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Local women attend FWIO and ACWW convention in Pembroke

July 15, 2017

Ruth Anne Robinson of Reid's Corners Women's Institute, Betty Anne Thompson and Sandra MacDonald of Bervie W.I., Judy MacKinnon of Williscroft W.I. and Fran Farrell of Purple Grove W.I. attended the Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) and Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) convention held in Pembroke during the last week of June. 

The FWIO is celebrating 120 years, while the ACWW marks 90 years.

The ladies enjoyed the many timely and informative speakers, addressing many of the current issues of the day.

Carolyn Froats-Emond of the Renfrew County Health Unit discussed sugar consumption and the “Sip Smart” Ontario Program for children in Grades 3-7.

Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Kellie Smith spoke of her overseas deployment experiences.

And OPP constable Shawn Peever reviewed “The Big Four” causes of accidents on the roadways.

Brian Innes, vice-president of the Canola Council, spoke about "Bee Health."

The keynote speaker at Saturday's banquet was noted journalist and human rights activist Sally Armstrong.

FWIO was proud to present its Canada-150 Project - “Ordinary to Extraordinary” - a book commemorating 150 stories from W.I. members.

Judy MacKinnon was one of five main committee members working on this project. Irene Robillard, FWIO digitizing co-ordinator, was the editor. The book costs $26.25, and will be available at the Grey–Bruce Area Convention and the Bruce County District W.I. Rally in October.

Thanks to Robillard's efforts, the FWIO has also recently received a $100,000 grant over three years to digitize the Tweedsmuir Histories from the branches and add them to the Virtual Archives.  This was awesome news!
Federated Women's Institutes of Canada (FWIC) president Linda Hoy brought greetings and updates from worldwide partners and projects, as did ACWW president Ruth Shanks, ACWW Canada area president Sheila Needham, and ACWW United States area president Jo Ellen Almond.

ACWW has been working on international projects for 40 years, including Women Walk the World, Clean Water for All, and Women Feed the World.

Christine Reaburn, chairperson of the FWIO convention and former FWIO president is serving on the agriculture committee of United Nations and attends conferences in New York where 6,000 women attend from around the world! The ACWW membership is nine million, and FWIO members are part of that

The local ladies also participated in tours to Ottawa to the War Museum, RCMP Horse Stables, Rideau Hall, and Botanical Gardens and Farm Tours, and were entertained by some Valley music and step-dancing. It was an enlightening and terrific conference to attend!

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