The Red Hat Society resulted from the giving of one birthday gift. November 11, 1997 was the day that Linda Murphy received her very first red hat and a framed copy of the poem, “Warning” by Jenny Joseph from Sue Ellen Cooper (Fullerton, California), in celebration of her birthday. Now look at the chain of events that has since occurred once it was set in motion. Hundreds of thousands of Red Hatters around the world – sharing their lives and helping one another figure out how to get older – all began when one gift of a hat led to another gift of a hat, which led to another gift of a hat – and on and on it evolved.
The Red Hat Society trademark was officially recognized in 2000. Our International Red Hat Day of celebration is April 25th each year. This date was chosen to coincide with Sue Ellen’s birthday.
The Red Hat Society was introduced to Manitoba in 2000 by Shirley Scaletta, a snowbird who winters in Arizona. During one of her winter holidays, Shirley was invited to a Red Hat Society event. Having had so much fun meeting and greeting new friends, Shirley decided to introduce this ‘Red Hat concept’ to her friends back home in Winnipeg. In the fall of 2000, Shirley officially registered her chapter, the Prairie Pearls, with Hatquarters in California, and was dubbed the Founding Queen Mother (FQM) of her chapter.
Little did Shirley realize that the Red Hat fever would take off so well!! To date we have over 50 chapters throughout our province! Red Hat Chapters can now be found in numerous communities throughout our province. Members meet monthly (or whenever they choose) to socialize or to partake in designated activities such as golfing, bowling, curling, crafting, or our two favourite activities – eating and shopping! Many chapters have become “Tea Tramps” out to visit any number of teahouses in and around the province. When energy abounds and time permits, committees are struck to organize major Red Hat ‘Hoots,” such as major conventions and Queens’ Council Connections.
We are proud to say that the Red Hat Society is a sisterhood based on having fun, and enjoying the circle of friendships we encounter. There’s no doubt that we’re spreading like wild mushrooms!