Onoway has a long
history of clubs and organizations. Sadly,
some of them are no longer around. It's hard to
know what brings people
together to create a "formal" organization. Is it
because of common interests,
the pleasure of good company? The wish to do good
for the community? Or just to
get out of the house?
In May 1916, 27 women
who lived on farms around the
settlement of Onoway met t Farrell's Hall and set
in motion the founding of the
Onoway branch of the Alberta Women's Institute.
Mrs. Crafts was elected
president. Members met monthly taking on
activities to support the community
and other worthwhile causes while including an
education component in each
meeting as well as tea and socializing. They met
in member's homes, at the
Onoway Hospital, the community hall, Mr. Bramley's
room and eventually in
Beaupré Court, then the Seniors Centre (where
Chateau Lac Ste. Anne now stands).
Then in December of 1992, the Onoway W.I.
disbanded. Beryl Cruickshank was president.
At the very first
meeting, members agreed that all money
raised in the first six months would go to St.
Barnabas Hospital, near Onoway.
In 1917 the members pieced a quilt (76" x 66") to
raise money for the
Red Cross ("for patriotic purposes"). People paid
to have their names
written on the quilt which was then raffled. The
winner later donated it back to
the Onoway W.I.
Red Cross quilt
the white strips
of the Union Jack in the centre of
the quilt are names of people who
donations which would go to the Red
Over the years the
W.I. held dinners, catered for functions,
sold refreshments at events, held whist drives,
teas, etc. to fundraise. The
W.I. even started an ill-fated library. Their
fundraising benefitted local
efforts as well as provincial and national
But as time passed,
the membership decreased and in 1992,
the remaining 10 members held their final meeting
and Christmas party thus ending
a long history of rural women joining together to
socialize, to learn and to
give to our community.
(And the minutes of
their meetings are fascinating reading!)
Theresa Boog made
this banner in 1990
was served at the official opening
of Beaupre Court in
Members: Edith Apoll, Jean Payne,
Agnes Evanchuk, Elizabeth
Marina Yeoman, Esther Kettle, Elsie
Hook, Eileen Perrault,
Edwards, Clara Johnson.
W.I. paid for prizes for
some exhibits as well as
lunch at the Onoway Fair.