Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Wi Celebrates Centenary -

The Women’s In­sti­tute was ac­tu­ally founded in Canada in 1897 as a com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tion for women. It first be­gan in Bri­tain in An­gle­sey, Wales, in 1915.

A main aim then was to en­cour­age women to pro­duce food dur­ing the First World War.

Their con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tion con­tin­ued in the Sec­ond World War. From 1939 they co-op­er­ated with car­ing for evac­uees, but, as in the First World War, the main con­tri­bu­tion was in grow­ing and pre­serv­ing food. Be­tween 1940 and 1945 over 5,300 tons of fruit was pre­served; that is nearly 12 mil­lion pounds of fruit which might oth­er­wise have been wasted, pro­vided food for the na­tion.

This was the war work for which WI mem­bers be­came renowned (and the ‘jam’ im­age has stuck ever since).

There are now about 208,000 mem­bers in 7,000 WIs in this coun­try.


Mar­garet Sil­li­bourne, vice-pres­i­dent of Or­le­stone WI, who baked the an­niver­sary cake, and pres­i­dent Joan Mon­sen

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