The fonds includes club calendars, minute books, member’s reports, newspaper clippings, Lethbridge Historical Society Newsletters, remembrance cards, obituaries, coaster-sized cloth squares, History of the Mathesis Club, photographs of group activities and presentation materials. The fonds also con…
The Mathesis Club of Lethbridge was organized on 11 September 1912 by a group of nine women who were interested in self education and self improvement during a period in the city’s history when formal educational opportunities for women were very rare. The club name was taken from a Greek word meaning "searcher of knowledge". A committee consisting of Mrs. Alice J. Heeb, Mrs. Cumming and Mrs. Maurine Daniel was appointed to draft a constitution for the new club. The club’s objectives as stated in that constitution included "self-improvement and united effort toward the highest development of home and community".
The first officers of the Mathesis Club were Mrs. F. Stoltze (president), Mrs. A. M. Lafferty (vice president), Mrs. Alice J. Heeb (secretary), Mrs. F. Cumming (treasurer). The club was organized into ‘departments’ that reflected the study interests of the members: Music and Art, History and Literature. Members chose topics of interest from these broad categories and then researched, wrote and presented a paper on their topic at the regular meetings. When the club began meetings were held every two weeks, but later the meeting schedule became monthly.
In addition to the departmental programs, meetings frequently featured guest speakers who presented on a variety of topics ranging from religion to scientific advances.At the time there was no public library in Lethbridge and the group arranged to borrow thirty books from the collection of McGill University in Montreal which would remain in the home of one of the members for the use of any of those in the group.
During the First World War members joined the local Council of Women and Traveler’s Aid to work through those organizations. Fundraising teas and other events were also held. In World War II the club entertained the armed forces for a week.
Membership in the club reached a high in 1917 with 87 members, by 2002 the membership had fallen to 20. Over the years, educational and self-improvement programs became widely available for women and the role of the Mathesis Club as a provider of those opportunities was diminished. A declining and aging membership put more and more pressure on the club, until in 2007 the members decided to dissolve the Mathesis Club. The final meeting was held at Luigi’s Restaurant, 1119 Mayor Magrath Drive South, on 19 June 2007.
The records were donated to the Galt Museum by Joan Croskery on behalf of the Mathesis Club. Before their arrival at the Galt the records were unaccounted for for some years before their discovery by Ethel Dunn at the home of a Mr. Kennedy.
Scope and Content
The fonds includes club calendars, minute books, member’s reports, newspaper clippings, Lethbridge Historical Society Newsletters, remembrance cards, obituaries, coaster-sized cloth squares, History of the Mathesis Club, photographs of group activities and presentation materials. The fonds also contains a file including extensive hand-written chronological lists of general programs, department changes, and guest speakers dating back to 1912 possibly compiled by Sheila Petherbridge.
2002.1061/1 Six annual calendars / programs of the Mathesis Club of Lethbridge: 1996-1997, 1997-
1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002.
2002.1061/2 Minutes book of the Mathesis Club from May 1987 to February 1997. There is also a
record of members' attendance in the back of the book.
2009.1042/1 Originals and copies of two Lethbridge Herald newspaper articles reporting on the end of
the Mathesis Club. 16 June and 20 June 2007
2009.1042/2 Mathesis Club 2006-2007 calendar, the final one published by the club.
2009.1042/3 Letter to Joan Croskery from the Mathesis Club accepting her as a new member. 2
February 1987. Correspondence with two attachments re the Mathesis Club's purchase of
two bricks in memory of long-time club member Sheila Petherbridge. 23 April 2008
2009.1042/4 8 photographs of Mathesis Club members
1986.1067 6 photographs of Mathesis Club members (1979)
1997.1004 Annual calendars of the Mathesis Club, which list club activities and meeting dates.
There are calendars for the years: 1944-1945, 1968-1969,1969-1970, 1972-1973, 1973-
1974, and 1976-1977 through to year 1995-1996.
1995.1042 Essays about various aspects of Art, by Miss Edith Fanny Kirk, member of the
Mathesis Club: The Development Of Modern Painting, 1933; Essentials In The
Understanding Of Pictures, 1934?; The Evolution Of Art, 1937; How To Look At Pictures,
1994.1006 Attendance and monthly meeting minutes book of the history department of the
Mathesis Club (1979-1986)
19931008/1 Minutes Book of General Meetings. 1980-1988.
19931008/2 Minutes Book of the History Department. 1986-1989.
19861074/1 Copies of the Mathesis Club Constitution, no date.
19861074/2-9 Minutes of general meetings, 1912-1980. The volumes also contain membership lists.
19861074/10 Monthly department and treasurer's reports, October 1980
19861074/11-16 Music and Art Department meeting minutes, 1918-1929 and 1940-1984.
19861074/17 Music and Art Department Reports 1970-1990.
19861074/18-22 File .21 contains 41 items, the other files 1 volume each. Literature and
Department meeting minutes, 1913-1920, 1949-1966, 1970-1980.
19861074/23-27 History Department meeting minutes, 1913-1936, 1943-1954, 1972-1979.
19861074/28 History Department Reports, 1970-1980.
19861074/29 Corresponding Secretary reports, 1970-1980.
19861074/30 General Correspondance, 1974-1980.
19861074/31 Executive, Hospitality and Program committee Reports 1970-1980.
19861074/32 Cash book 1912-1941
19861074/33 Treasurer's Report, 1962, 1969-1980.
19861074/34 Membership Cards ?-1971.
19861074/35 Membership Lists ?-1977
19861074/36 Song Sheets, ?-1962
19861074/37 Newspaper clippings 1948-1965
19861074/38 Yearly calendars of events 1914-1978.
1969.4572 Mathesis Club of Lethbridge Minute Book, 11 September 1912 to 28 May 1913.