Helene (Heese) Toews, seated, is honoured by Katie Dyck with a fruit basket, circa 1972. At a Conference of Mennonites in Canada meeting in 1945, Toews read a paper to a gathering of women on “the true role of women” in which she argued that women could work for God’s kingdom outside the realm of the family. Inspired by Mennonite women in other provinces, she resolved to help organize the women of the United Mennonite Churches of Ontario. In May 1947, the United Mennonite Women’s Mission Society of Ontario (later Ontario Women in Mission) was founded; Toews served as president until 1961.
For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see archives.mhsc.ca.