Woman of the Week, Anna Templeton, Evening Telegram, 1945, December 29, p. 8
Miss Anna Templeton, who for the last six years has been Organizing Secretary of the Jubilee Guilds, sat in her newly decorated office in the Caribou Hut and invited admiration of the view of the harbor to be had from her window.
“We have only been here for three weeks,” she said, “and we aren’t properly settled. It’s much nicer than were our quarters in the Brownrigg Building. We had only two little offices there, whereas here we have a large room for weaving classes besides a stock room and offices. It’s a much nicer atmosphere, the surroundings are more cheerful and we feel we have room to move around. We hope to do good wrk (sic) here.”
In outlining plans for the future she said, “We hope to give experiment and refresher courses now that we have more room. Our plan is to set up a series of classes, in order to service the outports better. We feel that women could better learn weaving and other things we teach if we could take them in hand right here. Here we have the atmosphere of weaving and creative work, and the student absorbs more. Then, too, so many guild members come to St. John’s at different times and would love to join our classes whilst they are in town.
“Both members and field workers work under great difficulties too. Sometimes it is hard to find a place to set up a loom, sometimes it is too cold at the meeting place to do good work, sometimes the women are detained at home with some household duty. These difficulties would be overcome to a certain extent if women could come to our classes for instruction. Not that it is our intention to discontinue the service we give in sending field workers out. Not by any means. But the classes would supplement the work we are doing in the field.”
That the Jubilee Guilds are doing excellent work among the women of this country is evidenced by the fact that the branches are spreading so rapidly. There are now 107 guilds. The looms are locally made and there are 150 of them in use all over the country.
Speaking of the financial situation of the guilds Miss Templeton said, “We are almost independent. We get a grant from the government, but we have our own executive and we govern ourselves. It is important to feel independent, and to have women interested in the welfare of the other women in Newfoundland.”
“We have made good progress during the last few years,” she continued, “but it is essentially slow work. The art of weaving is ancient and it takes a long time to revive it.”
As to the wisdom of attempting to revive and [sic] ancient and, in some opinions, an outworn art Miss Templeton emphasized that the art was just as useful and worth while as hand knitting.
“We hope some day to make weaving available to the city folk, but our primary purpose is to encourage the art where it can do the most good - in the outports. That is where our work lies.
“Another thing we plan to do,” she went on, “is to introduce more readable literatureamong the members. We need booklets written exclusively for Newfoundland, on canning, home produce, home decoration and so forth. To date we have been using mimeographed literature, but we feel that is does not make attractive reading, and tha [sic] more members would be reached through the printed matter if it were properly published.”
“I’m afraid we have lost a worthy friend in Lady Walwyn,” she concluded. “Her interest was most sincere and she always found time to help us in numerous ways. We shall miss her sadly.”