Prince Edward District Women’s Institute

An organization for personal growth and community action

Congrats Christine Thornton 2023 Recipient of the PEDWI Bursary
For information on how to apply for the PEDWI Bursaries click on Education in the menu and then click on Scholarship.

Prince Edward District Women’s Institute was organized in 1908. The purpose of the District is to promote, supplement the efforts and increase the productivity of the Branches through District meetings and cooperative educational programmes. The District is comprised of Branch Institutes within Prince Edward County.
We are a District Member of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario

Motto: “For Home and Country”

These words outline the purpose of the organization.

  • Home” is the first priority, assisting women to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of home, family and work.
  • Country” starts with the community of which the organization forms a part, and extends throughout the nation and into the international field.

History of the Organization

The Vision of an Anguished Mother

The preventable death of an infant son led one anguished mother to realize that women needed access to greater knowledge to improve their skills in the arts of homemaking and child care led to the formation of the first Women’s Institute (WI) Branch in 1897 at Stoney Creek, Ontario. The idea spread and lecturers toured Ontario to share information and to encourage the organization of additional Branches. In 1908 several WI Branches were established in Prince Edward County and the Prince Edward District Women’s Institute was formed to link the Branches and coordinate their work within the County. Since then, Women’s Institute (WI) members have actively worked together for the betterment of member’s families, homes and communities. Their original focus – domestic science education – quickly expanded to include personal growth opportunities, health and community wellness initiatives, and government lobbying.

Provincially, we are part of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) which was organized in 1919 to give Branch members a stronger voice as a united group. FWIO’s educational programs and social events have created new opportunities for rural and urban women, locally and provincially. Nationally we are members of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada (FWIC) formed in 1919 to coordinate the work of the provincial groups and to allow them to speak with one voice for needed reforms and to initiate nationwide programs.

On an international level we are members of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) formed in 1933, to join world-wide Women’s Institutes and other similar women’s groups with common aims and objectives.

In 2022 Women’s Institute celebrated its 125th Anniversary.

Institute Ode

A goodly thing it is to meet
In friendship’s circle bright,
Where nothing stains the pleasure sweet,
Nor dims the radiant light.
No unkind word our lips shall pass,
No envy sour the mind,
But each shall seek the common weal:
The good of all mankind.

Mary Stewart Collect

Keep us O Lord from the pettiness: let us be large in thought, in word and deed. Let us be done with faultfinding and leave off self-seeking. May we put away all pretence and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice. May we never be hasty in judgement and always generous. Let us take time for all things; make us grow calm, serene, gentle. Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight-forward and unafraid. Grant that we may realize that it is the little things that create differences; that in the big things of life we are one, and may we strive to touch, and know the great human heart common to us all. And O Lord God let us not forget to be kind.

Women’s Institute Prayer

O Lord defend this institute with Thy Most gracious favour and direct us in all our doing with Thy wisdom, that they may be conducted in true charity and to the advancement of us, and also as well Thy honour and Thy glory that we may pass through the things of this world as not to lose the things eternal through Jesus Christ Our Lord. -Amen

Institute Grace

We thank Thee Father, for Thy care
Food, friends and kindliness we share.
May we forever mindful be
Of Home and Country and of Thee