International Women’s Day 2020 – March 8th

The International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual.

Shared by Judy Toupin, Mattawa Museum Curator

On this International Women’s Day, I wanted to pay tribute to two incredibly strong women that I had in my life, my grandmother, Mary Blake and my mom, Shirley Blake.  As a grandmother now, I often look back at life lessons learned and these are the two women I learned those invaluable life lessons from.

Summer 1983
Mary Blake, Judy, Ashley, Shirley Blake
(l to r)

My grandmother taught me to cook from scratch, not fancy, but plain, delicious meals, with most of the ingredients coming from her garden.  She sewed and loved crocheting.  She gave birth to ten children, but raised 15.  When she was raising her family, her day started at 4 am, getting stoves lit for the homemade bread and whatever was going to be in her cookpot for supper, not to mention organizing this very large family, delegating tasks, making and mending clothing (can you imagine wash days!) all without indoor plumbing.  Her day didn’t end until after midnight, presuming she wasn’t caring for sick babies.  In later years, you’d be hard pressed to keep her from a bingo game!

Mom taught me how to plan things out, time management (long before it was a ‘thing’).  And nothing seemed to phase her; five people drop in at supper time? No problem, add more vegetables to the stew. She was of the ‘new’ generation, she worked outside the home, in addition to running everything at home, including  teaching us the everyday chores needed to keep our family running. She loved to golf , curl and volunteer.  Her retirement ‘job’ was driving school bus, which she loved.

Their strength, work ethic  and perseverance set the example.
Never give in, never give up and always finish what you start!
Thank you!

If you have more stories and photos to share about women who made a difference in your life send them to

International Women’s Day 2020 – March 8th

The International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual.

So put your arms out front and strike the #EachforEqual pose to motivate others and to make International Women’s Day YOUR day. Send us your photo.

We invite you to share stories, photographs of the special women in your lives (mothers, siblings, other relatives, mentors, teachers, coaches).

Photos and stories will be shared on March 8th on this website.

Your stories and photos should be sent to

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