Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 55 > Page 33 - Clara Buffett Remembers Hilda Wright

Page 33 - Clara Buffett Remembers Hilda Wright

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (2127 reads)

Clara Buffett Remembers Hilda Wright For 25 years Citizens Service League has fought for Glace Bay, meeting im? mediate needs head-on with a clothing depot, programs to repair sul>standard houses, nursery schools aimed at giv? ing all children a fair start,and an on? going homemakers program. Based at Town House, Citizens Service League volunteers provide meals-on-wheels, bookcarts at hospitals, and visitors for the elderly. They organize specific mini- programs from literacy to cooking to courses in home nursing • whatever it takes to provide services the people of Glace Bay need and otherwise would not have. Hilda Wright was the founder of Citi? zens Service League. Recently, we talked about her with Clara Buffett. Clara Buffett. Glace Bay: Hilda was another woman that was way ahead of her time. She was born in Dur? ham, England. And during her life--I don't think Above: Clara Buffett. was an excellent student. Right: Hilda Wright. by any means. But, growing up, she wanted to be involved in church work. Now, she would be Anglican. So finally--by the dint of hard work, I guess, I don't know--she did get to the University of Durham. And she became a social worker--church social worker. Well, the church wasn't going to have much to do, in England, with her. Even when she died, even in the 1970's, they didn't want very many women in the church. And so she said, "All right. I'll come to Canada." So, there was a (woman in England). And she had a group that she used to send (people) out to Canada, to Western Canada, to teach Sunday School to the people who lived up in Rabbit Pond, and Snake River, or wherever, in Saskatchewan--mostly Sas? katchewan- -way , way up north. And they would have to go by horseback; and they had sort of a caravan. But knowing that awful black soil they had there in the spring, you know, because you just--you sink down in it. But she did that, I don't know how many years. Then she went back to England. She worked in a big mental hospital there in northern England, as a social worker-- alcoholics.... But always behind it was this feeling that, "I want to be a part of the church. I want to be allowed to do church work from within the church." As it was, she was on the outside, you know. And so she came--she said the freest place was Canada. Came to Canada again. And this time I think she went out to British Co? lumbia. And she did get a little church. But she went into that as a social worker. But she was then still running sort of a little Sunday School, social-worker thing. (Was she considered a minister within that church?) No, not at that time. But the work that she did there--and there was ev? idently an old rundown church. And she got the people and said, "You know, you need a church. There's no cohesion in your envi? ronment. Let's take that--there's lots of lumber here. Let's take this old church and re-do it." Which she did. And she was up on top of the roof, or down at the bot? tom, or whatever it was. She would be that 33
Cape Breton's Magazine
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