An extraordinary achievement
Authors Cherry Bekkers, Diane Ceponkus, Mona Saunders, Russell Library CEO Claire Dionne, and authors Jane Adlard, Mary Inglis, Diane Wade, and Jean Williams pose with a new book which these local authors contributed to: Ordinary to Extraordinary: 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them. They were at the Russell Library where the Russell Village and North Russell Women’s Institutes each presented a copy of the book which features 150 stories by WI members in Ontario, in honour of Canada 150. Missing is author Carole McIllhaga.   Vetter photo  

Candice Vetter
Villager Staff
RUSSELL — The North Russell and Russell Village Women’s Institutes each donated a copy of a book put out by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario titled Ordinary to Extraordinary: 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them.

The donation took place at the library in Russell on Mon., July 24. The book project was begun five years ago to honour the 150th anniversary of Confederation this year. The FWIO put out the call for submissions, each one a short story from the life of a WI member. About 350 stories were submitted and those whittled down to 150 for the book.

The Russell chapters of the WI were very pleased that eight of their members had their stories featured, Cherry Bekkers, Diane Ceponkus, Mona Saunders, Jane Adlard, Mary Inglis, Diane Wade, Jean Williams, and Carole McIllhaga. All but McIlhaga attended the library presentation and signed copies. Saunders was also a member of the committee which first started the project. “We thought, what could we offer as a gift to Canada for the 150th anniversary?” she said. “So we invited people to write something of their life story.”

The book was launched at the FWIO convention earlier this summer in Pembroke, where it was greeted with great enthusiasm, as reported by local WI members who attended. Stories came from women in all walks of life, in communities large and small. It is published by Burnstown Publications.

Only 3,000 copies were printed, of which 1,500 were pre-ordered. To order a copy before they’re gone, contact Mona Saunders at 613-443-6336 by Aug. 15. Copies are $25 each.

After the presentation, tentative arrangements were made between the authors and library CEO Claire Dionne for the library to host a tea and stories night, possibly in late fall, where the authors could read from the book.