Part Three: 1968 to 1993
Throughout the seventies, membership in NBHEA continued to increase, investments from the sale of “N.B. Recipes” yielded good returns, simultaneous translation was provided at the annual conferences and over 90% of NBHEA members were fully employed.
In 1973 the two-year home economics teacher-training program offered at Teachers College was replaced by a four year Bachelor of Education degree in Home Economics at the University of New Brunswick. The province now boasted two Degree Programs in Home Economics, one in French and one in English. Graduates from both institutions were presented with a one year complimentary membership in NBHEA.
In 1975 NBHEA joined forces with the New Brunswick Dietetic Association for its annual conference. Over three hundred and fifty pre-registration packages, in French and English, were sent out to members of the NBHEA and NBDA as well as to NB schools with Home Economics departments.
The following year, membership included 143 regular, 29 complimentary and 4 honorary members. There were 58 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education Home Economics program at U.N.B. and the Université de Moncton had 117 undergraduates and 8 graduate students in Science Domestiques.
Newsletters of the NBHEA during this time were full of reports on the activities of professional home economists across the province. Home Economists were at work within the Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Education, on radio and in print and providing inservice workshops wherever the need was seen to be. The NBHEA Employment Registry was disbanded in 1976 since approximately 99% of NBHEA members are already fully employed. The same year NBHEA agreed to raise the amount of its two scholarships to $800.00 each.
By the time of the annual conference in Beresford in 1977, the same year L’École de Science Domestiques at Université de Moncton was celebrating its tenth anniversary, simultaneous translation was a matter of course at NBHEA annual meetings. The constitution and by-laws had been translated, published in booklet form and distributed among members and it was announced at this conference that membership cards would now be printed with English on one side and French on the other.
The family of Thelma Sewell had set up a scholarship fund in her memory. Beginning in 1978 the Thelma Sewell Memorial Scholarship would be “awarded annually to a graduate of a Home Economics program in High School who aspires to a higher education in the Home Economics field” and administered by the association. Irène Arseneau was the first recipient. Many past presidents came to celebrate the 60th anniversary of NBHEA at the annual meeting in Fredericton that year.
By 1981 there were 162 NBHEA members and founding chapters in Moncton, Bathurst, the NorthWest and Fredericton. NBHEA took a leadership role in the cause of nutrition when it joined with the New Brunswick Dietetic Association in taking over co-sponsorship of Nutrition Month from the provincial government. There was a growing concern among the membership that the responsibility of family life education was not being adequately met through the school system. An ad hoc committee was formed to prepare a position paper on this issue and members were encouraged to express their views and concerns.
In 1982 NBHEA held a joint conference with the NBDA in Fredericton. Vegetarianism, Infant Feeding in New Brunswick, Food Availability in N.B. Schools as well as assertiveness training sessions were on the program of this conference. By this time there were 187 NBHEA members, 99 English, 88 French. An International Development Orientation Committee/Comité d’Orientation au Développement International (CODI) was started within NBHEA through the support of the Canadian Association of Home Economics and CIDA to foster public awareness about international development. In 1983 NBHEA communicated its concerns to the premier regarding provincial government cutbacks in Home Economics Extension positions. Also that year an NBHEA representative attended the founding meeting of the Education Coalition, a group comprised of representatives of 21 provincial and regional organizations interested in maintaining quality educational services in N B.
In May 1984 NBHEA presented its brief entitled, Family Living Education, to Education Minister, Clarence Cormier, proposing that a course in Family Living be included in the required curriculum of senior secondary education in NB.
Committee work continued and local chapters worked in support of the association’s causes. In March 1985 the Moncton chapter sponsored a provincial event marking World Home Economics Day entitled “A Celebration of “Who We Are.” That summer NBHEA’s records were transferred to the Provincial Archives in Fredericton. In the fall, the ID Committee brought two Home Economists from Sénégal to tour the province and visit Home Economists in their working environnements. This resulted in starting up a twinning project with Sénégal in 1986. On May 10, 1988 the twinning was made official with the signing of the Protocole d’Entente l’Amical des anciennes de l’École normale d’enseignement technique feminine de Dakar and NBHEA.
Throughout the latter half of the decade NBHEA continued to work and branch out in the field of social service. In the sphere of education the association continued its thrust for a compulsory Family Living course and members of the executive met with Minister of Education Shirley Dysart. In 1989 Family Living 120 (English sector) and Developpement Humain (French sector) were established as an accepted credits toward graduation.
In the area of housing, NBHEA worked with the NB Housing Commission toward the implementation of a pilot project entitled “human Orientation and Management Program.” Professional Home Economists were hired on contract to deliver this program.
The association was concerned that the level of income being provided to most families and individuals receiving social assistance was not sufficient to meet the basic needs of housing, food and clothing in NB. These concerns were communicated to the Minister of Income Assistance. At the same time the association was establishing contacts with the Ministry of State for Childhood Services where its expertise as an organization of professionals was valued.
On April 27, 1990 at the spring session of the NB Legislative Assembly, this organization of professionals, established seven decades ago, was registered. Royal Assent was given to the Act to Incorporate the New Brunswick Home Economics Association giving members the exclusive right to the title P.H. Ec. or EFI. Professional Home Economist will have the exclusive right to practice the profession of Home Economics as defined by the law.
On May 1, 1990 NBHEA modified its status and became part of the Canadian Federation of Home Economics. From now on, everyone will be a member of their chapter at the local level, of NBHEA at the provincial level and CHEA at the national level. In 1993 two hundred and twenty NB Home Economists are registered as Professional Home Economists.
From its beginning in a classroom 75 years ago to its registration in the NB Legislative Assembly, the New Brunswick Home Economics Association has been an Association of professionals, whose expertise, time and energy is given locally, provincially, nationally and internationally “to promote the well being of individuals and families and to serve home and community life.”