In 1918 special interest was taken in the development of the youth of our community. The Rosser Women’s Institute took a major step in his endevour and worked with the Extension Service, Department of Agriculture of Manitoba, to organize Boy’s and Girls’ Clubs.
The territory covered in this work took in five school districts: Rosser Westfield School No. 750, East Rosser, West Rosser Prairie Star, Kensington School at Grosse Isle.
A meeting was held in the Municipal Hall at Rosser to form the organization and club officers were: Honourary President, Mr. Walter James, Grosse Isle; President, Mrs. W.H. Beachell, Rosser; Vice President, Mr. A.E. Ryan, Rosser; Secretary-Manager, Mr. C.R. Childerhose, Rosser. Contest leaders were baking and dairying, Mrs. O. Anderson; sewing, Mrs Burnell; canning, Mrs. W.H. Beachell; livestock, Mr. walter James; gardening, Mrs. Ross Bewell; poultry, Mr. E.R. James.
For the first number of years the club was known as the Rosser Boys’ and Girls Club and a fair was held every fall at ROsser. Later the name was changed to the Rosser Grosse Isle Boys’ and Girls’ Club and the fair was held each fall at alternate points.
The various projects had age limits to overcome unfairness and the leaders in each school district had the authority to organize work in that district had the authority to organize work in that district. The leaders gave guidance and had competitions in each project which included sewing, baking, canning, livestock, gardening, and poultry. Later woodwork and school work were added to the projects. The best work of the year was entered in the fair for competition and prizes were awarded. Grants of money were received from the government, municipality, Women’s Institute, schools and when these donations were pooled, this allowed for liberal prizes. Judges were sent out by the Department of Education. As the work advanced, leaders prepared demonstration on a chosen topic with teams of boys and girls taking part.
In 1924, under the guidance of Mrs. W.H. Beachell, a teal of three girls – Jessie Robertson, Eleanor Slagerman and Pearl Mulligan – with their demonstration “Milk Drinks” won second place and gold medals in the provincial competition.
In 1925 Pearl Mulligan, Marie-Winter and Frances Steeves, with their demonstration “Home Nursing” , won the top award. The girls along with their leader, Mrs. Beachell, were given a trip to the Toronto Exhibition where they were Manitoba’s representative in the Manitoba booth. They demonstrated on alternate days on “Home Nursing” and Manitoba Natural Resources and the work of the Women’s Institute in the province. They were also entitled to a six week course in home economics at the Manitoba Agricultural College.
In 1920 interest in the livestock project developed with Mr. Herb Corbett of Grosse Isle as leader of the calf club. He promoted the judging classes for cattle, horses and sheep and he took the members to farms and fairs where there were prize animals.
In 1928 Mr. Clarence James of Grosse Isle and Henry Steeves of Rosser organized a swine club and boundaries were extended to include Warren Club. This club thrived quickly and in a short time the members raised enough hogs to ship a carload in the fall and compete for provincial honours. Classes of boys and girls were trained in judging by their leaders and officials of the Extension Service. Two boys were chosen from the group to participate in a judging competition at Brandon fair. The swine club operated until 1939.
The boundaries of the calf club were extended to Warren in later years and this was known as the Warren-Rosser Calf Club. The members benefited greatly under the leadership of Mr. G Tait, Mr. Pat Tait, Mr. George Hamilton. Rosser members who received the Harry Leader Medal, a top award, were Dave Blair, Bily Blair and Bob Rutherford. This club drew interest for many years.
Through the years, a few clothing clubs were organized and thrived for a time and then disbanded due to changes in school district and decrease in membership and lack of leaders available.
In 1930, Mrs. Percy Beachell was leader of the Rosser Clothing Club organized under the direction of Extension Service Department of Agriculture, with Miss Elsie Mooney as her assistant director. An achievement day was held in June and Miss Mooney judged the girls’ work. Those winning were: Nellie McDonald, Yvonne Bonin and Merle Childerhose. Members of the Grosse Isle Clothing Club and their leader, Mrs. Craig, were also guests. The program was followed by tea and social time.
In 1950 a clothing club was organized under the Extension Service with Mrs. Lolyd Green as leader, assisted by Miss Fraser. There were eight members but only three completed full course for the year and the club was disbanded.