Wonderful Women

I know some wonderful women whose names you’ve likely never heard.

They aren’t famous.  But each has done something special to help others in her community.

Blog Photo -- Mr and Mrs. Claus - Eddie Grant Photo

Photo thanks to Eddie Grant

Raphaelita Walker was the wonderful Mrs. Claus, a role she performed at the Jamaican Canadian Association in Toronto every Christmas for more than 40 years. (Her husband Gifford was Santa Claus.)

The children loved her. Adults loved her. Being Mrs. Claus was just one of Raph’s contributions to her community.

Raph celebrated her 90th birthday in December. She died on Valentine’s Day. 

Thank you, dear Raph, for all you’ve done, for so many.


The other women are members of my church community.

Book Photo At Launch with Jane

Jane Carson, a retired teacher, musician and painter, has attended St. Thomas’ church for decades. She’s done much to help families here and abroad – particularly families with small children. But Jane’s most quiet ongoing ‘ministry’ is sending cards and letters to people who she thinks need to be cheered up. Thank you, Jane.

Blog Photo - Olive Ormiston who knits prayer shawls

Olive Ormiston makes prayer shawls. She’s one of the main knitters at St. Thomas’ Anglican. They create the shawls for those going through a tough time: personal or family illness, bereavement, and other times that test one’s soul. 

Every shawl is blessed by St. Thomas’ Anglican’s priest, Canon Claire Wade. Claire herself is a woman of wisdom and great strength.

Blog Photo - Canon Claire blesses prayer Shawl

Photo by Hamlin Grange

Joanne Schuetzl helps to distribute the shawls. Having survived some scary health challenges herself, Joanne keeps an eye out for others in the community who may need a prayer shawl, and gently approaches them.

Blog Photo - Cynthia and Joanne

Joanne and Cynthia at Wedding

Hooray for these women and other stars in our communities!



Filed under A Good Home, Canadian Women, Wonderful Women

66 responses to “Wonderful Women

  1. An inspiring accolade to some wonderful women. It is such a delight to read about these special women who quietly go about helping and doing special thing for the needy, the elderly, families and the children. God Bless them all. ♥♥♥

  2. There are so many women that contribute in big and small ways everyday. I am glad that you highlighted their stories.

  3. Beautiful tributes to wonderful women by an always thoughtful woman.

  4. Thanks for this, Cynthia. On this International Women’s Day, it’s nice to hear of some extraordinary women going about their ordinary lives.

  5. Cynthia, this is a beautiful tribute to the wonderful women in our communities who work to make life better for all. A Happy International Women’s Day to you! 🙂

  6. Thank you for celebrating women who are wonderful. Cheers to all of them!

  7. Happy International Women’s Day Cynthia. This is a superb tribute to women accomplishing great work, quietly or in the background. ❤ ❤ Help doesn't need to be loud or grandiose. 🙂

  8. What an incredibly inspiring group you have! Happy International Women’s Day to you all!

  9. A wonderful, holy community of women. there are many Mary and Martha’s there.

  10. Oh, yes! Happy International Women’s Day wherever you are! We can each make a difference.

  11. Beautiful Canadian women–like you, dear Cynthia.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  12. Thank you for sharing such an uplifting post!! You are so lucky to be surrounded by these wonderful ladies. Tina

  13. It’s SO right to be focusing on women like these–they make the world go ’round!

  14. Laurie Graves

    How lovely to read about these women! A much needed ray of light in dark times.

  15. Quelle belle espérance : il existe toujours des personnes qui ne se lassent pas de faire du bien autour d’eux et de contribuer à rendre le monde meilleur !

  16. Cheers to all these wonderful women – and you! – who keep in touch with the needs of your community and devote themselves to people in need, even of just a smile.

  17. Murtagh's Meadow

    A lovely post celebrating those wonderful ladies who keep our communities going. Perfect as we’ve just celebrated International womens day.

  18. It’s nice to have good people for friends, and they all sound like great people.

  19. Here I am, late again! I forgot it was International Women’s Day until I was reminded of it a day late!
    There are so many women like your friends, who quietly go about doing good in their communities all the time. Wonderful women, all of them. We have recently lost just such a lady from our church; she died suddenly of a stroke just after Christmas. Oh, she is missed so much!
    I was so amused by the photograph of you and your priest, Canon Claire Wade. She has such a beautiful smile!

    • She does have a great way about her. You’re right! sorry to hear about your friend at church. That must have been such a shock.
      I hope you and Richard and the young ladies are all doing well.

      • Thank-you Cynthia; we are all fine. Our friend’s death was a great shock. She had her first stroke on Christmas Eve and seemed to be recovering but then had another which killed her. She was the kindest woman I knew and everyone in the benefice had benefitted from her thoughtfulness and generosity.

  20. awww…thank you for this excellent post about women!Cynthia, it is so important the things these women do in their communities. What rich lives they gave to this world.We all have these sweet souls right where we live. I have been attending a bible study fellowship (BSF) International group the past few months in our area. It is an international community. About 300 women from all over our community gather to study the Bible. We are all different ages and from different Christian denominations. We study and discuss in small groups. No one tells where they are from just gather for a few hours to study and listen to a lecture. We are studying John. From these gatherings I have met wonderful women from all our great metropolis of 500,000…each one one working in their churches….we are all connected…lovely post.

    • Your group sounds wonderful, remarkable! Thank you for sharing this, Robbie. We are all connected, indeed. And one thing that we can do differently from the prevailing culture is to honour the things that ordinary people do so well to help make our worlds go around.

  21. Lovely post Cynthia .. a fine dedication to some wonderful women 🙂

  22. LB

    So thankful that Lisa from Arlingwoman directed me here. What an excellent post. Mine on IWD was not full of the personal stories but since I’m heading out to an IWD event now so I’ll try to emulate your post.

  23. A lovely tribute to those women who don’t always get recognised Cynthia.

  24. This is a lovely tribute to women everywhere, Cynthia. And the photos are beautiful ♥

  25. I love hearing about people who make their corner of the world a better place. I always think if we each just did one nice thing a day, something to make a difference, how very different the world would be in short order.

  26. Wonderful recognition and tribute Cynthia. Here’s to women everywhere! 🙂

  27. It is the quiet contributions of kind people who may remain behind the scenes that make each day a better one for many.

  28. A lovely post and tribute to some wonderful women, Cynthia. They are all around us 🙂

  29. Wonderful women, all of you, and I love the prayer shawl ministry. 🙂

    • Thank you, Gallivanta. Those shawls are lovely and special. There’s a kind message – a blessing — that accompanies each shawl, but I forgot to mention it.

      • Recently I met a lady who does prayer shawl ministry in Canada. Whilst she was here in Christchurch she made us (her new and old friends) crochet cowls and scarves. They are so lovely, and knitted with such thoughtfulness, that I am sure they are almost as good as a prayer shawl. 🙂 I hope Jeni has a prayer shawl.

      • That would be nice. I think all our prayers and good wishes for her and Ian and family are like a big prayer shawl for her now. I really like prayer shawls, especially as we know they were made as a blessing, with love and care and the good thoughts of those involved.

      • It’s a very big virtual prayer shawl. It would cover Jeni’s entire house. 😉

  30. Acts of kindness. Act of generosity. Acts of goodness. Keep those women (an men) active.

  31. What wonderful tribute–Christianity in action. 🙂

  32. I’m so glad I kept this post in my in box and finally got to read it. These are the people who have made others happier and whose lives are, or have been, most worthwhile.

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