Beta Sigma Phi International was created in the 1930s as an organization that aimed at bringing women together and expose them to a social, cultural and educational activities.
Typical chapters enjoy socials that range from informal gatherings to gala affairs that often include friends and family. Cultural programs ranged from arts to gardening to in-home businesses. Members contributed to the community through social work and fundraising, not unlike other service clubs.
Beta Sigma Phi was founded in Lethbridge 19 July 1945 in a ceremony held at the Marquis Hotel. Mrs. Esther Lewis, a traveling representative of Beta Sigma Phi International with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, read the pledge ritual to 22 women who formed the Kappa Chapter. The organization dropped to 10 members until 1949, when members from Kappa Chapter split to form Beta Chapter. Another chapter, Tau, was created later as was Nu Phi Mu Junior Chapter.
In 1959, there were 5 chapters of Beta Sigma Phi in Lethbridge: Kappa, Sigma, Tau, Xi Iota and Xi Mu
In Lethbridge, the members work their way up through various levels according to a planned program of the larger organization. The members meet in each others' homes twice monthly and take turns making educational presentations on a variety of topics: music, health, history, home, famous women and literature. The local chapters of Beta Sigma Phi have provided volunteer and/or financial support to organizations including Harbour House, Meals on wheels, Canadian Cancer Society, Arthritis Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation. Beta Sigma Phi also provides scholarships to Lethbridge College and the Kiwanis Music Festival.
The Sigma Chapter was established in Lethbridge in 1959. The original members included Barbara Brown, May Duchan, Audrey Fox, Beth Gillis, Gail Guttormsson, Henrietta Hatt, Frances Janecke, Hazel Juchli, Nellie Knapman, Aileen Martin, Eileen Maxwell, Lorraine Moore, Pat Muir, Edna Olafson, Barbara Thornhill, Gladys Turnbridge, Do Wolfe .
The albums contain photographs, correspondence, postcards, memorabilia and newspaper clippings.