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- Doaktown Red Cross Society
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Surgeon Major George Sterling Ryerson, of the Canadian Army Medical Services, has been credited with founding a Canadian Branch of the British Red Cross in 1896. In 1909 the Canadian Parliament passed the Canadian Red Cross Society Act, establishing the Red Cross as a corporate body responsible for providing volunteer aid in Canada according to the Geneva Conventions. In 1927 the Canadian Society was recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross as an autonomous Red Cross Society.
Branches of the Red Cross were established in a number of Canadian provinces, including New Brunswick. On October 8, 1939, a meeting was held in the United Church hall in Doaktown for the purpose of organizing a Red Cross Society or a society with similar goals. The Red Cross may have been active in Doaktown at an earlier time, for the organizing minutes (October 8, 1939) record that Catherine MacLean, Director read a "report of the work done by the Red Cross Society of Doaktown." Whether it was being newly established or re-established, the officers chosen were: Mrs. Gordon Brown (President), Mrs. Akerley Holmes (Treasurer) and Mrs. C.G. Rutledge (Secretary). The Red Cross was organized to aid the war effort and by January 26, 1940, the Doaktown group sent 94 pairs of socks, 51 sweaters and 16 pairs of rifle mittens to Saint John for shipping. They continued to knit for the war effort, meeting monthly in the afternoons and sometimes forgoing their business meetings as the members knitted. They also sewed, packed soldiers boxes, made quilts, sponsored blood donor clinics, agreed to meet trains "when and if" war brides arrive etc. and generally, sent a phenemonal number and variety of items to assist in the well-being of the soldiers overseas.
In the early years, the Doaktown branch worked with the neighbouring Blissfield Auxiliary - but the latter group eventually disbanded. There is no indication of the size of membership but the minute book does contain a listing of 97 names. This Branch considered disbanding in December 1946 but in February 1947 voted unanimously to carry on for the "sake of the Blood Clinics."