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Jan 9 1901


The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario January 9, 1901


The adjourned meeting of the Woman's Art Association met for the transaction of business in Confederation Life gallery this morning at 10:30, Mrs. Dignam, the president of the association, in the chair. The reports and work of the various committees were first considered. The Library Committee reported a small balance from the lecture given in December. The advisability of combining the Reading Committee with the Library Committee was considered, and it was decided that this should be done, as one could work into the other's hands. It was recommended that the members of the Reading Committee take up the study of costume, in view of the proposed entertainment in the spring. The Work of the Modelling Committee reported that the class in the new work was fairly started, with a few members. The Saturday Night Sketch Club proposed holding meetings at the houses of its various members until the first of April, the first meeting to be held at the house of Mrs. Dignam, St. George Street. Mrs. Dignam considered it advisable to form a Room Committee to assist. Miss Denison in seeing to the general housekeeping affairs of the studio. It was decided to form such a committee. The Furnishing Committee is to be called together at an early date to look after some necessary repairs and innovations in the line of furnishing the studio. A Finance Committee was also formed to supervise the financial affairs of the association, which at present need some steering as the income from members' fees does not cover the expenses, funds received from lectures, etc., being necessarily appropriated for rental. It was considered a good idea to cut down expenses by omitting after the March meeting to send printed cards of information of the date of meeting, and to advertise in the newspapers instead. The Finance Committee is to be composed of the following ladies: Mrs. Lily, Mrs. McLaughlin, Mrs. Long, Mrs. Fletcher Snider, Mrs. Proctor, Miss Clark, Mrs. Jarvis, Mrs. Lennox, Mrs. Ritchie, Miss Tye and Miss Wattlington. The date of the spring exhibition was fixed for the last two weeks in March, when a series of entertainments will be given under the auspices of the association, probably to take the form of impersonations of famous pictures, also a lecture by Capt. Graves on Indian curios.

Six names were submitted for membership to be voted upon at the next meeting. Miss McLeod, Miss. Tait, Miss Widner, Mrs.MacKay, Mrs. DeLaporte and Miss May Reid. It was moved by Mrs. Elliot and seconded by Mrs. Lily that a vote of thanks be passed to Mrs. Hanenstan for her most delightful lecture last week. The meeting then adjourned.


At the regular monthly meeting of the Women's Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A., held this afternoon in the Y. M. C. A., parlors. Rev. Mr. McTavish of Central Presbyterian church gave an earnest and thoughtful New Year address. The only business transacted was the reading of the reports of the last month's work by the secretary.


It has become such a very ordinary affair nowadays to see young people wearing eyeglasses, and so many people really feel the need of them, that the idea that people wear them "for effect" has almost worn away. That was a most ridiculous supposition but it held the fort quite bravely for a little while. I remember once being asked during a visit to the aged Women's Home by a quaint old lady who was over ninety and still did not wear glasses. "Tell me dearie, do 'ee wear 'em to make 'ee look clever?" There was no malice in the question, though it cost me a lot of good-natured guying from some friends who were present. Certainly there are many reasons why eye weakness should be more prevalent than it was in the days what our grandmothers were young. There is much more reading--particularly night reading--done than formerly; young people are greater students than ever before, and even though electricity and gas are much more brilliant aids to sight than the candle and the oil lamp. I am not convinced but that the softer light of a shaded lamp placed in correct position is not a hundred per cent better than either electricity or gas. The rising generation promises to be even more generally "double-eyed" than this, and perhaps the kindergarten, excellent in so many ways, may be somewhat to blame for this. Some of the leading eye specialist in our city are speaking in no measured terms of the injurious effect upon children's eyes of the perforated cardboards used so much in kindergarten work. "A good kindergarten is the very gate of heaven." Says Mrs. Eva D. Kellog in an educational paper. But is it--if it gives us a generation of weak-eyed, headachy young people. There is at present a crusade being carried on by many prominent oculists against what is termed "the latest sight destroyer--the veil." Of course there are veils--and veils. These filmy bits of gossamer net are a great boon to women in many ways. One of these ways is the fact that she can go down town on a rainy or muddy day if she wears a veil and on surveying herself in the mirror on her return finds that she is not an absolute scarecrow. In travelling, a veil keeps painfully intrusive bits of soot and dust from under one's eyelids, and, lastly and most importantly, veils (like charity) cover a multitude of sins (of complexion). So, much-"for," and now for the-"against." These beautifully convenient little articles of dress are being condemned wholesale as being of lasting and permanent injury to the sight. Lovely women are said to be considering the advisability of adopting a veil which will leave the eyes uncovered and cover the rest of the face like a Turkish woman's yashinak. The best veil of the kind now in vogue is a fine gossamer net, without the spots which worry the poor tortured eye by giving it continual dodging exercises. And the most injurious is the net which is both patterned and spotted, and of course these are bad or very bad in proportion as their dots are large or small, scanty or close. Do without a veil if you can but if you think you cannot, "of two evils choose the lesser."


The new century produces, or rather introduces, to our gaze another thoroughly new woman, who is willing to be "a new" woman, not through any fondness for the adjective, but because she believes in being a helpmeet to her husband. This woman is the wife of the Rev. Chas, H. Vail, until a week ago pastor of the First University Church, Jersey City, Rev. Mr. Vail has decided that he can best help the cause of humanity and Christianity by becoming the Social Democratic candidate for Governorship of the State. Mrs. Vail, in answer to a unanimous call from his congregation, is to occupy her husband's pulpit temporarily at least. The congregation are anxious for her to remain permanently or at least until Rev. Charles Vail shall again signify a delay in return to his pastoral duties. Mrs. Vail is a very clever woman of pleasant, unassuming and gentle appearance. She is a graduate of the same theological seminary as her husband. She is a clear thinker and an eloquent earnest speaker. As she has no children, she feels quite free to take up this work--she says, in defence of her position, which has of course been much and diversely criticized: "According to the tenets of the Universalist Church, my sex has equally as good a right to preach as has the masculine. I think women are as well fitted to be ministers as men and that they can exert the same moral influence. In some ways I think they are better fitted for it than men. For instance, women are more sympathetic. They can carry consolation to people who are in trouble and can get at people's hearts in a way a man never could. "As to the objection that women are a great disadvantage in the pulpit, that they have not the self--possession, the eloquence, in short, the physical ability to make their voices reach their hearers, without a noticeable straining effort which destroys effects. I think that is all a matter of personality. Some of the poorest preachers I ever heard were men and some of the best were women. Women are certainly as well fitted to grasp the problems of theology as are men. They can reason and solve an abstruse problem as readily as the members of the sterner sex, though that again is entirely a question of personal ability."


Perhaps the solution of the "color question" in the States is going to be brought about by women after all. It's time they had a try at it at least, as the men seem to have made rather a botch of the affair of late. In the Congress of Mothers held in Des Moines, Ia, which I have mentioned before, the colored women were well represented and well treated. If there is any way of getting the brute instinct eliminated from the men of the colored race it can surely be done by the mothers of that race, in their teaching and upbringing, more readily than by these barbarous and horrifying lynchings. Educate and enlarge the horizon of the colored woman and your problem is already half solved. American women are recognising this fact and acting accordingly. Miss Shaw, vice-president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs in the State of Illinois has brought the matter before the clubs under her jurisdiction in the form of this question: "Do you approve of admitting colored women's clubs to the State Federation?" Only four clubs have replied so far--the Eighty-four Club unanimous for the admittance of colored women's clubs; the Mothers' Study Club, also unanimously in favor; the Outlook Club, majority against; Advance Club, majority in favor. The Outlook Club does not appear to be very well situated as to its view point, but if the present proportion is preserved the decision will be in favor of admitting. Luck to the colored clubs.

Buffalo will have another item added to its already large stock of attractions for 1901. The New York State Federation of Women's Clubs (New York is probably the banner State for clubs), will meet in Buffalo in October, 1901.


A singer who lived in a sunny land
Poured forth a song so full of cheer,
The murmurer, list'ning, forgot his plaint,
The mourner to shed his tear,
"O! what a happy lot is hers!"
Said the toiling world as it heard,
"To pour forth songs as carelessly
As joy from the throat of a bird."

"Alas," I said (for art is long,
I have trodden its weary way and know),
"Could you but dream of the struggle and woe
That come in the pauses of her song.

Orelia Key Bell

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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