Volunteer Highlight: Women’s Auxiliary
The Women’s Auxiliary at the WDM Saskatoon got their start when the WDM Board asked for a women’s committee to be formed to help with household displays at Pion-Era in 1955 and 1956. In 1957, the group met to create the Women’s Auxiliary to the Western Development Museum with a mandate to help the Museum collect artifacts and care for domestic exhibits. Later added to their mandate was the demonstration of old-fashioned skills and raising funds to support Museum projects. In the early days of the WDM, the Women’s Auxiliary were crucial in collecting and restoring artifacts. One story tells of the women going door to door to ask for donations of items and doing restoration work like stripping paint and refinishing furniture.
For the past 66 years, the Women’s Auxiliary have been sharing their many talents and skills at the WDM. You may have seen them busy quilting and crafting in their Parlour in Boomtown or had a chance to taste their homemade butter and bread at Museum events. Besides demonstrating home skills such as sewing, spinning and knitting, they also sell their creations. Over the years, the Women’s Auxiliary have donated thousands and thousands of dollars to WDM projects. These include purchasing equipment for the Boomtown Café, buying computers, providing funds for gift shop, lobby and exhibit upgrades as well as making annual donations for general use. Their impact can be seen throughout the Museum. Whenever you purchase an item from the Women’s Auxiliary, these funds go back into the WDM.
Today, there are 22 active members of the Women’s Auxiliary as well as one life member. Besides crafting, they help with school and public programs as demonstrators, guides and helpers. They meet Tuesday mornings to craft together as well as hold learning sessions where they share their skills with each other. They are looking forward to the future where they plan to explore opportunities for more community outreach as well as recruiting more volunteers. The Women’s Auxiliary is one of the amazing groups who contribute so much to the WDM.
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For more information about volunteer opportunities at other WDM locations, visit Volunteering at the WDM.