International Women's Day Celebrated in Elgin
Written in Part By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock & Elsie Steeves
Photos Top to Bottom;
1. 85 Women joined together in the Elgin Fire Hall Community Center to help celebrate International Women's Day
2. Author Deborah Carr, guest speaker for the day, receiving her certificate of appreciation from MC Moranda Vangeest.
3. Singers Donna Carty and Ruth Kristenson had everyone singing tunes of old.
4. Guest speaker Winona McLean receiving her certificate of appreciation.
5. Comedian Debra Steeves
International Women's Day Theme” Books"
Written By: Elsie Steeves
Moranda Vangeest was the emcee at the 9th Annual Women's Day Celebration held at the Elgin Community Centre. This year is the 100th Anniversary for International Women's Day. Everyone received a warm welcome at the door from Debby Leaman. Up words of 75-80 Ladies were present.
Healthy Living displays and W.I. materials were on hand. Every table had books on display for all to view. Everyone enjoyed the music by Donna Carty and Ruth Kristenson. The Audience sang along to the music titles of 1911-1918. Julie Kean Marks conducted a game titled "Sorts". This contest got everyone up and moving around.
Karen Davidson introduced the special speaker of the day, Deborah Carr, author of her book titled "Sanctuary." Her book tells the story of the life of Mary Majka from Caledonia Mountain. It depicted Mary’s life of passion, and many points of interest in her life. Mary Majka is a remarkable Lady. Publisher Goose Lane said this about the book: “Authentic. Original. Inimitable. Mary Majka is one of Canada’s great pioneering environmentalists. She is best known as a television host, a conservationist, and a driving force behind the internationally acclaimed Marys Point Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve on the Bay of Fundy. Sanctuary gives full expression to the intensely personal story of Mary’s life. A daughter of privilege, a survivor of World War II Poland, an architect of dreams, Mary Majka became a passionate environmentalist intent on protecting fragile spaces and species for generations to come. In this amazing story of determination and foresight, Deborah Carr reveals a complex, indomitable, thoroughly human being — flawed yet feisty, inspiring and inspired.”
Deborah signed and sold many copies of her book that day in Elgin.
Hazelanna Carter spoke about the 100th Anniversary of the Elgin W.I. which will be held June 25th and 26th at the W.I. Hall this. Anyone wishing to start up a Junior W.I. Group was invited to please contact Hazelanna at 756-2531.
Lunch Break was held, and just prior to lunch the Women's Institute Grace was sung. Elgin W.I. group provided the delicious lunch.
The other guest speaker of the day was Winona McLean. She spoke about her life achievements, famous people she has been involved with and events, present day. Winona is the Editor of the local paper " Local News and Views". This paper is published once a month from the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame located in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick.
Comedian Debra Steeves kept the ladies in stitches with her comedy act. Everyone joined in the Theme song, "I Have A Dream".
Stephanie Colburne spoke about the "Green Party", and she gave a list of ideas and concerns. Linda Goggin conducted an exercise break. Julie Kean Marks held a quiz of the daily events. Many thank you certificates were given out to those taking part. Hats off for a job well done to the Women's Day Committee, another very successful day and year.
A Brief History of International Women’s Day
By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock
100 years ago, the first International Women’s Day celebrations were taking place around the globe. In 1977 Canada supported the leadership of the United Nations by proclaiming a specific day to celebrate the existence of rights for women and to celebrate their achievements. This special day was, in part, brought about to help draw attention to and to resolve such issues as: violence against women, harassment and forms of sexual exploitation, discrimination and pay equity in the work place, and to bring attention to the terrible truth of poverty among many single moms and their children.
These issues remain unresolved, not only for women in Canada, but still greater in the developing countries. This is why we celebrate International Women’s Day, so that we are reminded that the job of equality is far from satisfactory.
In New Brunswick the suffragette movement began in the mid-19th century, but not until April 1919 were women allowed to vote. The fight for equality was far from over, for not until 25 years later were women allowed to stand for provincial public office.
Last year great gains were experienced during our provincial election with the greatest number of women running for office in New Brunswick’s history. Higher levels of Canadian women are earning university degrees, and women make up nearly half of the country’s workforce.
International Women’s Day was celebrated in Elgin with a near full house as women from Elgin, Salisbury, Petitcodiac, Havelock, Portage Vale and surrounding areas came together to honour and encourage women who have paved the way for a more equal world for women, and to encourage the generations to come.
Deborah Carr…Part of Her Story
It was a pleasure and encouragement to listen to Deborah describes the different stages of her life that lead her to where she is today, a successful author.
In 1999 at the age of 38, after working for the federal government for 17 years, Deborah made the difficult decision of leaving the security of this good job behind to find the life she desired. In her search she experienced new landscapes, false starts, failures, fear, and financial setbacks. In her pursuit for answers she reached into her memories of childhood, ran marathons, read many books and wrote for the Times Transcript as well as many other magazines. She discovered the importance of spending quiet reflective time alone. It was during these quiet times she looked inward, always seeking and testing her motivations, and paying heed to her soul’s whisperings.
Deborah drew comparisons between Mary Majka being 38 years old when she stood in a meadow on Caledonia Mountain and knew that this was where she belonged and herself being 38 when she handed in here resignation to start living the life she was meant to live.
It was passion and purpose that drew Deborah into the life of Mary Majka. Deborah wanted to learn how this woman achieved so much, where she got her energy and how she managed to get others fired up enough around her to support her and help her achieve her dreams.
Deborah learned that when she allowed her own authentic nature to shine and purposely allow space in her own life for the things that were dear to her heart, was when she truly discovered her own power and reason to be. She began to live, on purpose.
Mary’s nature showed Deborah that she bent for none, and accepted her strengths as well as her weaknesses without apology, understanding that they are opposite sides of the same coin. This was an important fact, for far too often we allow our perceived shortcomings to keep us from doing the things we were born to do. We have to learn to accept our shadows, as the necessary backside of our light.
In Deborah’s book ‘Sanctuary’ Mary’s story unfolds like that of a butterfly and every page brings the reader closer to the beauty of a good soul. Well worth the read.