The women who came to early Manitoba as wives, mothers, teachers and housekeepers deserve a special recognition. Many left comfortable or even luxurious homes in Eastern Canada or in the old countries and came to primitive houses on the bare Prairies. They wrestled with cold in winter and heat in summer. With no conveniences, there was water to carry, wood to split, food to prepare and clothes to make. Gardening, poultry and milking were considered women’s work. Over all, there was loneliness to contend with.Neighbors were miles away and often there was no means of travel.
A special mention must be made of the women who came from Europe to start new homes. Along with all the other hardships, there was the language barrier. Yet all these women bore their children, cared for their families in sickness and health and still maintained a sense of balance and an ambition to strive for something better.
This hope spurred them on to encourage the organization of schools and churches. “Our children must be educated and must learn the word of God.” They organized community events, concerts, dances and socials. They became the Women’s Institutes, the Red Cross workers and turned their hand to all the deeds of the volunteer worker. Later they helped to organize music, art and drama festivals to help develop a culture for Canada.
So we salute the Unknown Pioneer Women of Manitoba.