Shealah H.

Northern Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador


Women's Patriotic Association

The Women’s Patriotic Association (WPA) was founded in 1914 under the leadership of Lady Margaret Davidson, the wife of the Governor of Newfoundland. This island-wide association was formed to provide Newfoundland and Labrador soldiers with the necessities and comforts from home. To reach their mandate, the ladies knitted socks, other woolens and clothes for shipment overseas. To further support their mandate, the WPA collected monies through many fund-raising efforts.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

By the end of the war, the Women’s Patriotic Association collected approximately $500,00 in donations (worth about 6.5 million today). I believe this to be one of the most interesting things I learned because many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians had little money to spare .

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I learned many important lessons that I would like to share with other Canadians including, but not limited to, the importance of working together and helping others in time of need. Likewise, I also learned that regardless of the role pursued, everyone’s contribution to a project is of equal importance.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Amazingly, when I compare my life to those studied in my project, I discovered both similarities and differences. Today, just as in 1914, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians continue to contribute to many charitable projects. Unlike today, the women of 1914 did not belong to this beautiful country I call home, nor did they use technology to carry out their project.