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Oddie, Emmie - 1983
Olafson, Olaf - 1973
Oleksyn, Timothy John ( Tim ) - 2017
Oxner, Bertha - 1987

PortraitBertha Oxner

Bertha Oxner was small of stature but the organizational skills she brought to Saskatchewan loomed large in the difficult years of the 1930s and 1940s. Born at Chester Basin, Nova Scotia in 1885, she obtained her schooling at Chester Basin, Chester and Truro and taught school for a period before moving to Saskatchewan in 1908.

She taught at school in Saskatoon, Brock and Saltcoats. At Brock she is remembered for having instituted hot school lunches and this proved valuable for the children of homesteaders in the 1920s. She also set up a basketball league. After serving as principal at Saltcoats she left the school teaching profession to study household science at the University of Saskatchewan, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree. At Chicago University she earned a masterís degree and did post-graduate work in textiles and clothing.

In 1925 she came to the University of Saskatchewan as assistant professor in household science. With Ethel B. Rutter she helped plan the degree, bachelor of household science, which resulted in a school of household science at the university in 1928.

In 1930 Bertha Oxner was appointed director of womenís extension work. In this role she introduced a broad educational program for rural women and members of Saskatchewan Homemaker clubs. Through her guidance women were encouraged to expand their knowledge of agriculture, arts and letters, family law, public health and international affairs. Through a weekly column in The Western Producer she passed along program ideas and advice to the 350 Homemakers clubs.

She began short courses for rural girls in 1933 and helped launch Homecraft Clubs in 1938. In the first year 124 Homecraft clubs were organized.

She helped start Farm Womenís Week on the university campus. She organized the first Homemakers club on an Indian reservation and these spread across the province. She initiated short courses for Metis.

Bertha Oxner served on the board of the Canadian Association for Adult Education, the National Vocational Training advisory council, Canadian Association of Consumers, National Farm Radio Forum, Canadian Home Economics Association! Saskatchewan Physical Fitness Council, Saskatchewan Technical Education Committee and the Saskatchewan Farm Housing Committee.

She retired in 1949 and moved back to Chester, Nova Scotia.

"Nominated for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 1987
by University of Saskatchewan Division of Extension
and Community Relations, the Saskatoon and District
Home Economics Association and the
Saskatchewan Womens’ Institutes."

 

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