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Ruby McBeth: Associated Country Women of the World

'You either step forward into growth or you step backward into safety'
February has been declared Women's Institute Month in Fort St. John.

The WI groups in Canada and other countries belong to a worldwide organization of like-minded rural women called the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). It was started by Madge Watt, who took WI from Canada to the United Kingdom in 1915. 

After the First World War, Madge met with rural women from other countries in Europe to try to develop a permanent link between farm women’s groups. In1933, she attended the Stockholm Conference in Sweden. There the League of Northern Housewives shared her vision, and they created the ACWW. 

Every three years, ACWW has a conference in a different part of the world. Patsy Nagel from the South Peace went to conferences in South Africa, Germany, and Vancouver. Jill Copes went to India and Joan Holthe attended meetings in Melbourne, Australia, England, and India. Joan tells me these are joyful events because of the shared vision of healthy farm families and peaceful countries.

WI Woman of the Week

Jill Copes has been a highly involved member of the Women’s Institute serving in the Peace area, in British Columbia, and at the national level for Canada. As the president of the BC Women’s Institute in 2012, Jill attended the ACWW Conference in India to present our resolution saying: “all children shall be registered at birth.” This might seem surprising, but not all countries register all children, and people who are not registered at birth are not considered persons and so cannot attend school. The women of British Columbia’s WI groups were proud to have Jill present our resolution on this critical issue.

Return It

As you will have heard, you are now paying a deposit on milk containers (both plastic and cartons). Checking with the local Fort St. John Bottle Depot, I learned that they will pay back your deposit on all regular milk and plant-based drink containers such as almond milk and oat milk, but they do not take buttermilk, coffee creamers, whipped cream, dietary supplement containers or other protein drinks. Phone 250-785-4146 if you have questions.

Research Study

The BC Centre for Palliative Care is doing a survey looking at bereavement experiences. If you would like to participate, contact the research manager Joshua Black at or 604-553-4866. You could help to improve the situation in BC by joining in if this applies to you.

Quote of the Week

“You either step forward into growth or you step backward into safety.” (Abraham Maslow)

Ruby McBeth lives and writes in Fort St. John.

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