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The South Vancouver Island District Women's Institute included the following local Women's Institutes: Alberni, Brentwood (West Saanich), Cedar, Cobble Hill, Colwood, Cowichan, Craigflower, Deerholme, Esquimalt, Ganges, Garden City, Gordon Head, Granby, James Bay, Koksilah, The Lake (Lake Cowichan), Lakehill, Langford, Luxton and Happy Valley, Mayne Island, Metchosin, Mt. Maguire, North Saanich, Otter Point, Oyster District, Pender Island, Royal Oak, Saltair, Saturna Island, Shawnigan Lake, Shirley, Sidney, Somenos,Sooke, South Saanich, South Saltspring Island, Strawberry Vale, Tillicum, Victoria and Vimy.
The Women's Institute expanded into British Columbia in 1909 when Laura Rose of Ontario toured the southern part of B.C. for six weeks at the invitation of the Dept. of Agriculture. Fifteen branches were organized during that time and within two years there were twenty four branches with a membership of over one thousand. Over the years the numbers grew with women discovering the friendship, support and learning experiences of W.I. The organization was formed as a way to encourage camaraderie among women; its goal was for members to learn more about homemaking, child rearing, health issues and other concerns.
Nine years after the death of William George Bradshaw, his wife Sarah Payne Windsor Bradshaw left Placentia, Newfoundland on July 24, 1907 with her children for Victoria. Albert Bradshaw, Sarah's brother-in-law, accompanied the family on the journey. Her brother, Augustus Windsor, built a new home for her and her family in the Mount Tolmie area of Saanich. The family resided at 3701 Palo Alto Street until 1950.
Daughter Ethel May Bradshaw studied shorthand, typing, and bookkeeping in 1909. She briefly worked in the B.C. Hardware office and then at Coles & Oddy's. In 1910, Ethel took a stenographer position in Jordan River with the B.C. Electric of Vancouver Power Company. The following year she became engaged to Leonard Claude Lytton. She returned to Victoria and worked at the local B.C. Electric Company office. Ethel and Claude were married at St. Luke's Church on September 17, 1912 and approximately one month later moved into their new home "Oakdale" at 1941 Connaught Avenue (now Ernest Avenue). They had five children: Gerald Bradshaw (1913), Evelyn Margaret (1914), Brian Claude (1918), Roger (1923), and Beatrice Joyce (1927). Beatrice Joyce (known as Joyce) attended St. Margaret's School. She later married A.D. Wheeler.
The Hughes family lived at 3860 Savannah Avenue.
Bruce Lowther, born in 1926, was a journalist, broadcaster, author and historian with a particular interest in British Columbia labour history. His publication A Better Life: The First Century of the Victoria Labour Council was published by in 1989. From 1954 to 1976 he worked as a reporter and columnist for the Victoria Daily Colonist. He died in Victoria in 1999.
Margaret Ena “Peggy” Birkett (nee Gillies) was born in Victoria in 1925. She worked for the District of Saanich for 30 years, beginning in the Tax Department in 1943 manually checking the tax calculations. She died in 2011.