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, MLA Kirkfield Park
June 6, 2013

Prairie Chicks Red Hat Society

Mr. Speaker, 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the Prairie Chicks Red Hat Society. To celebrate their first decade, the members hosted an old English High Tea at The Westhaven in Kirkfield Park and had a royally good time.

The Red Hat Society, comprised of women aged 50 plus, began in California in the late ‘90s. As a 55th birthday gift, one friend gave another a red bowler and a copy of Jenny Joseph’s poem, “Warning.” The opening line read, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.” And with that, a stylish society was born! Today, hundreds of thousands of Red Hatters are found in no less than 30 countries around the world.

The Prairie Chicks chapter is one of 54 in Manitoba. Adorned in glamorous red hats (which suit them very nicely) and flamboyant purple regalia, these ‘royals’ are always up for living it up! Queen Ruth Smart presides over two dozen countesses, princesses, and goddesses from Winnipeg. The Chicks truly epitomize the mantra that after having worked hard all your life, retirement is the time to live it up! They have a special affinity for exploring Manitoba, new adventures, and their sisterhood. Provincial chapters enjoy activities such as going out to eat, crafting, bowling, curling, golfing, shopping, and, of course, enjoying specialty teas. From time to time, committees organize large-scale Red Hat “Hoots,” such as Queens’ Council Connections and international conventions. Even just meeting monthly for lunch is a vital support for those facing increasing isolation as they age. The Hatters look after one another, providing support as best they can.

The Chicks are very welcoming and always looking to add to their imperial fold. I encourage any fabulous woman looking for some adventure to join a local chapter. If you don’t, you are most certainly missing out on a whole lot of fun!

Thank you, royal ladies, and thank you, Mr. Speaker.