Still going strong

Coffee and cake with friends: Members of Quota International of Gloucester enjoy an informal afternoon once a month at Perenti. Photo: Anne Keen
Coffee and cake with friends: Members of Quota International of Gloucester enjoy an informal afternoon once a month at Perenti. Photo: Anne Keen

What better way to celebrate turning 99 years old than to have coffee and cake with a group of your closest friends.

Quota International of Gloucester did just that after the club reached the milestone on February 6.

Although Gloucester’s branch of the club didn’t start until 1965, it was important to the members to acknowledge the longevity of the international club.

Quota began in 1919 after business woman Wanda Frey Joiner was told she couldn’t join a service club in Buffalo, New York because she was a woman.

On April 8, 1965 Gloucester started its first branch of Quota and Daphne Croker was one of the charter members. Daphne said that although some things have changed over the 53 years she has been a member of the club, the fundamentals are still the same.

It’s a non-profit organisation designed to help women and children overcome poverty, educational and workforce challenges throughout the world.

In the beginning, Gloucester had around 25 women involved in the club.

Daphne explained how at that time the club was only for business women, meaning women who were self-employed or ran a business.

Clair Reynolds, who began as a member in Coonamble in 1983 before transferring to Gloucester in 1989, said when she was a classroom teacher she wasn’t permitted to join. It wasn’t until she became a librarian and was in charge of finances she was considered a business woman and was able to join. But all of that has changed with the club open to everyone, including men.

“It’s a good change,” Daphne said. “We are more relaxed and more open.”

“Anyone who is willing to put their time and effort into the community, we’d love to have them,” Claire smiled.

There aren’t any male members of the Gloucester Quota at the moment but many of the members’ husbands help out from time to time.

Another big change, the ladies explained, was the clothing. “We don’t have to dress as formal as we used to,” Daphne said.

“Special meetings were quite formal,” Claire explained. “Long gloves and all.”