Liz Johnson of the Sooke Mothers’ Union said the group is the last one west of the Great Lakes. At one time, the groups existed across the country. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke’s Mothers’ Union the last remnant of the group in Western Canada

Steady decline in Canada not the case in other parts of the world

The Mothers’ Union is a rapidly disappearing organization in North America, and Sooke has the last group in existence west of the Great Lakes.

It wasn’t always that way.

There were hundreds of Mothers’ Union groups in Canada and five active groups on Vancouver Island, helping young mothers learn the basics of how to care for and raise their babies, during the 1940s.

The groups were linked to the Church of England and the Anglican church and after their inception in England in 1876, their number grew quickly as one diocese after another formed their own Mothers’ Union.

But those were the days before public health nurses, readily available medical care, and a host of other services designed to help young mothers. It was also before social media and countless other resources were available to offer advice on how to be a good mother.

It was also during a time when churches were the beating heart of community life.

“It (the Mothers’ Union) started dropping off when people stopped going to church,” Liz Johnson, Sooke Mothers’ Union head, said.

“It started going down, down, down, just as the attendance at the church started to decline. Now there are a lot of grey heads in the church, but not as many young people.”

The Sooke Mothers’ Union now has only five members and it no longer provides guidance to young mothers. Instead, the group concentrates its efforts on participating in its one large, annual event – Apple Fest.

RELATED: Apple Fest an annual favourite

“We bake about 150 pies and put them up for sale. We donate the money we raise to the church and to a variety of charities,” Johnson said.

“That’s the main thing we still do, although there are some other activities we continue to do on a smaller scale.”

The Sooke Mothers’ Union members still serves food for the Sooke Philharmonic Society and the Ekoos Choir, and when a child is christened at Holy Trinity Anglican, they still create a banner with the child’s name that’s presented to the parents.

But the Mothers’ Union’s decline is not happening everywhere.

“The Mothers’ Union today still has more than four million members worldwide and it is particularly strong in Africa, India, and places like Myanmar,” Johnson said.

“Internationally, it’s still strong, but in Canada, I guess we’re part of a disappearing organization. But we’re going to hang on, and if there’s a need, we’ll be there to help.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Sooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Loose pets in the car can cost $109 fine, says Saanich cop, plus ICBC points

Unsecured pets at risk of injury, can lead to hefty fines

Weather cancelled 0.22 per cent of scheduled BC Ferries sailings in 2019

2012 was the worst for weather-related cancellations with 0.5 per cent

Former Belmont principal turns 15 in leap years

Ray Miller among the 0.07% of the population to have Feb. 29 as a birthday

Oak Bay adding stop signs to nine uncontrolled intersections

Residents on sleepier roads seeing more traffic, District says

Leap year babies from 1964: Where are they now?

Two kids featured in March 1st edition of Juan de Fuca News Review

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Most Read