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Archives & Rare Books • Displays

YWCA 1905-1995


The "Berlin" YWCA was founded on April 14, 1905 by a group of women who first met at Zion Church, Weber Street, Kitchener. Following the example of groups in other cities, these women wanted to set up an organization which would provide for both the spiritual and the physical needs of young women--particularly those women and young girls who were coming from rural areas to work in the rapidly industrializing Kitchener area at the turn of the century. To serve this purpose the YWCA set up a wide variety of programmes and facilities for working women as well as programmes for students and mature women.

The fact that these women were undertaking to establish a YWCA did not go without comment in the community--the local YMCA had just closed due to monetary difficulties and the men felt it would be impossible to finance the new organization!

Founding Board of Directors - list (Click for Text Version)

Shown here is the original ledger book containing the Minutes of the first Board meeting in 1905. The group that evening was addressed by Miss S. Little, Secretary for the Dominion YWCA who gave "a very instructive talk on the work of the organization."

Cover of 1905 Ledger Minutes of the first Board meeting 1905

The Board quickly set up a wide variety of committees to carry out necessary activities. One of the more unique was the "Factories Committee." Shown here is the list of those factories that assigned members would regularly visit in order to encourage young women working there to use the YWCA.

List of factories

To The Early Years

Return to : Displays | Young Women's Christian Association of Kitchener-Waterloo

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