Life and Work
"I was not born and raised on a farm. I am the country schoolteacher who married the eligible bachelor farmer. I was scared to death of pigs, cows and even chickens. Thirty-odd years and three children later, I am still afraid of cattle.
I've experienced serious farm fires, the closing of the local hall, the centralization of the community school, and the near-demise of the local church.
I would never have made it without a sense of humour... you need a sense of humour when the cat you thought was male has kittens on your new bedspread; when your six year-old gives your three year-old a haircut; when your children have 4-H, confirmation class, ball practice and music lessons the same evening; when you're trying to convince your husband that you really can chase the bull by hollering through the truck window."
- Jacqueline Jevne, 1984
Jacqueline (Jacquie) Jevne was a native born Albertan and spent her entire life in the province. She spent her early years in Calgary, graduating from Western Canada High School.
Upon graduation from the Calgary Normal School (Teachers College) Jacquie taught at Falun. She met and married a local farmer, Morris Jenve, in 1945. When the youngest of her three children entered grade school Mrs. Jevne again taught in the Wetaskiwin school system. After ten years, Jacquie resigned to manage the family farm during her husband's absences on frequent business trips related to his commitment to the cooperative movement. She too, was deeply involved in the cooperative philosophy which took her and her husband across Canada and the United States many times and twice to Europe. In 1969 she was Canada's representative to the Triennial Conference of Women Co-operators of the World held in Hamburg, Germany.
After resigning from teaching, she engaged in volunteer work in the community. Indicative of her dedication to worthy causes was her effort in saving the Wang Lutheran Church, which at 85 years, was the oldest Lutheran Church west of Winnipeg. The church was in danger of closing until Mrs. Jevne conducted a survey, followed by personal interviews, and then printed a summary of her findings which was no doubt of considerable influence in saving the church.
Between 1968 and 1971 she returned to part-time university study to specialize in social sciences. Her major study areas were in courses relevant to the understanding of the group process and leadership dynamics.
During 1972-73 Mrs. Jevne launched a new career as a private consultant for program design and project management. Her work in this area included major assignments such as the design of pre-retirement planning programs for agencies such as the Alberta Civil Servants Association for whom she resourced about 75 workshops across the province.
Jacqueline managed the Alberta Man and Resources Program, culminating in the following year with employment on the National Conference staff as facilitator. In 1974, she designed a program called "Operation Land Use" for Rural Education and Development Association, which included:
Preparation of promotional material, management of resource staff and writing the final report. The process was designed to facilitate citizen input in the Land Use Forum and resulted in the presentation of over 250 briefs.
- Management of the elite leadership development program "Agrileader" which covered a three-year period on provincial, national and international levels.
- Development of seven self-learning modules for the Canada Farm Management Committee. These modules were published by Canada Agriculture and disseminated throughout its system.
- Designed, trained facilitators and prepared final reports for three programs for Women of Unifarm: "Concerns of Rural Women"; "Stress in the Farm Family Unit"; and, "Stress as Related to Farm Accidents". The third program was in conjunction with Alberta Agriculture which culminated in a film "What Matters Most" for which she acted as script consultant.
- Development of a Stress Management Workshop which was in demand by provincial agencies.
- Campaign coordinator for Goldeye Foundation's fund-raising program for which she designed promotional material, designed the campaign and managed the process.
Creative and competent in effective organizational and resource management skills, Mrs. Jevne was also assertive and forthright and enjoyed the challenge of projects which tested her talent and experience. The emphasis throughout her lifetime of learning was on personal development. She was a leader in promoting improvement in the quality of life for rural families through research, lectures and workshops. Retirement planning was another of her areas of interest, as was improving the image of farm women.
She developed seven self-learning modules for the Canada Farm Management Committee which were published and distributed by Agriculture Canada. She also designed three programs for Women of Uniform including Concerns of Rural Women; Stress in the Farm Family Unit; and Stress as Related to Farm Accidents.
As campaign coordinator for the Goldeye Centre at Nordegg, she achieved great success in raising funds to support this educational facility. She later became a Goldeye Foundation board member.
Devoting many hours of her time the community, Mrs. Jevne was a member of the Wetaskiwin County Recreation Board, the Lutheran Church Council, the Women's Institute, and the Wetaskiwin Family Life Education Council.
Jacqueline died after open-heart surgery in 1984. For her efforts, she was admitted into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame.
"Her voice is still in my soul saying, "You can do it; you don't have to be afraid of life, if it is impossible, it will just take longer." For Mom, it was not whether we complete the journey but that we have taken a step. She understood change takes time and it begins with ourselves."
- Ronna Jevne, Jacqueline Jevne's daughter
- Research and Writing: Harriet Liddle
- Contributors: Morris Jevne, Ronna Jevne, Janice Jevne, Nels Jevne and Tom Jevne
- Curator: Harriet Liddle