The beginning of the Women’s Institute in Canada was under the leadership of Adelaide Hunter Hoodless. Mrs. Hoodless held a strong belief that women should be encouraged to raise their standards of nutrition, sanitation and care of their family. This would be done through educating women on methods to becoming better homemakers.
The first Women’s Institute in Canada was formed in February 1897. Prince Edward Island saw its first official meeting in March 1913.
The PEI Women’s Institutes are well known for supporting numerous community, municipal and provincial efforts. Such as the annual Roadside Clean-up (began in 1973) in mid-May, community beautification projects, community hall restoration, support to schools, fundraising (Queen Elizabeth hospital), baby or wedding showers, variety concerts, card parties, Christmas celebrations, “Meet-your-neighbour” nights, and visiting manors and senior’s lodges.
The Women’s Institute state their purpose as follows, “Women being a voice, taking action and creating change in PEI communities.” Their mission is, “Women’s Institute is an educational organization focusing on the family, personal growth and community action.” It is easy to see their purpose and mission in action, with all they are involved in and support, especially their fundraising efforts for the Queen Elizabeth hospital and many Island hospitals.
The Eastern Kings area began with eight Women’s Institutes in the communities of East Baltic, East Point, Elmira, Kingsboro, North Lake, Priest Pond, Red Point and South Lake. Currently, the East Point group is the only group still meeting. The movement to one Women’s Institute in this area has been a result of factors, such as, declining membership and busy family lives for the younger generation.
The East Point Women’s Institute continues to meet once a month to address any new business, participate in an educational program and socialize with each other.