Associated Country Women of the World

Sometimes, life is so fragile and so lively all at once!

The phone rang, I picked up the receiver and heard my fellow Quick W.I. member's voice. Auktje is on the other end of the phone and has something to show me. I decided that is must be important as this 89 year old wouldn't call just to chat. Its not her style.

 Our matron member Auktje Oosteroff, her years of active involvement with Quick W.I. dates back several decades, she was a member in Holland before immigrating to Canada.
  I dropped what I was doing and drove over on a sunny day to have tea and gluten free cookies in her lovely country home.

This lady may look elderly, but we are all going to be there someday. I missed a prime photo hung on her wall, her prize she pointed to on the wall, a lynx rug! The photo of her holding her prize and the dead lynx speaks volumes of the kind of life many W.I. women live in rural Canada.

Auktje is a crocheter extraordinaire, her home is well groomed with comfy wraps all hand made by her nimble hands and she turns 90 years old this year! She proudly explains that all her dozens of grandchildren have afghans made by Grandma Auktje.

Her call was supported by our conversation about the broad aspects of Women’s Institutes and how we are connected across the world through ACWW, She spoke eloquently and carefully, pausing to remember all the ideas she had to help educate our newer members.

She handed me her leather pouch with ACWW 18th Triennial Conference Killarney, Ireland 1986. I was so touched and as I read the stories of the great work done across the world it made me realize how much I should have agreed to be the Q.W.I. delegate to the upcoming Triennial Conference in Victoria. What was I thinking?

In 2005, the ACWW Tsunami Disaster Fund kicked in to help survivors with this disaster.

Recovery in Action was well publicized with photos of how the Tsunami Disaster Fund assisted with badly needed supplies to help survivors return their broken lives to some normality. Kindergarten children were given new uniforms, textbooks were donated to students, fishing nets were given to families for a return to fishing livelihood.

Why do we have those pedometers to help us remember to walk more and keep track of our km’s to exercise more? These two ladies walked past the terrestrial globes placed beside Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  This idea was adopted by ACWW and began to organize a major event in which women everywhere can take part. Keep on walking, check out the Countrywoman magazine Jan/March 2011 issue.

This is my walking partner, Captain Rusty.



  1. Hi Carli, I am so glad that you posted this...its so nice to see a picture of Auktje, my gardening friend. The flowers around her house is living art from spring to fall, and her vegetable garden is huge, work enough for several people. She is an amazing woman.


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