"God's Own Cornerstones: Our Daughters": The Saskatoon Young Women's Christian Association, 1910-1939
Wylie, Catherine Olive Tomlinson
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This study examines the activities of the Young Women's Christian Association in Saskatoon from its organization in 1910 to the end of the Depression. The Association was organized to further the Travellers' Aid work that had been started in the city by Deaconess Millicent Simcox, but it soon encompassed much more. within two years a residence building was built, an Employment Bureau was in operation, and an educational program including classes and clubs was initiated. The women of the YWCA believed that young women living on their own in the city were vulnerable to the immoral influences found in the city. In order to combat these influences, the YWCA women believed that young women needed to be built up physically, intellectually, morally, and spiritually. This four-fold aim formed the purpose of the Association. All the services and activities of the Association were geared to draw young women to the Association building. Once there, the process of characterbuilding could be undertaken. Young women in 1910 may have needed the protective services offered by the YWCA, but their daughters should have been in less need. Twenty years after the organization of the Association, a greater number of young women were in the work force and the experiences of travelling alone and finding work in a city were no longer uncommon. Despite these changes, the women of the YWCA were unwavering in their belief in the purpose of the Association. Had it not been for the problems of the Depression, the YWCA might have found their protective services to be outdated.