At a regular Sewing Circle meeting on August 11, 1937, women from the small communities of Roosville, Grasmere, and Western Pine discussed the state of their community services and the looming spectre of World War II. They decided to reach out to ‘build bridges in the community.’
The name Triangle Women’s Institute was coined to reflect the three communities in the area. The formation of the Institute was a unanimous decision from Roosville-Grasmere-Western Pine, and soon 22 members had joined!
The first directors included Mrs. Black, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. McDonald, Mrs. Gorrie, and Mrs. Campbell. Elected officers included: President, Mrs. Black, Vice-President, Mrs. McDonald; Secretary-Treasurer Mrs. Morrow.
Meeting initially in the abandoned Depression Relief Camp, the ladies joined the Federated Women’s Institute. It linked them closely to unfolding events affecting women across Canada and the world.
Gaining a sense of solidarity, the women planned their first Harvest Supper event on September 11, 1937. Soon the TWI was operating on both a local and global scale.
The women lobbied for regional road and postal delivery improvements, enhancements to border openings at the Roosville Customs, and many other community-building undertakings.
Sponsoring local dances and card parties, catering suppers, and holding bazaars, the TWI’s influence reached as far as the Fernie Hospital to assist with hospital programs and the care of community members.
TWI Members soon joined from neighbouring communities such as Elko, Newgate, Waldo, Baynes Lake, and Gold Creek.
With strength in numbers, the TWI was soon involved in the War Effort, regional education developments, health, and all levels of community service. These commitments have moved forward through time to the present, changing the quality of life in the South Country.
Today the Triangle Women’s Institute represents the growing power and strength of rural women, working locally, regionally, and globally for a better world.