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University Archives & Special Collections, MG 1. (Patrick Hayes)

Beyond Campus

Community Progress

This image pictures Community Progress judges, U of S President Walter Murray and women’s editor of the Western Produce Violet McNaughton, sitting in the foreground with eight women in ethnic dress standing to the rear.

This image pictures Community Progress judges, U of S President Walter Murray and women’s editor of the Western Produce Violet McNaughton, sitting in the foreground with eight women in ethnic dress standing to the rear.

In the middle is Miss Canada in a white dress with Canadian flags on her cuffs.  She also sports a belt and hat adorned with maple leaves.

The competition was the brainchild of Dr. W.J. Black of the Colonization Department of the Canadian National Railway. 

Each of the Prairie Provinces was to have their own competition with cash prizes, donated by the CNR, given to the top three communities.

Dr. Murray wrote the following in an article published by the Queen’s Quarterly entitled Continental Europeans in Western Canada:

“To be eligible for the competition, a community was to consist of a municipality or a group of six or more school districts with a population of at least 75 per cent of immigrants of the first or second generation from Continental Europe. The communities were to be judged by their progress in Education, in Agriculture, in Citizenship and in the Arts, Handicrafts and activities that minister to the home and social life.”