Sexsmith Women’s Institute fonds. — 1929-1962. — 10 cm of textual records, 1 photographs.
The Sexsmith Women’s Institute was organized in July, 1917, eight years after the formation of the first Women’s Institute in Alberta. The main objective of the organization was to improve community services in the town of Sexmith. In 1928, they assisted Miss Johanna Haakstad in opening a Maternity Home in Sexsmith, and continued to sponsor it for many years. In 1934 and 1945, they hosted Constituency Conferences at which they raised issues concerning child health, public welfare and education. They also supported the local library, school, cemetery, Red Cross, Red Shield, and Children for Britain. In 1953, they opened a rest room for women coming into Sexsmith to do their shopping, operating it until water and sewer were installed in the village in 1955. In the 50s, they supported the Cancer Society, Red Cross, and the Unitarian Services Committee. After the closure of the Maternity Home in the late 50s, and the formation of other women’s clubs, the membership of the Sexsmith Women’s Institute dwindled, and in January 1962 it was disbanded.
The records were preserved by Kathleen Gathercole, long-time secretary and member of the Sexsmith Women’s Institute when it disbanded in 1961. They were donated to Grande Prairie Regional Archives by her daughter, Lynne Braseth.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of four minute books which include lists of committee members, roll call and secretary expenses; accounts ledgers which detail the receipts and disbursements; and publications from the Alberta’s Women’s Institute. The photograph is of a 1952 Alberta Women’s Institute Convention held in Edmonton.