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Membership Monday – Meet Sheila Needham

Sheila Needham

Sheila Needham

“We’re not good at tooting our own horn,” says Sheila Needham. Allow me, then, to share what I have learned about this WI gal!

As you will recall from a recent Membership Monday, Sheila Needham, the editor of the Quebec Women’s Institute Newsletter, graciously agreed that we could reprint the pictures and summarize the content of the Autumn/Winter issue. Her name has appeared here before on the FWIC blog. It was Sheila who alerted us to the fundraising projects undertaken by the Canadian WI’s in support of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). Sheila is the editor of the ACWW newsletter as well.

The ACWW has had a hand in improving the lives of women from all walks of life, and by extension, society as a whole. Endeavours include building hospitals, lobbying for access to fresh water, or funding projects to educate and empower women.

As it happens, our Sheila, who was recently elected Canada Area President of the ACWW, has been discovered by more than just yours truly. Not only did CBC Radio’s Susan Campbell interview her, Matthew McCully of the Serbrooke Record wrote a wonder profile piece titled Sheila Needham-Think locally, act globally. 

Sheila joined the WI 42 years ago. “My mother-in-law brought me to a meeting when I was first married,” she said. “I think that’s how most women get involved; a mother, a friend, an aunt, someone invites you to a meeting.”

To read more about this inspirational woman, click on the link below to download a .pdf copy of the newspaper article.

After you read the article, drop on by to Sheila’s Facebook page to wish her a happy birthday!

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Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

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