[Women's Institute Logo]

Hello and Welcome to the
Amherst Island Branch of the
Women's Institute


[1967 Centennial Parade]


The 1967 Centennial Parade in Stella

Our branch is one of the oldest in the federation. It was formed in November of the year 1900 and by May of the following year membership was 60, with Mrs. Duncan (Elizabeth) McDonald presiding. Some of her descendants still live on the island. It isn't surprising then that one of the biggest projects we've undertaken recently was a wonderful party/open house, held in November 2000, celebrating our 100th anniversary. We received greetings from the Prime Minister and the Premier, as well as from many others, both important folks and good friends, and the turnout at our party was just great - men, women and children from our community and from the mainland. We had a wonderful time. And we felt appreciated and renewed.

[Canada Day 2001 Parade]


Canada Day 2001 Parade in Stella



Our island is just a short ferry ride from Millhaven, Ontario. Historically it has been a farming and fishing community, and while we now number among us many retirees "from away", there is still considerable farming of livestock - sheep and cattle. Our year-round population is about 400 humans and many more livestock. The island is well known among birders for providing for viewing an array of owls and other interesting feathered creatures. And cyclists love to visit too.

In the village of Stella a number of services are offered to visitors, including an interesting General Store, a branch of the public library, a tea room and in summer, boat dock facilities, a restaurant, and a very interesting art and craft shop called the Weasel and Easel.


At present, the WI branch here has over 20 members; meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month. Location of meetings is often in a member's home, the Presbyterian Church Hall or the school gym.

[Members in 2000]

Our 100th Anniversary Celebration

Farmer's Market

Island Market

Book Sale

Book Sale

Planting Flowers at the Ferry Dock

Planting Flowers at the Ferry Dock



At the Annual Meeting in April, a new executive was elected for the current year, 2006-2007.

President - Jackie Sylvester

Vice Presidents - Kirsten Bennick and Claire Jenny

Treasurer is Stephanie Boissonneault

Secretaries - Nancy Henshaw and Mary Kay Steel

A few highlights from this year's program:


Island artists will graciously contributed their visions for this fabulous Island Sights calendar.
Our calendar will have it all;

ORDER NOW: Last year the calendar sold out quickly! Call Jackie at 389-1320 or Kirsten at 389-0636



In the summer of 2004 the W.I. spearheaded a committee to start restoration of the "Irish" dry stone fences on our Island. A stone mason was hired through funds from The Community Foundation of Greater Kingston and the Amherst Island Woman's Institute. Twenty-four community volunteers were taught the basics of restoration and 300 feet were restored on the west and north walls of Pentland Cemetery. The enthusiasm of the group promoted the additional completion of 100 feet on the Emerald 40 Foot at the Second Concession Road on the Hitchins farm.



This summer there is more work in progress at the Pentland Cemetery which required stone to be brought to the site.

The goal is to preserve the unique stone fences for future generations. Our gift to the community by community members.


To non-members: we welcome enquiries about our programs, and visitors to our branch meetings and to our island.

To everyone: this web page will be updated regularly so "keyboard" in often. Look for important announcements re upcoming meetings and other events.

Here are some links that you may also find interesting:


If you wish to come as a guest, or have any questions, please feel free to contact the Branch Secretary, Mary Kay Steel at 613 634-9772 or by email at marykay.steel@sympatico.ca.

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