The last speaker of the day at the Kettle River District Women’s Institute (WI) Spring Conference kept each attendee hanging on her every word. Hazel Self delivered a powerful, emotionally packed presentation titled, “A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed.”
Life lessons that Hazel learned as a nurse, as a patient and as a soulmate were told. Her personal stories connected with all of us and shared some ways of how we can reach out to those experiencing major life altering losses. The key point shared was that opening one’s self to the raw emotions of others in crisis is the trait of true friendship or in other words, friends rush in where others fear to tread.
Sherry Linn, who is president of the North American Bluebird Society, spoke about bluebirds who are specific to the mountains and meadows of British Colunbia.
Discussed were the relationship of bluebirds with various cavity drillers, territorial requirements, nesting behaviours, the fledging period, feeding habits and predator awareness.
Those with nesting boxes on fence posts along the Blubird Trail may already be familiar with Sherry. She is a local speaker from Anarchist Mountain with a beautiful collection of detailed slides and amazing stories to tell.
Invited to explain about Hospice Training, Louise Fitzgerald from Boundary Community Hospice invited those who want to become skillful in the care of those who are passing, to watch for her advertising of a fall program in September.
Louise has several past participants from Rock Creek including Deb Tilstra who was assisting Louise in the presentation of printed materials.
WI members of 25 years and more including Margaret Eek, Mary Cannon, Marie Bourgh, Jean Johnson and 15-year member Sue Mash were awarded district service pins.
Honoured guest Helen Overness, currently president of South Okanagan WI and a past vice-president of B.C. Women’s Institute, was invited to do the honour of presenting the pins.
Notable during these life members’ combined terms were resolutions by the district to work towards electrification of Westbridge and Christian Valley communities in 1956, removal of the tax on children’s school supplies in 1964, and the moratorium on uranium mining in B.C. in 1987.
Rock Creek WI presented Mary Cannon with a branch service pin for over 35 years in various roles as secretary, vice-president, treasurer and president. Cannon’s outreach into other services to the community including cemetery upkeep and record keeping in conjunction with Margaret Eek, community recreation, and fall fair leadership was recognized.
Members from Grand Forks to Bridesville were congratulated for their contributions to strengthening their communities through involvement.
A new district board was elected: president Norma Tilgner, secretary Delores McNee, treasurer Sue Mash, and directors Linda Dixon, Ruth Champagne, Hazel Self and Pat Campbell.
Heartfelt thanks to the talented ladies of the Main River WI in Westbridge, who served up a wonderful variety of fresh salads for lunch.
Lively musical entertainment/sing a long was provided by the Vanhaesebrouck family.
The day ended with invitations from the Homemakers of Gifford, Washington to join them on their “Day of Sharing”, while Sue Mash (Rock Creek WI’s president) extended an invitation to everyone to next year’s spring conference in Rock Creek and Helen Overness invited Kettle River District to celebrate South Okanagan WI.s 90th birthday at a picnic in Oliver in August.
Contributed by Norma Tilger.