Generally known as The Rural’, Boat of Garten Scottish Womens’ Institute is a member of Inverness-shire and Islands Federation, and of the National Federation based in Edinburgh. It was founded in 1938 at the instigation of Mrs Agnes Macintosh and records show early activities included providing handmade items for soldiers and sailors. Suspended during the wartime, it was later re-formed and continues to hold friendly and informative meetings, the constitution stating that we are a non-political and non-sectarian organisation, aiming to provide social, educational and recreational opportunities, foster craftsmanship, preserve the ecology and traditions of rural Scotland, and consider matters affecting the home and community.
We currently have a membership of about 20, meeting in the lounge of the Community Hall on the third Monday evening of each month from September to April. A committee is elected annually to arrange the programme for the year. We aim to have a wide variety of speakers covering domestic crafts, social and international affairs, and try to support various charitable initiatives. In addition, there are occasional outings and craft classes, communal or individual entries to Grantown Show, visits to meetings of institutes in neighbouring villages, and an annual joint meeting with the other Institutes of Badenoch and Strathspey area. To mark the year 2000 a wall-hanging was produced for the Village Hall depicting the scenes and activities of our community. Funding comes from an annual membership fee, supplemented by a small raffle at most meetings. Visitors are always welcome, whatever age and you don’t even have to be a woman! Not only is this an opportunity to learn new things but there is always time for a chat over a cup of tea or coffee.