WHO ARE THE QUAKERS? The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Canada. Founded by George Fox during the seventeenth century, the Religious Society of Friends began as a fellowship of people seeking to regain the original way of life and spiritual principles of the early Christians. They dispensed with all outward religious forms as being unnecessary. Instead they worshipped on the basis of silence to that they might hold individual communion with the presence of God dwelling in their midst. They denied the use of violence for any cause and upheld the ideals of simplicity and integrity in daily life. They believed that the spirit is present in every person and, as a result, they treated each other and all people with equal respect, no matter their position, age or condition. These principles remain today. The emphasis on tolerance and understanding towards others of different views or traditions is important to Friends. Business affairs are carried out in an atmosphere of worship. Decisions are reached on a basis of unity, or the matter is laid by for another time. There are about 240,000 Friends in the world, gathered into local communities called Meetings. These are grouped into Quarterly of Half Yearly Meetings and finally into Yearly Meetings of which there are at present.Every three years, Quakers come together at an International gathering called a Triennial Meeting. Each local Meeting is, however, autonomous and shows a varied spectrum of viewpoints and outlooks, for the Quaker is an individual searching after Truth. Presently there are about 2500 members and attenders in Canada. Victoria Monthly Meeting today is a vibrant community of approximately 150 children and adults of all ages carrying on a living tradition.