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Authority record
Corporate body

Women's Missionary Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1881-1962

The Women's Missionary Society (WMS) of the Methodist Church of Canada had been organized in Hamilton, Ontario, on 8 Nov. 1881. In Newfoundland, in 1882, Rev. T. H. Janes, minister, George Street Church, St. John's, organized the first Auxiliary in Newfoundland with Mrs. John Steer, President, Miss Julia Milligan, Secretary, and a membership of twenty-five.

Other Auxiliaries followed and on 18 Nov. 1915, the Newfoundland Branch was formed. By the time of church union in 1925, the total membership of the organization - Auxiliaries, Mission Circles, Mission Bands, and Little Light Bearers was 4,124.

The Women's Missionary Society brought together in 1925, with Church Union, the Women's Missionary Societies of both the Presbyterian Church and Methodist Church, as well as the Canada Congregational Women's Board of Missions. The aims of the organization were wide-ranging, and involved youth, the community, and overseas mission work.

By 1962 when the WMS and the Woman's Association were disbanded and the United Church Women took their place, the work of the WMS was quite extensive. In addition to the usual office holders, Departments of the organization included Christian Stewardship, Mission Circles, Canadian Girls in Training and Explorer groups, Mission and Baby Bands, Associate Members, Supply, Community Friendship, Literature, Candidate Secretary, Missionary Monthly and World Friends, Christian Citizenship, and Press. Organization of the groups parallelled the organization of the United Church, with Conference, Presbytery, and congregational levels of the WMS.

At Cochrane Street congregation, the organization was part of the church from the beginning. The whereabouts of the majority of the records of the WMS at Cochrane Street are unknown. However, Board documents demonstrate the extensive involvement of the women within the church in this organization. The group at Cochrane Street celebrated their silver (25th) anniversary on 5 Mar. 1924, and continued as an organization until it was superseded by the United Church Women in 1962.

The annual reports of the congregation give a summary of the work of this organization as do the various Boards and Committees of the church.

Women's Patriotic Association. Trinity Branch (Trinity, N.L.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1914-1948

The Women’s Patriotic Association (WPA) was formed in 1914 by Lady Davidson, wife of the governor of Newfoundland. Its purpose was to provide assistance to men serving overseas and to dependents at home, by knitting garments, preparing bandages and raising funds for materials. The WPA was dissolved in 1921, but was re-formed in 1939 under the direction of Lady Walwyn. The Trinity branch was formed at that time.

From 1939 to 1945 members of the branch made quantities of knitted goods for men serving overseas. The branch remained active throughout the period of the second World War. In 1948 the Association disbanded. Any remaining funds were donated to the Red Cross Society.

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