If you are waiting at the Homer Airport for a flight, you will see a 1937-41 photograph of a group of strong-minded women.
Looking at you will be the faces of family names that may be in your own history: Dietz, Walli, Bowers, Lang, Shelford, Berry, Waddell, Pratt, Frazier, Jennings, Zoak, Svedlund, Ingalls, Rozak, Nordby, Forslund, Matheson, Thurston, Nielsen and McMichael. The photo taken at Miller’s Landing and belonging to the Pratt Museum shows the first group of homemakers who banded together to help, comfort, support and learn from each other in their isolated location.
By 1992, the Homer Homemakers added FCE to its name to further illustrate their focus — Family and Community Education. With the partnership of the Cooperative Extension Service, information and leadership opportunities were offered to the local clubs.
Homer FCE continues today in its support of the local community through a variety of service-related projects. Early literacy is emphasized with reading packets for newborns and parents distributed at South Peninsula Hospital. Included in the Raise-a-Reader packet is a current list of beginning reading titles that are available from the Homer Public Library. FCE maintains one of the community gardens on Pioneer Avenue. Its meetings focus on friendship and educational opportunities. Members regularly volunteer in community events.
In recognition of the strength and determination of women who came to Alaska, the idea of collecting stories was proposed by Rosie Burgess and developed by Alaska FCE. The book, “Spirit of Alaska Women,” includes stories of coming and staying in Alaska, homesteading, the 1964 Earthquake, and everyday life in the state. Homer FCE presented the stories at the Wynn Nature Center and also will speak at an upcoming Rotary meeting. Copies of the book are available from FCE members, and it is hoped it will be carried at several local businesses.
Oct. 9-15 is National FCE Week. If you would be interested in visiting or joining this service and educational organization, please contact Anita Harry in Homer, 235-8033.