On a cold February morning, we ventured out along the icy banks of the Nith River. As we steadied each other and took in the scenery of Lion’s riverside park, a place we visit often with our families, as moms, and as friends, we were reminiscing about Adelaide Hunter Hoodless who lived not too far from Paris in St. George at one time. We knew that we would be seeking our WISH on the weekend of both her birth and her death (February 27, 1858 – February 26, 1910). Looking to draw parallels between our lives and Addie’s, 125 years ago at the formation of WI, we couldn’t help but feel that although life and lives change through time and as we age the river will always be there, a constant. The river as a constant we reflected how our lives run parallel to so many WI women, past and present. That parallel is that a woman’s spirit is constant like the river yet we are always moving forward toward progress and change.
The WI plaque we found is situated on a handcrafted wooden bench parallel to the Nith River, in Lions Park, Paris, Ontario. The park is a community meeting place, experienced in multiple ways throughout the seasons. The newly formed Paris branch of the Women’s Institute placed the bench at this location a few years back to encourage people to rest and enjoy the view.
WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN
“Women’s Institute invites you to take a
moment to rest and enjoy the view.”
Bench made by David Tisdale ~ 2018
The Women’s Institute has established deep roots in the Paris community in support of its core values of progress and change. At the heart of every community, there is a deep need for connectivity and reflection. The placement of the WI bench represents our community coming together and supporting one another.
While people take time to appreciate a view of the Nith River, the bench gives them a place to pause so that they can reflect on how life can be like the river, always there when they need it, yet flowing and changing.