Thesaurus Club of Ancaster Heights celebrates 50 years

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Ann Sloat describes herself as one of Ancaster’s original desperate housewives.

As a young mother, Mrs. Sloat would spend her days at home with the kids in Ancaster Heights while her husband was away at work. There was no car available to get into town and few opportunities to meet with other like-minded women to discuss literary themes or current events.

Back in 1959, one of her neighbours, Sybil Walker, decided to form a ladies discussion group. Mrs. Sloat became one of its first members.

Fifty years later the Thesaurus Club of Ancaster Heights still meets monthly in members’ homes, discussing everything from historic novels to cataract surgery. One rule has remained since the very beginning. Discussions about personal affairs, marriages, children and family are restricted to the lunch break only.

“It was sort of to help the young ladies who were just having babies stay motivated into intellectual pursuits,” Mrs. Sloat recalled. By the 1970s, Mrs. Sloat was active in public life, becoming mayor of the Town of Ancaster from 1973-1984. She retired from political life following Ancaster’s amalgamation with Hamilton.

Mrs. Sloat was one of more than 30 past and present club members who celebrated the Thesaurus Club’s golden anniversary on Tuesday at the Ancaster Old Mill.

Over the years, lasting friendships formed between Thesaurus Club members. Today Mrs. Sloat is one of several original members still involved with the club.

“We always had such a good group and they’re interesting people with a wide range of occupations,” said Mrs. Sloat.

Another founding member, Mabel Ward, recalls the very first newspaper article written about the club upon its inception in 1959. Her name appeared as ‘Mrs. John Ward’ and cofounder Sybil Walker was named as ‘Mrs. Dennis Walker.’

In its very first year, the Thesaurus Club studied all things Canadian, from literature to geography. This year, the club took some time to reflect upon its past. Recent discussion has focused upon Lawrence Hill’s historical novel, The Book of Negroes and local author David Beasley’s novel, Sarah’s Journey, which documents an escaped slave’s struggle to begin a new life in Upper Canada.

Mrs. Ward said an enthusiastic membership has been the key ingredient to the club’s longevity.

“It all hinges on the committee to come up with good programs,” she explained.

Gina Walker said the club appealed to local women because it gave them a chance to call their own shots.

“It’s an independent group. We set our own agenda,” she said.

The Thesaurus Club meets on the third Monday of every month.

Thesaurus Club of Ancaster Heights celebrates 50 years

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Ann Sloat describes herself as one of Ancaster’s original desperate housewives.

As a young mother, Mrs. Sloat would spend her days at home with the kids in Ancaster Heights while her husband was away at work. There was no car available to get into town and few opportunities to meet with other like-minded women to discuss literary themes or current events.

Back in 1959, one of her neighbours, Sybil Walker, decided to form a ladies discussion group. Mrs. Sloat became one of its first members.

Fifty years later the Thesaurus Club of Ancaster Heights still meets monthly in members’ homes, discussing everything from historic novels to cataract surgery. One rule has remained since the very beginning. Discussions about personal affairs, marriages, children and family are restricted to the lunch break only.

“It was sort of to help the young ladies who were just having babies stay motivated into intellectual pursuits,” Mrs. Sloat recalled. By the 1970s, Mrs. Sloat was active in public life, becoming mayor of the Town of Ancaster from 1973-1984. She retired from political life following Ancaster’s amalgamation with Hamilton.

Mrs. Sloat was one of more than 30 past and present club members who celebrated the Thesaurus Club’s golden anniversary on Tuesday at the Ancaster Old Mill.

Over the years, lasting friendships formed between Thesaurus Club members. Today Mrs. Sloat is one of several original members still involved with the club.

“We always had such a good group and they’re interesting people with a wide range of occupations,” said Mrs. Sloat.

Another founding member, Mabel Ward, recalls the very first newspaper article written about the club upon its inception in 1959. Her name appeared as ‘Mrs. John Ward’ and cofounder Sybil Walker was named as ‘Mrs. Dennis Walker.’

In its very first year, the Thesaurus Club studied all things Canadian, from literature to geography. This year, the club took some time to reflect upon its past. Recent discussion has focused upon Lawrence Hill’s historical novel, The Book of Negroes and local author David Beasley’s novel, Sarah’s Journey, which documents an escaped slave’s struggle to begin a new life in Upper Canada.

Mrs. Ward said an enthusiastic membership has been the key ingredient to the club’s longevity.

“It all hinges on the committee to come up with good programs,” she explained.

Gina Walker said the club appealed to local women because it gave them a chance to call their own shots.

“It’s an independent group. We set our own agenda,” she said.

The Thesaurus Club meets on the third Monday of every month.

Thesaurus Club of Ancaster Heights celebrates 50 years

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Ann Sloat describes herself as one of Ancaster’s original desperate housewives.

As a young mother, Mrs. Sloat would spend her days at home with the kids in Ancaster Heights while her husband was away at work. There was no car available to get into town and few opportunities to meet with other like-minded women to discuss literary themes or current events.

Back in 1959, one of her neighbours, Sybil Walker, decided to form a ladies discussion group. Mrs. Sloat became one of its first members.

Fifty years later the Thesaurus Club of Ancaster Heights still meets monthly in members’ homes, discussing everything from historic novels to cataract surgery. One rule has remained since the very beginning. Discussions about personal affairs, marriages, children and family are restricted to the lunch break only.

“It was sort of to help the young ladies who were just having babies stay motivated into intellectual pursuits,” Mrs. Sloat recalled. By the 1970s, Mrs. Sloat was active in public life, becoming mayor of the Town of Ancaster from 1973-1984. She retired from political life following Ancaster’s amalgamation with Hamilton.

Mrs. Sloat was one of more than 30 past and present club members who celebrated the Thesaurus Club’s golden anniversary on Tuesday at the Ancaster Old Mill.

Over the years, lasting friendships formed between Thesaurus Club members. Today Mrs. Sloat is one of several original members still involved with the club.

“We always had such a good group and they’re interesting people with a wide range of occupations,” said Mrs. Sloat.

Another founding member, Mabel Ward, recalls the very first newspaper article written about the club upon its inception in 1959. Her name appeared as ‘Mrs. John Ward’ and cofounder Sybil Walker was named as ‘Mrs. Dennis Walker.’

In its very first year, the Thesaurus Club studied all things Canadian, from literature to geography. This year, the club took some time to reflect upon its past. Recent discussion has focused upon Lawrence Hill’s historical novel, The Book of Negroes and local author David Beasley’s novel, Sarah’s Journey, which documents an escaped slave’s struggle to begin a new life in Upper Canada.

Mrs. Ward said an enthusiastic membership has been the key ingredient to the club’s longevity.

“It all hinges on the committee to come up with good programs,” she explained.

Gina Walker said the club appealed to local women because it gave them a chance to call their own shots.

“It’s an independent group. We set our own agenda,” she said.

The Thesaurus Club meets on the third Monday of every month.