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By Caroline Downs
Women of all ages who have a spouse or partner presently employed in some aspect of the oil industry are invited to join the new Oil Wives Club of Kenmare.
Brianna Matejovsky, who works with her husband to operate Great Northern Trucking from their Kenmare office, announced an organizational meeting for the Oil Wives Club to be held Tuesday, February 12th, at 7 pm in Beer Bob’s meeting room.
“This would be the first one in North Dakota,” she said, “but up in Oxbow, Saskatchewan, that was always a big part of my mom’s and grandma’s social lives.”
Matejovsky has made a point of getting involved in several activities around Kenmare, but her phone rings with calls from newcomers in town looking for ways to fill their free time.
“I get phone calls daily from people staying at the motels [while working in the area], looking for something to do,” she said. “There are lots of people who want something to go do that’s not just sitting in the bar at night.”
She and her husband participate in co-ed volleyball and have enjoyed Kenmare events such as the Rib Rally and GooseFest during their first year in town, but Matejovsky understands newly-arrived mothers and wives are looking for ways to meet other people.
“Oil Wives Club is a way to expand their social network,” she said. “This club is something for people who are new in town to join.”
Oil Wives started in 1951
According to the Oxbow Chapter president Sherlynne Best, who plans to attend the Kenmare meeting, the first Oil Wives Club was organized in the early 1950s in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “The idea of the Oil Wives’ clubs was to enable women who followed their husbands in the oil patch to have a social outlet in the community they were at,” she said, “and then to have an outlet in the next community they were off to, to make new friends.”
The women all shared the experiences of moving frequently from town to town and having little time for social activities, especially with their busy spouses, so the motto of the association became “Foster Friendship.”
Best noted 28 clubs are active in the association at this time, from Fort John, British Columbia, to Oxbow, Saskatchewan. “At times there have been international clubs, one in Oklahoma City and another as far away as Scotland,” she said. “Our hope is to once again have an international association.”
The clubs can range in size from a few to several members, but the structure remains similar as women hold monthly dinner meetings. “Various social activities from ladies nights out to curling spiels and golf tournaments, along with other fun activities, all make for a great social network,” said Best. “Many of the clubs, such as the Oil Wives Club of Oxbow, take part in a variety of community projects for the betterment of their communities.”
Kenmare Oil Wives
Matejovsky would like to see the Kenmare Oil Wives participate in local events already on the schedule. “There are so many fun things to do around town for kids and adults,” she said. “Being new in town is what you make of it.”
She also has ideas for projects or fund-raisers the club members could do to support other activities and groups in town, and she wants to add an event or two to the social calendar. “The Country Club already has a successful Oilmen’s Tournament,” she said. “I would like to do an Oil Women’s Tournament, and invite all the women who work in the oilfield to come and golf here.”
The Kenmare Oil Wives Club has to organize first, however, and Matejovsky welcomes women in the area to attend the meeting next Tuesday. “We want to get the officers’ positions filled that evening, so we can start having regular meetings,” she said, adding that the emphasis of the group will be social.
Yearly dues for the organization will be $25. Anyone with further questions about the new Kenmare Oil Wives Club is welcome to contact Matejovsky at 701-509-1772.
“Come out and learn more about what the association is all about, and how having a club here in our community will be a good thing for everybody,” she said. “We look forward to seeing you there!”