Manitoba Historical Society
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MHS Centennial Organization: Brandon YWCA

The Brandon Young Women’s Christian Association opened in 1907, in a three-storey building on 14th Street. Two years later, the organization moved to a new site on 11th Street and the Brandon YWCA was formally incorporated by an Act of the Provincial Legislature. A building at 148 – 11th Street was unveiled in 1917, built in part with a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Brandon businessman Henry Meredith. In 2002, the building was named Meredith Place in recognition of this early support.

Through the years, the Brandon YWCA has offered a variety of services to the community, including a Business Girls’ Club; a New Canadians Club; wartime services; classes in English language, self-improvement, employment, and literacy; teen clubs, and a day care. Y’s Choice Consignment Shop offered clothing and household goods between 1962 and 2002, and the Westman Women’s Shelter opened on the third floor in 1978. In particular, the YWCA has been a safe refuge for rural women who moved into the city for job training and employment. Since the 1980s, Meredith Place with its 21 bedrooms has served women and men in need of housing. The YWCA initiated a Women of Distinction and Award Program to recognize the exemplary achievements of local women and it sponsors a “Power of Being a Girl” conference for girls aged 11 to 13. It offers networking luncheons and counselling services.

A Centennial Organization Award was presented to the Brandon YWCA by MHS President Harry Duckworth on 4 June 2011.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brandon YWCA Building (148 - 11th Street, Brandon)

Memorable Manitobans: Henry Meredith (1844-1917)

Page revised: 4 June 2011

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