The first Elizabeth Fry Society was established in BC more than 70 years ago.
Founded in 1972, as a sister-Society of the Elizabeth Fry Society of BC, the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society’s work is guided by the historical legacy of caring and compassion of Elizabeth Fry.
Her belief in the inherent dignity and worth of every person continues to live on in our work more than a century later.
Elizabeth Fry (21 May 1780 – 12 October 1845) was an English social reformer
From the age of 18 she took an interest in the poor, the sick, and the prisoners. She collected old clothes for the poor, visited those who were sick in her neighborhood, and started a Sunday school in the summer house to teach children to read.
She became well known in society. Some people criticized her for having such an influential role as a woman. Others alleged that she was neglecting her duties as a wife and mother in order to conduct her humanitarian work.
One admirer was Queen Victoria, who granted her an audience a few times and contributed money to her cause. Another admirer was Robert Peel who passed several acts to further her cause including the Gaols Act 1823.
The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, along with other members of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies honor her memory by advocating for women’s rights and supporting victims of crime.