Flamborough WI member contributes her story to Canada 150 book project

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Julia Lovett Flamborough Review

Imagine it is 1948.

A young woman is travelling alone with two children — one not yet a toddler. She is about to leave the land of her birth and her family, not knowing if she would ever see them again, and is just steps away from boarding a ship to take her to her new home: Canada.

This is how Judy Hughes’s story begins in the new book Ordinary to Extraordinary by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO). In celebration of Canada 150, they wanted to gather stories — 150 of them — from women about their lives over the years.

“All the different branches were sent out a notice about this and would they write their stories. Were they immigrants? Were they born here?” said Hughes, a member of the Lynden/Troy branch. “It’s really pretty fascinating."

Hughes was that baby in her mother’s arms on the pier in Southampton, England, before she, her mother and brother boarded the RMS Aquitania — a ship used by the Cunard-White Star Line in 1948 to transport war brides and their young families to Canada, often to join their husbands.

Once reaching Halifax, the ship docked at Pier 21. After going through immigration, the passengers received their landed immigrant status papers. Hughes’s family boarded a train to Toronto to meet family before finally joining her father outside of Uxbridge.

Her story is just one of many selected for the paperback that celebrates what it means to be Canadian through a variety of viewpoints.

“Some of these people, the stories are — for example — about an ice storm, and then there’s stories about Georgian Bay and Germany, and I’m assuming those are the people that immigrated from Germany and made the long trek to Canada,” said Hughes, who lives in St. George.

The book project was a large undertaking by the FWIO. In order to whittle down the submissions, a judging process took place.

“Once they submitted their stories, they were judged by area. So, we were considered to be the Hamilton-Wentworth area,” said Hughes, noting that each district went through the same process until they had decided on 150 stories for the book.

“I love the title, because it’s Ordinary to Extraordinary and it’s 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them. So, it’s really kind of a women’s book and story,” said Hughes. “Men, I’m sure, would really enjoy looking at this and reading this; however, it’s from a woman’s point of view.”

Now in her 70s, Hughes can take stock of what the women’s institute (WI) has meant to her life and how she raised her family. The little Troy schoolhouse where the branch members hold their meetings has become as much a part of them as it has to the folklore of the WI history.

“Each and every one of these gathering places is critical to the survival of the rural community where they are located. Having an affordable place to go for showers, birthdays, Christmas dinner, anniversary celebrations, reunions, weddings, to name a few, keep our community and WI connected,” Hughes noted.

“I am speaking from a rural point of view because that is what I know. I have raised my family in the rural setting and enjoyed entertaining our grandchildren in the rural setting. We forged enduring friendships in the rural setting,” she added.

Going through the book, one gets a sense of the real Canada and its pioneers. Immigrants and one-room schoolhouses played an integral role in the country’s development. Not all the stories are about newcomers — some are very much about native born Canadians who grew up in the bush or the city and faced harrowing times. Every story has its place in the Canada 150 book project.

“I believe the book will provide insight into the advancement of women during the 20th century — their struggles and their accomplishments — and in (the) future, be looked upon as a great read of personal short stories on the life and times of the women who wrote them to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada,” said Hughes.

Anyone interested in getting a copy for $25 can call Hughes at 519-448-1544.

Flamborough WI member contributes her story to Canada 150 book project

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Julia Lovett Flamborough Review

Imagine it is 1948.

A young woman is travelling alone with two children — one not yet a toddler. She is about to leave the land of her birth and her family, not knowing if she would ever see them again, and is just steps away from boarding a ship to take her to her new home: Canada.

This is how Judy Hughes’s story begins in the new book Ordinary to Extraordinary by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO). In celebration of Canada 150, they wanted to gather stories — 150 of them — from women about their lives over the years.

“All the different branches were sent out a notice about this and would they write their stories. Were they immigrants? Were they born here?” said Hughes, a member of the Lynden/Troy branch. “It’s really pretty fascinating."

Hughes was that baby in her mother’s arms on the pier in Southampton, England, before she, her mother and brother boarded the RMS Aquitania — a ship used by the Cunard-White Star Line in 1948 to transport war brides and their young families to Canada, often to join their husbands.

Once reaching Halifax, the ship docked at Pier 21. After going through immigration, the passengers received their landed immigrant status papers. Hughes’s family boarded a train to Toronto to meet family before finally joining her father outside of Uxbridge.

Her story is just one of many selected for the paperback that celebrates what it means to be Canadian through a variety of viewpoints.

“Some of these people, the stories are — for example — about an ice storm, and then there’s stories about Georgian Bay and Germany, and I’m assuming those are the people that immigrated from Germany and made the long trek to Canada,” said Hughes, who lives in St. George.

The book project was a large undertaking by the FWIO. In order to whittle down the submissions, a judging process took place.

“Once they submitted their stories, they were judged by area. So, we were considered to be the Hamilton-Wentworth area,” said Hughes, noting that each district went through the same process until they had decided on 150 stories for the book.

“I love the title, because it’s Ordinary to Extraordinary and it’s 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them. So, it’s really kind of a women’s book and story,” said Hughes. “Men, I’m sure, would really enjoy looking at this and reading this; however, it’s from a woman’s point of view.”

Now in her 70s, Hughes can take stock of what the women’s institute (WI) has meant to her life and how she raised her family. The little Troy schoolhouse where the branch members hold their meetings has become as much a part of them as it has to the folklore of the WI history.

“Each and every one of these gathering places is critical to the survival of the rural community where they are located. Having an affordable place to go for showers, birthdays, Christmas dinner, anniversary celebrations, reunions, weddings, to name a few, keep our community and WI connected,” Hughes noted.

“I am speaking from a rural point of view because that is what I know. I have raised my family in the rural setting and enjoyed entertaining our grandchildren in the rural setting. We forged enduring friendships in the rural setting,” she added.

Going through the book, one gets a sense of the real Canada and its pioneers. Immigrants and one-room schoolhouses played an integral role in the country’s development. Not all the stories are about newcomers — some are very much about native born Canadians who grew up in the bush or the city and faced harrowing times. Every story has its place in the Canada 150 book project.

“I believe the book will provide insight into the advancement of women during the 20th century — their struggles and their accomplishments — and in (the) future, be looked upon as a great read of personal short stories on the life and times of the women who wrote them to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada,” said Hughes.

Anyone interested in getting a copy for $25 can call Hughes at 519-448-1544.

Flamborough WI member contributes her story to Canada 150 book project

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Julia Lovett Flamborough Review

Imagine it is 1948.

A young woman is travelling alone with two children — one not yet a toddler. She is about to leave the land of her birth and her family, not knowing if she would ever see them again, and is just steps away from boarding a ship to take her to her new home: Canada.

This is how Judy Hughes’s story begins in the new book Ordinary to Extraordinary by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO). In celebration of Canada 150, they wanted to gather stories — 150 of them — from women about their lives over the years.

“All the different branches were sent out a notice about this and would they write their stories. Were they immigrants? Were they born here?” said Hughes, a member of the Lynden/Troy branch. “It’s really pretty fascinating."

Hughes was that baby in her mother’s arms on the pier in Southampton, England, before she, her mother and brother boarded the RMS Aquitania — a ship used by the Cunard-White Star Line in 1948 to transport war brides and their young families to Canada, often to join their husbands.

Once reaching Halifax, the ship docked at Pier 21. After going through immigration, the passengers received their landed immigrant status papers. Hughes’s family boarded a train to Toronto to meet family before finally joining her father outside of Uxbridge.

Her story is just one of many selected for the paperback that celebrates what it means to be Canadian through a variety of viewpoints.

“Some of these people, the stories are — for example — about an ice storm, and then there’s stories about Georgian Bay and Germany, and I’m assuming those are the people that immigrated from Germany and made the long trek to Canada,” said Hughes, who lives in St. George.

The book project was a large undertaking by the FWIO. In order to whittle down the submissions, a judging process took place.

“Once they submitted their stories, they were judged by area. So, we were considered to be the Hamilton-Wentworth area,” said Hughes, noting that each district went through the same process until they had decided on 150 stories for the book.

“I love the title, because it’s Ordinary to Extraordinary and it’s 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them. So, it’s really kind of a women’s book and story,” said Hughes. “Men, I’m sure, would really enjoy looking at this and reading this; however, it’s from a woman’s point of view.”

Now in her 70s, Hughes can take stock of what the women’s institute (WI) has meant to her life and how she raised her family. The little Troy schoolhouse where the branch members hold their meetings has become as much a part of them as it has to the folklore of the WI history.

“Each and every one of these gathering places is critical to the survival of the rural community where they are located. Having an affordable place to go for showers, birthdays, Christmas dinner, anniversary celebrations, reunions, weddings, to name a few, keep our community and WI connected,” Hughes noted.

“I am speaking from a rural point of view because that is what I know. I have raised my family in the rural setting and enjoyed entertaining our grandchildren in the rural setting. We forged enduring friendships in the rural setting,” she added.

Going through the book, one gets a sense of the real Canada and its pioneers. Immigrants and one-room schoolhouses played an integral role in the country’s development. Not all the stories are about newcomers — some are very much about native born Canadians who grew up in the bush or the city and faced harrowing times. Every story has its place in the Canada 150 book project.

“I believe the book will provide insight into the advancement of women during the 20th century — their struggles and their accomplishments — and in (the) future, be looked upon as a great read of personal short stories on the life and times of the women who wrote them to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada,” said Hughes.

Anyone interested in getting a copy for $25 can call Hughes at 519-448-1544.