July 26, 2021

Newsletter focuses on positive change for women

BLUE HILL PENINSULA — A woman once “peopled-out” by 25 years as a flight attendant now is reaching out to other women with a newsletter about to make its maiden flight.

The newsletter titled “Network” will take off in June when the first issue lands in stores, laundromats, child-care centers and other venues frequented by women.

Last winter, Deer Isle sheep breeder Pauline Boyce decided the time had come to help forge connections with other women in the state, particularly after two meetings of a Hancock County women’s group showed her that many were eager for relief from their isolation.

Boyce’s plan to focus on rural women has broadened to include all women in the state — anyone with an interest in effecting positive change in the lives of women, children and families.

The 12-page premiere issue of Network is likely to include articles on displaced homemakers, Maine midwives, the Spruce Run women’s shelter in Bangor, and peer lending, interlaced with a profile or two, poetry, columns, cartoons, book reviews, calendar items and resource listings.

Boyce, who is of British origin, came to rural Maine 12 years ago after a quarter-century of airline hostessing wore thin. She now sells wool products at markets and fairs when she is not knitting or organizing one of her numerous projects.

A self-described “born organizer,” Boyce has done a little bit of everything in organizations as various as community radio station WERU-FM in Blue Hill, a women’s peace group she co-founded during the Gulf War, and her current position as Sunday school superintendent at Blue Hill Congregational Church.

Now that her daughter has reached adolescence, Boyce is broadening her sights again to encompass a huge community of women who want to share their experience and ideas.

“It feels very right to be where I am at this point in my life, and I think it has something to do with age,” said Boyce, who turned 50 in January.

When word of Boyce’s publishing venture spread, several dozen inquiries poured in from from Greenville Junction, Augusta, Farmington, Machias, northern Maine and closer to home.

Several women have sent donations — from $5 to $500 — with their blessings to help Network meet with success. Boyce is applying for nonprofit status, and is actively seeking grants.

“It doesn’t have to be as kitchen table as this,” she said, crediting a large cadre of volunteers with jumping in to do many of the more difficult aspects of publishing. She hopes before long to pay them, and emphasizes that the newsletter is and will always be a team effort.

For the first two months, Network will be sent free of charge to those on a mailing list of 1,500. Afterward, subscriptions will go for the yearly rate of $10.

To subscribe, write to Network, P.O. Box 74, Blue Hill 04614, or call Boyce at 348-2283.

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