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Nellie McClung visits the Okanagan

On Saturday morning Mrs. Nellie McClung1 arrived at Oyama, and was the guest of Dr Irvine and the Misses Irvine. We are indebted to the Misses Irving for their kindness in giving an “at home” and allowing all who wished to, to meet Mrs. McClung, our celebrated Canadian writer and public worker. Mrs. McClung is a near relation of Dr. Irvine and family and they no doubt must feel tremendously proud of her.

Nellie McClungAt the “at home” on Saturday afternoon Mrs. McClung kindly gave a very interesting little sketch called “Jane Brown” followed by delightful tea and refreshments with still more delightful and interesting talk and repartee.

Amongst the guests were Mrs. Despard with her sister, Mrs. Sheldon, who is visiting her just now, Mrs. Dobson, Mrs. Hembling, Mrs. Rimmer, Mrs. Trask, Mrs. Byers, Mrs. McLeod, Mrs. Boyle, Mrs. Waters, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Hatch, Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Belsey, Mrs. Butterworth, Mrs. Allingham, Miss Randall, Miss Elliott and several others. It was all arranged so hastily that many who would have liked to meet Mrs. McClung were unable to manage it. Having engagements to fill, a longer visit to Oyama was quite out of the question. Mrs. McClung left on Monday’s train for Armstrong.

On Sunday morning Mrs. McClung was at the Union Sunday School and the youngsters who were in a certain class are very proud and pleased with themselves because Mrs. McClung was their teacher. Many of them had read her books of child fame, and felt acquainted.

Sunday evening our visitor was again in demand and untiringly conducted the evening service. Her address was splendid on “Our Attitude Towards Life” and never a word was lost by that very attentive audience. One cannot quite realize the immense capabilities that Mrs. McClung possesses. The good that one woman can do, both by writing and speaking, is truly wonderful. We are led to wonder whether any one of us are using our talents at all. However, we are at least grateful for the privilege of hearing and speaking to this truly good and gifted woman.

1Nellie McClung, born Nellie Letitia Mooney, was a Canadian feminist, politician, and social activist. She was a part of the social and moral reform movements prevalent in Western Canada in the early 1900s.

SourceThe Vernon News. June 25, 1920

Photo source: Wikipedia (Library and Archives Canada)


  • Thank you for the post about Nellie McClung! In the late 1970s and early 80s I read and taught about her in the history unit of Okanagan College’s sociology course, “Gender Roles in Canada.” At the time, it was the only course to cover gender– later, with the addition of history, psychology, anthropology, and gender studies courses, this became a very popular, well-covered topic. Thanks in large part to Nellie McClung!

  • Hi
    there are several descendants of the Irvine’s still living in the valley. My cousin Barry lives in Naramata, his sister Liz Terelesky and myself live in Vernon and my brother is in Ottawa. and there are some of their descendants- male carrying on the name.

    • It’s good to have this information, Joanne. Thanks for responding to the Blog post.

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