don’t have to be a resident of the Coldstream.) Meetings are held at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

For information, please call president Rose at 250-260-3682 or Shirley at 250-542-8878.