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The Famous Five: Heroes for Today
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Reading: Nellie McClung on Women's Organizations


Nellie McClungI am glad . . . that I kept alive my own ambitions even when it would have been much easier to become "a home-loving heart who had no thought beyond her children."

                —Nellie McClung, 1931

As mothers were so busy, they had little time to be publicly active. Still, many women took leading roles in their communities through their churches and local women’s clubs. They advertised and prepared food for festivities, such as Thanksgiving and Dominion Day. They lobbied local councils to improve classroom conditions and provide basic healthcare services to their communities. In some cases, the women even took these responsibilities upon themselves. Through these activities, women acquired and practiced the leadership and organizational skills they would later use to fight for province-wide causes, including prohibition and female suffrage. Poster advertising dance

For the most part, mothers remained committed to their own families. As well as providing for their basic needs, women raised their children to be hard-working, responsible adults, who would contribute to society. Many women testified to the reward of spending time with their children and watching them grow up. As Henrietta Muir Edwards said, "Motherhood is one of the greatest of God's gifts."

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