Joan Foster en­joys so­cial­iz­ing and giv­ing back to com­mu­nity through Women’s In­sti­tute

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CORY HUR­LEY

Joan Foster weaves her life to in­clude time for the Spring­dale Women’s In­sti­tute, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Spring­dale woman says she learned a lot over her 35 years with the or­ga­ni­za­tion that is cel­e­brat­ing its 80th year of ex­is­tence in 2017. How­ever, her love of the group goes way be­yond what she has gained from her in­volve­ment.

“I en­joy the so­cial as­pect of it,” she said. “We help out in the com­mu­nity with dif­fer­ent projects.

“It’s a place women get to­gether to share skills and learn new ones. There’s a lot of ca­ma­raderie there, and a good place to go if you just want to re­lax and un­wind.”

There are women from 14 years of age to 90 in the or­ga­ni­za­tion that is one of the old­est and strong­est in the prov­ince. Dur­ing times when many of these in­sti­tutes folded, the Spring­dale chap­ter stayed ac­tive over the years.

Weav­ing has been a pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity for the mem­bers, but Foster’s pas­sion is rug hook­ing. She teaches oth­ers the tra­di­tional craft her mother taught to her.

The Spring­dale chap­ter will be do­ing a num­ber of things through­out the year to cel­e­brate its 80th year— in­clud­ing plans for par­tic­i­pa­tion in Canada Day ac­tiv­i­ties, host­ing a pro­vin­cial meet­ing in Oc­to­ber, and an an­niver­sary din­ner in Novem­ber on the of­fi­cial date of for­ma­tion.

Next week, in con­junc­tion with Women’s In­sti­tute Week, the Spring­dale Women’s In­sti­tute will be hold­ing an open house and af­ter­noon tea Tues­day from 2-8 p.m. It is free of charge, and peo­ple are en­cour­aged to come by and learn about the or­ga­ni­za­tion and meet the peo­ple in­volved.

Foster, an an­niver­sary com­mit­tee mem­ber, says it is a priv­i­lege to be in­volved in an or­ga­ni­za­tion so rich in his­tory.

“I think it is mar­velous,” she said, proud the chap­ter has per­se­vered through times in which vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions strug­gle with en­rol­ment.

Women’s In­sti­tute Week is from Feb. 19-25.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Joan Foster vol­un­teers with the Spring­dale Women’s In­sti­tute, an or­ga­ni­za­tion in ex­is­tence for 80 years this year, in­clud­ing teach­ing rug hook­ing. She is seen here with her piece, “Effie M. Mor­ris­sey at Bat­tle Har­bour, c. 1929.”

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