Dr. Helen Geissinger

Watt commemorated as Person of National Historic Significance

‘Madge’ Watt was a charter member of the Metchosin Women’s Institute

Margaret “Madge” Robertson Watt left her mark on early 20th century Victoria and now she has been honoured with a Parks Canada plaque commemorating her as a person of national historic significance.

The British Columbia Women’s Institute and the Metchosin Museum Society celebrated this monumental occasion with a ceremony inside council chambers at the Metchosin Municipal Hall recently after rain forced organizers to move proceedings indoors.

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila, Museum Society president Larry Tremblay and Ruth Shanks, president of the Associated Country Women of the World, were among the speakers during the ceremony.

Watt’s great niece Helen Geissinger also spoke, recalling some of the memories she has of her great aunt, who passed away in 1948.

Geissinger told a packed room about her aunt’s determination, persistence and persuasiveness, skills she used throughout her remarkable life.

Watt, who was originally from Collingwood, Ont., graduated in 1890 from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Arts degree and was one of the first women to accomplish such a feat.

At 24, she was named editor of the Ladies Pictorial Weekly and in 1893 she moved to Victoria following her marriage to Alfred T. Watt.

In 1897, Alfred’s work as a doctor took the couple to the Quarantine Station at William Head, where they lived for the next 16 years. During her time in Metchosin, Madge became a charter member of the Metchosin Women’s Institute.

After her husband’s death in 1913, Madge moved to London with her children and helped introduce the concept of Women’s Institutes to British women.

She later helped establish the Associated Country Women of the World and was elected the organization’s first president.

Today, Associated Country Women of the World has nine million members in 70 countries. Watt’s plaque is located on the Metchosin Municipal Grounds.


Just Posted

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

B.C. getting less bang for its buck

B.C.’s CPI topped 2.7 per cent in April 2019, compared to two per cent for all of Canada

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read