Ladies cel­e­brate cen­te­nary of na­tional in­sti­tute

The Oban Times - - News -

LOCHABER women have marked the cen­te­nary of a na­tional in­sti­tute with a spe­cial af­ter­noon tea.

Mem­bers from the Lochaber Fed­er­a­tion of the Scot­tish Women’s In­sti­tute SWI) gath­ered last Satur­day (July 1) for a de­li­cious af­ter­noon tea in Dun­cans­burgh Mac­In­tosh Church, Fort Wil­liam.

Al­though Lochaber is the new­est fed­er­a­tion, it en­com­passes two of the old­est in­sti­tutes in the or­gan­i­sa­tion – Fort Wil­liam and Ari­saig.

The fed­er­a­tion en­com­passes five in­sti­tutes from Mo­rar, Ari­saig, Spean Bridge, Ard­gour and Fort Wil­liam.

Around 60 mem­bers and for­mer mem­bers turned out in their best hats to cel­e­brate the 100th an­niver­sary of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, founded in 1971 to give ru­ral women an in­ter­est, ed­u­ca­tion and com­pan­ion­ship out­side their homes.

Chris­tine Haynes, fed­er­a­tion chair­woman, wel­comed ev­ery­one be­fore in­tro­duc­ing guest of hon­our Sheila Sut­ton.

Mrs Sut­ton, who has been a mem­ber for 66 years, cut the cel­e­bra­tory cake.

Dur­ing her time at the SWI, she is said to have worked tire­lessly for the or­gan­i­sa­tion at lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els.

Mar­tine Young of the Lochaber Fed­er­a­tion said: ‘Ev­ery­one agreed the af­ter­noon was a great suc­cess and should be re­peated much sooner than the next cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions.

‘Many thanks are due to Mrs Haynes and her team of helpers for mak­ing it an af­ter­noon to re­mem­ber.’

Mrs Young added: ‘So much has changed for women in the coun­try­side over the last 100 years. Through the ef­forts of th­ese pi­o­neers, the lives of their grand- daugh­ters and great-grand­daugh­ters are be­yond what th­ese early women could ever have dreamed of; com­fort­able, cen­trally-heated homes full of labour-sav­ing de­vices, ed­u­ca­tion and a choice of ca­reers and em­ploy­ment, con­trol over their own lives with money to spend and the op­por­tu­nity to join in a wide range of so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.’

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