Monday, January 10, 2011

Eaton's Women's Club - Winnipeg Manitoba 1940 - Amanuensis Monday

For 2011, I've decided to participate in Amanuensis Monday at least once a month. This is a blogging theme created by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch and it's meant to encourage the transcription on-line of family letters, journals, audiotapes, etc. I'll be interpreting this quite liberally as I have a number of projects on the go.

Today in the interests of family research, I'm sharing a 1940 article about the Eaton's Women's Club that I've transcribed from Contacts, an employee newsletter published by the T. Eaton Company. This includes some photographs and a number of names of
women who worked for Eaton's including my mother who worked at the store in Winnipeg before she joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps. She had saved a few issues.

When I first read this newsletter, I was interested to see on the front page a piece about the opening of Eaton's in Vancouver BC, where I live. In 1940, my mother wouldn't have had any idea that she would end up living here and shopping in that store. (But by 1940, my mother had been to the coast here several times and she had liked it.)

I had known she was active in the Eaton's Women's Club but she had never said much about it. She did mention the curling club though. The Women's Club's activities are sometimes mentioned in Winnipeg newspapers, although I haven't found an article relating to this event. (In case you are wondering, yes, there was an Eaton's Men's Club too.)

Of course, I was happy to see my mum's photos and to read about the club's activities. However, I was specially excited to see that this newsletter piece was initialled by my mum, JMS = J. Muriel Scott.

Hazel Bailey to Head Eaton Women's Club
Marjoria Moore Tells of Family Bureau's Activities

The Eaton Women's Club sat down to a gleaming flower-decked table to partake of a tempting and delicious turkey dinner in the Grill Room on Thursday, January 18th .This was the annual general meeting and despite the number of reports presented the atmosphere of enthusiasm was not dulled.

We were thrilled to have Mrs. Reid of the D.A. office, sing several numbers for us. She was ably accompanied by Miss Goodman of the Music department.

Miss Marjoria Moore, Executive Director of the Family Bureau, was our guest speaker. She gave us a very interesting account of what the Bureau is and what it does. She said that while they had no authority behind them they were backed by the Federated Budget, the Winnipeg Foundation and the Junior League. For this reason they could only help those who came to them or called them. Their work comes mainly under two headings:

1. To Cure Social Illness. She said social illness knows no favorites. Their work lies in helping people to help themselves and to help us and others to help people find themselves.
2. Preventative Work. They make every effort to make home life stable and avoid breaking up homes.

We were particularly interested in Miss Moore's talk because it was through the Bureau that we were able to do some welfare work through our club at Christmas. We were thrilled to hear a little about the distribution of our stockings and to know that it was really “Santa Claus” in several homes.

The New Slate of Officers Brought in for 1940

Hon. President ....................Miss K. M. Kerr
President..............................Miss Hazel Bailey (40)
First Vice-President.............Miss Hazel Scarle (236)
Second Vice-President.........Miss Norma Douglas (1203)
Secretary..............................Miss Muriel Scott (291)
Treasurer..............................Miss Eva Stewart (Life Assurance)

Convenor of the Membership Committee—Miss Sarah Bragg (205). Members—Miss M. Wylie (7), Miss G. Lyons (1203), Miss J. Marshall (206), Mrs. M. Stacey (2).
Convenor of the Entertainment Committee—Miss Elsie Linley (221). Members—Miss M. Barber (147), Miss M. Hoffman (1203), Miss S. Lay (206), Miss I. Sutton (161).

The retiring president expressed her thanks to the 1939 executive for their loyalty and co-operation, and particularly to Miss Kerr for her untiring effort and enthusiasm. Miss Kerr then voiced the sentiments of the members when she thanked Miss Morrison for all the work she had done in her quiet way during the two years she acted as president of our club.

We would like to express our thanks to Mr. Elders and his staff for the exceptionally fine dinner and service.
—J. M. S.

Photograph descriptions:

1. Left to right—Misses Muriel Scott, K. M. Kerr, Lillian Morrison, past president; Marjoria L. Moore, guest speaker; Ida Bailey.
2. Left to right—Misses Mary Otto, Eleanor Harvey, Jean Marshall, Helen Goodman, Mrs. Reid.
3. Muriel Scott takes over the secretaryship.
4. Misses K.M. Kerr, honorary president; Lillian Morrison, retiring president.
5. The new president, Miss Hazel Bailey (40).
6. Retiring president Lillian Morrison calls for suggestions to further 1940 activities.
7. Misses Margaret Kirkpatrick, Gladys Ham, Irene Sutton.
8. Wouldn't it be great if all vice-presidents had a smile like this! Miss Hazel Searle (236) first vice president.
9. Too bad the girls didn't turn round so we could see their faces, but in the back row, left to right facing camera, can be seen Misses Margaret Bowering, Sarah Bragg, Bessie Lucas. In the foreground, left to right, are the Misses Sigurdson, Thornton, Amison, Beavis.
10. Also smiling at you is Mabel Barber, entertainment.

The numbers after some names are for the departments the women worked in.

From Contacts, Published weekly by The T. Eaton Co. Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba. For distribution to the Co-workers of the Organization. Monday 29 January, 1940. Vol 11, No. 5, page 4.

Eaton's was a major department store in Canada from the 1880s to 1999 when the company went bankrupt. CBC Archives has more about its history, Eaton's, A Canadian Institution. Sears Canada bought the Eaton's assets and the Archives of Ontario now has some of the company's archival records ( T. Eaton Co. Fonds F-229). Some of the records relating to employees are restricted however. See the Fonds description for the full note on restrictions. There are other records at the Archives of Ontario relating to Eaton's as well.


M. Diane Rogers said...

For anyone in the Winnipeg area - the Winnipeg Foundation, helping people since 1921, is on-line: and on Twitter: @winnipegfdn and on Facebook.
The Winnipeg Foundation's 90th anniversary party is this Sunday, 16 January 2011 at the Manitoba Museum which is free that day. My mum would like it if you supported the Foundation!

Free Genealogy Guide said...

I think you were incredibly fortunate that your mother not only kept these issues of the company newsletter, but that her picture appears several times in the one you have transcribed.

Teena in Toronto said...

It's great hearing old stories. I just signed up for on Friday ... it's amazing the amount of info I've encountered about my "past".

Happy blogoversary :)