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The First Meeting

Sleeping newborn babies lined up in a row on a table with cribs in the background in a black and white photo.

The Cradle Club was dedicated to supporting the nurseries at Women’s College Hospital.


Black and white portrait of Mrs. Archibald Huestis who is elegantly dressed and looks towards the camera.

Portrait of Mrs. Archibald Huestis.

The first official meeting of the Cradle Club was held on a Wednesday evening in February 1932. Twenty-two young women gathered in the living room of Mrs. Norman Beal. She and Mrs. Archibald Huestis, president of the Women’s College Hospital board of directors, acted as chaperones and served tea.

Peggy Beal was elected as the club’s first president. Her good friend and schoolmate, Eldred Plaxton, was selected as its vice-president. Mrs. Archibald Huestis agreed to act as the club’s honorary president – although all the members affectionately called her the club mother.

At the meeting, it was decided that the Cradle Club would be a fundraising group. On February 20, 1932, it publicly announced its first fundraising project in all the major Toronto newspapers. The club pledged to raise five hundred dollars to furnish a new twenty-cot public nursery at Women’s College Hospital. The members also promised to supply the nursery with handmade sheets and linens. The Cradle Club planned to complete this project within the next two years.

A nurse in uniform holds a newborn wrapped in a blanket as she exits a room in a black and white photo.

Too few cribs in the old nursery!