Ladies celebrate centenary of national institute
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.’