Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Woman of the Year
The Federated Women's Institutes of Canada is pleased to present the 2023 Recipient of this prestigious Award
Prince Edward Island WI
Miriam Lank was born in Meadowbank, PEI, the daughter of Charles and Flossie Hyde, also a WI member and community minded leader. Miriam attended Meadowbank School and Prince of Wales College where she received her teacher’s license and taught in East Wiltshire, where she often drove by tractor when access to vehicles was limited. She resumed her education when attending Mt. Allison University where she received her B.Sc (Home Ed Degree). After graduating and becoming a registered dietician and gained a life membership with the Dietician Society of Canada she has held many offices in the Association and in Government departments throughout her career. Coincidingly Miriam was also sessional lecturer at the University of Prince Edward Island in nutrition, and a product adviser for large entities including Culinary Institute of Canada.
She married William Lank in 1966 and lived on their farm in West Royalty, PEI until 1975, when they purchased a farm in Ebenezer, then later moved to Meadowbank to her original family home. Her WI memberships spanned both communities and currently she is a member of Meadowbank WI.
She and her husband had three children; Edward, Wilma and Wendy, and boasts on their 8 grandchildren, all of which were the highest of priorities in her life as she took time from her career to raise their family. While continuing her career and volunteer time Miriam always personified Adelaide Hoodless’ approach of family comes first while serving in leadership capacities.
With the influence by husband and Miriam, her children have all reached university graduate study levels and too have made major impacts on Canadians in their chosen professions - a further testimony to family strength, commitment and inspiration instilled from their parents.
Miriam endured through incredible heartbreaking challenges, as she faced immeasurable loss with the passing of cherished family members including her sister, husband and son within short periods of time from each other, and while serving on the provincial board, and as President of PEI Women’s Institute. Miriam’s inspirational resolve was instilled in others as she consistently proclaimed, “you just have to carry on” all while demonstrating a strong faith and dedication for “Home and Country”, strongly emulating WI’s origins.
Miriam works tirelessly on several boards and volunteers in several key committees and capacities. Some of these have included exhibition judge, School boards, Church boards, Meals on Wheels, Hospice PEI, and has been a Sunday School teacher and 4-H leader to capture a brief at-a-glance of service in PEI.
Recently, Miriam was honored in receiving the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Medal award. In February, 2023 Premier Dennis King recognized Miriam and other WI women as contributing immeasurable hours to improving the lives of Islanders, particularly those living in rural settings. At the time Miriam Lank was serving as President of the provincial PEI Women's Institute, an organization with branches in 70 communities across PEI.
Miriam joined Women’s Institute in 1975 and has been an active member since then, serving twice on the board including the position of provincial President, during the time of a global pandemic. She has held office of vice-president, president, treasurer and convener at local and provincial levels, and has served at the national level of the Federated Women’s Institute of Canada (FWIC). She has represented PEI Women’s Institute at world ACWW conferences in Australia and recently in Malaysia. She has a strong knowledge of national, provincial, educational and administrative affairs, and has been actively supportive of activities at all levels while giving solid foundational advice while exhibiting a keen sense of humour. During her time as President when so many organizations have been suffering in reduction due to the pandemic, PEIWI garnered 57 new members under her leadership. She has also represented the provincial board at gatherings across the province where she continues to be sought after as a guest speaker.