Our Histories, Our Hearts 

Click on the above picture for a short Windows Media Player clip (7.5 MB) from the Anglican Church Women (ACW) finished production.

Our Histories, Our Hearts tells the story of the Anglican Women's Auxillary and, after 1967, the Anglican Church Women or ACW: Their contributions to the church and to Canada since 1870.  In 1885, a bold group of seven committed women, led by Roberta Tilton at St. Georges Anglican Church in Ottawa, formed what became the Women's Auxillary or WA.  There is much we can learn from the stories of these women who were certainly not boring or dull.

In the nineteenth century, women could not vote, run for office or even own a bank account.  In Ottawa there were too many churches and not enough money for 'mission work'.  Under British law, women were not even legally persons.  The church was run by ordained men.  Women were not allowed to attend synods or other major church governing bodies, nor could they be ordained as priests or bishops.  Women got permission to become involved in fund raising and 'mission work' however.  Much of their work and their legacy is little known even though these women lived their lives with great courage, made great sacrifices, and developed Canada in ways that have now largely been forgotten.  This video has been adapted in Ken Burns 'Civil War' style from a slide show prepared by the Anglican Women's Unit for a conference in 1982.  Narrated by the Reverend Jessica Worden, it has been revised and greatly augmented by the Reverend Jim Collins with the help of the Ottawa ACW and archivists from across Canada.

Also included on the DVD is a promo version of Jim Collins' Taking Time - The Heroine of Hull as a special feature.  Starring Joanna Reynolds in the leading role of this twenty four minute docudrama, this is the related story of Bertha Wright who founded the Ottawa YWCA in the early 1890s and became Canada's first YWCA president.

Copies of Our Histories, Our Hearts DVD are available for a donation of $20 (plus $10 for shipping and handling) c/o: The Ottawa Diocesan ACW, 71 Bronson Avenue. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1R 6G6.  Please mark on the envelope "Our Histories, Our Hearts DVD".  For more information contact Leslie Worden at (613) 233-6271 ext. 243.  Produced by the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa ACW and Naklik Productions Inc. 2007

In 1910, Eva Hasell became involved as a fund raiser in the Archbishop's Western Canada Fund in England.  In 1914 she got a driver's licence and trained for mission work at St. Christopher's in London.  She came to Canada for the first time in 1920 and continued her ministry into the 1960s.  Every year she raised money in England during the winter and bought a new van to travel in different parts of western Canada to do mission work.  She is one of the women profiled in Our Histories, Our Hearts.  The link found by clicking on the above photograph tells something of her story.


A pdf of the presentation that was prepared is available here:



Some further related links are:

From the Manitoba Historical Society


From the Anglican Archives in BC


Reverend Jim Collins will not be presenting this documentary and a presentation about the production of Our Histories, Our Hearts at the Images of Incarnation - Histories of Anglicanism in Canada Conference at the UBC campus in Kelowna, B.C., June 24-29, 2009 as this conference has been cancelled.

http:// www.imagesofincarnation.ca


Updated May 11, 2009