Tag Archives: united church

Canadian Girls in Training

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Canadian Girls in Training

 

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Photo- Lanark & District Museum

The Explorers who met on Thursday evenings in the United Church in Cowansville, Quebec worked on getting stars and eventually the “E’ pin which promoted you to C.G.I.T. The C.J. I. T. gals wore cool middy blouses and navy  blue skirts and their meetings opened with devotion and singing followed by a small “business” meeting. Then meetings would proceed with a social portion, often consisting of games or crafts and treats. I wonder if I could say that mission statement today.

 

 

CGIT was established in 1915 by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and the major protestant denominations in Canada as a means of promoting Christian living in girls aged 12-17. The CGIT movement was started by four young Canadian women: Winnifred Thomas, Olive Ziegler, Una Saunders, and Constance Body.

As World War One continued overseas Thomas, Ziegler, Saunders, and Body looked at the lack of leadership roles available to young women at home and the need to provide service opportunities for girls.  The four women formed the Canadian Advisory Committee on Co-Operation in Girls’ Work, financed by the YWCA, to study the interests and needs of female youth.

The Committee and CGIT movement was female dominated in its leadership and argued that girls should have opportunities equal to boys to serve their country in wartime and that training opportunities were needed for female self-betterment.

 

Sandy Dobie– I remember having to iron those cotton blouses. If you were a young teen in a small town you likely belonged.

Sue Johnston– I was a CGIT gal….loved the uniform

The years 1916-1917 saw the Committee attempting to determine what style of education would be most useful for Canadian girls.  The overwhelming majority of existing scholarship on religious youth education was focused on boys and the Committee hoped to design a program that reflected the needs and wants of female youth.  The first CGIT program was published in 1917 in a booklet called “Canadian Girls in Training — Suggestions for the Mid-Week Meetings of Sunday School Classes, Clubs, etc., for Teen-age Girls”.  The booklet’s popularity greatly contributed to the establishment of the CGIT movement nationwide.

The YWCA financed the CGIT movement for the first five years while it worked to become established on local, provincial, and national levels. By 1920 CGIT groups were being run across Canada and emphasized providing young women with the same opportunities that were available to young men, training girls for humanitarian service, and providing a safe space for personal and religious growth.

CGIT also served as leadership training for many young girls and the movement flourished with local groups being organized. In 1933 there were 40,000 members in 1100 communities across Canada. Retreat weekends, summer camps, leaders’ councils, and conferences sprouted up across the country providing additional leadership and skill building opportunities.

The early years of CGIT saw discussions of working with the Girl Guides of Canada however it was decided that the values of the two groups did not align.  CGIT disliked the emphasis Girl Guides placed on the accumulation of badges and competition.  Rather CGIT maintained that activities relating to physical, intellectual, religious, and service development should be undertaken for their own enjoyment and value. A Girl’s Standard issued by the CGIT provided guidelines for girls to measure themselves by and after 1920 the CGIT Purpose summed up the goals set by the organization:

As a Canadian Girl in Training
Under the leadership of Jesus
It is my purpose to
Cherish Health
Seek Truth
Know God
Serve Others
And thus, with His help,
Become the girl God would have me be.

 

In the 1930s the CGIT broke ground with its inclusion of sex education and its use of The Mastery of Sex by Leslie D. Weatherhead to provide appropriate sex education.  This education was often framed around the need to provide guidance for future wives and mothers.  However this emphasis on family life was frequently paired with sessions on vocations, talks from professional women, and the promotion of post-secondary education.

Author’s Note– I don’t think I remember sex education in my small rural town:)

 

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This another photo from Kathleen Anne Palmer-O’Neil.. this is a Girls’ Conference, Iroquois Ontario, November, 1928. Looks like the CGIT (Canadian Girls In Training) to me? Anyone remember that? I know I was in them briefly.–Charles Dobie Photo

CGIT did not aim to radically change female roles in Canadian society.  Rather it aimed to promote female influence in already accepted female spheres.  It placed considerable emphasis on the role of women in Christian education, the home, and the community. CGIT provided spaces for women to engage in self-discovery, intellectual pursuits, and community leadership roles.

Membership declined nationwide following World War II but continued to thrive in numerous small communities. The community anniversary I participated in was one of those regions where CGIT continued to thrive through the 1950s and 1960s. After 1947 the movement was under the direction of the Department of Christian Education, Canadian Council of Churches. In 1976 the organization became an independent ecumenical body and is now supported by Canadian Baptist Ministries, Presbyterian Church in Canada and the United Church of Canada.  

The decline in membership can unsurprisingly be linked to the decline in mainstream church membership. Parents and youth are looking outside of the church for extracurricular activities, and leadership opportunities for young women can be found in a diverse range of organizations today.–by Krista McCracken

 

 

 

historicalnotes

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  04 Mar 1970, Wed,  Page 39

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  12 Feb 1959, Thu,  Page 20

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  21 Mar 1947, Fri,  Page 27

 

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

relatedreading

 

Among the Strangers There Was…

The Eaton’s Sewing Girls

September Morn and the Dancing Girls?

Anyone Know anything about The Whoop La Girls Camp

You Better Work it Girl! Cover Girls of Carleton Place 1965

 

 

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The Carleton Place Men’s Choir and Douglas Halpenny — Linda’s Mailbag

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The Carleton Place Men’s Choir and Douglas Halpenny — Linda’s Mailbag

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May 21 1953–CONCERT BY THE CARLETON Place Male Chorus in the town hall, Carleton Place, Tuesday evening, May 26th, at 8.30 p.m. Also novelty number, “Tale of a Hat.” Admission, adults 50c, students 25c.–Almonte Gazette

 

Last week I posted a social note from the Almonte Gazette and Blaine Cornell commented on it wondering if there was more information about the Carleton Place Mens Choir.  I had also posted a photo on the Lanark County Genealogical Society page last week of *Douglas Halpenny. Douglas used to live in Carleton Place and began with the Carleton Place Men’s Choir and then went on to bigger things in Ottawa as a popular baratonist.

The Carleton Place Mens Choir’s director was William N. Stevenson who was also an *organist at the Zionist United Church. From the research I did I think they were around in the mid to late 50s. There was also a Lanark Choir too that Doug Halpenny sang in also.

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal31 Oct 1952, FriPage 34

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal26 Apr 1952, SatPage 4

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal01 Mar 1956, ThuPage 4

 

 

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*William Stevenson–March 7th, 1953     Willoughby – Gardiner Wedding At Zion Saturday       Zion United Church, Carleton Place, was the scene on Saturday afternoon, at three o’clock, of the marriage of Miss Irma Margaret Gardiner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gardiner, and Mr. David Willoughby, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Willoughby, all of Carleton Place. Rev. N. T. Holmes officiated in the church, which was decorated with Spring flowers and ferns. The wedding music was played by Mr. William Stevenson, and Miss Dolores New was the soloist. Given in marriage by her father the bride was attended by her sisters, Miss Nora Gardiner, as maid of honor, and Miss Marlyn Gardiner, as bridesmaid. Mr. Ivan Gardiner, brother of’ the bride, was best man and the ushers were Mr. Bill Nichols and Mr. Raymond Chambers. The bride wore a floor-length gown of white slipper- satin with a yoke and sleeves of sheer nylon net, and an overskirt of matching net. A matching headdress held her shoulder-length veil of nylon net and she carried a bouquet of red roses. Following the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents. Going away the bride wore a navy blue suit with navy and red accessories. Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby will make their home in Ottawa. Among the out-of-town guests were: Mr. and Mrs. John Snider, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Willoughby, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Willoughby, Mr. and Mrs. Darrahl Thomas,  Mr. and Mrs. Howden Day, all of Smiths Falls . Mr. Ray Warren and Diane, Mr. and Mrs. Doug Burke, Ottawa; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Ireton, Mr. William Gardiner, Mr. Norman Gardiner, Perth; Miss Ann Chaput, Renfrew; Miss Marjorie Pye, Shawville; Mrs. Milford Taylor, Beechy, Sask.

 

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*Douglas Halpenny–Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 05 May 1950, Fri, Page 20 Douglas Halpenny on the right from Lanark who was always in demand for singing.. When he wasn’t doing his chores by day he was singing by night.

 

 

 

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*Douglas Halpenny–Clipped from The Ottawa Journal05 May 1950, FriPage 20

 

1951         McGill- Willows Wedding Boyd’s United Church—Boyd’s United Church was the scene of a pretty autumn wedding on Thursday, November 1st, at 12:30 o’clock, when Rev. N. T. Holmes, of Carleton Place, united in marriage Ethel Feryn, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Russell H. Willows, of Boyd’s Settlement, and John Rivington McGill, B. S. A., son of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. McGill, of Pakenham. The church was prettily decorated for the occasion with a bank of ferns and chrysanthemums. Mrs. Franklin Boyd played the wedding march and Mr. Douglas Halpenny was soloist. The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, looked charming in a floor-length gown of French lace over net over satin. The gown, designed on simple lines had a slightly gathered skirt from tight-fitting bodice, buttoned from waist to neckline with tiny satin-covered buttons. The small Peter Pan collar was decorated with seed pearls and sequins, and the tight-fitting sleeves ended in points over the hands. Her three-quarter length veil of net and matching French lace, fell from a tiny Juliet cap of the same material, decorated with seed pearls. She carried a cascade bouquet of American Beauty roses and lily of the valley. Miss Elva Willows, sister of the bride, was maid-of-honor, and wore a floor-length gown of pale pink frosted organza over taffeta, also designed on simple lines similar to that of the bride. Her mittens and flower headdress were in matching shade, and she carried a nosegay bouquet of pink and white chrysanthemums. The bridesmaids, Mrs. Kenneth Strong, of Carleton Place, and Miss Ellen Willows, sisters of the bride, wore gowns of pale blue frosted organza over taffeta, of similar design to that of the maid-of-honor, and their accessories were also in matching shade. They also carried nosegay bouquets of pink and white mums. Little Heather Ann Willows, sister of the bride, made a very sweet flower girl in a floor-length dress of yellow nylon, with matching bonnet. She carried a tiny nosegay of bronze and yellow baby mums. Mr. Hubert McGill, of Toronto, acted as best man for his brother, and the ushers were Mr. Wesley Craig, cousin of the bride, and Mr. Robert Rivington, cousin of the groom. Mr. Douglas Halpenny, sang “The Lord’s Prayer” prior to the ceremony, and during the signing of the register “O Perfect Love.” Following the ceremony, a reception was held for about 60 guests, after which the young couple left on a motor trip to points in the eastern United States. The bride travelled in a suit of navy blue gabardine, with white blouse and other accessories of navy blue velvet. her topcoat was of white camel hair, and she wore a corsage of American Beauty roses and

 

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

Related reading

 

The Adventurous History of the Mississippi – Linda’s Mailbag

How Did Carleton Place Get the Name Cartoon Place? Linda’s Mailbag

Patsy Williams from Carleton Place and Uncle Ray’s Mail Bag

Ya call that a Snowstorm? Linda’s Mailbag

Were You the King of King’s Castle in Carleton Place? Linda’s Mailbag

Debbie Dixon and The CPR Bridge Incident in Carleton Place–Linda’s Mailbag

Linda’s Mailbag- Blasts from the Past

So Who Got Shot? Linda’s Mailbag

 

 

 

Is This the Way to Sell Something in Carleton Place?

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The United Church is up for sale once again. I have no idea if the deal went through– but it does not look like it. It makes me sad to see such a glorious building for sale for so long. In California they had an open house at the former Paranormal Activity home that was in the movie.  The house had been up for sale for $749,000 and no takers. Whether it was staged or not, it got the home in the news, and the video went viral. Do we need to get this drastic? Sometimes, you have to look outside of the box. But, I am always outside of the box, what the heck do I know. LOL

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