A PROUD HISTORY
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