Stories, memories and laughter were a very enjoyable part of a celebration of 90 years of the Country Women's Association (CWA) in Gloucester.
The session was hosted by University of The Third Age as part of U3A's diverse and busy term 4 program.
The audience heard tales of the early days of hats and gloves and the fun and support of the community of women including a very active "younger set".
Ladies with up to 60 years' continuous CWA membership spoke about garden parties, improbable street floats and road trips to regional meetings in the early days, which cemented life-long friendships and an enduring commitment to community support.
We were informed also about how NSW CWA works hard to address the needs of country women and we heard some examples of their successful advocacy with government.
The CWA was instrumental in making lives safer and easier by advocating compulsory wearing of seatbelts, the introduction of light alcohol beer, white lines on road edges and free breast screening from mobile mammogram units.
Gloucester CWA members have been a major contributor to NSW CWA funding through the organisation and realisation of catering at the Royal Easter Show over many years, and through local fundraising events.
All money donated to our CWA is spent to support the local community and the work of CWA across Australia and across the world. At this time, CWA is a major distributor of drought relief in rural NSW.
Members enjoy great socialising but also have the opportunity to learn about local culture and heritage, Australia's flora and fauna, and agricultural products, as well as life in other countries.
Of course, cooking and fine craftwork are important parts of CWA and attendees were reminded that anyone is welcome to participate in The Land Cookery Competition run by CWA.
More information is available from local CWA members or the website cwaofnsw.org.au/
Both CWA branches in Gloucester welcome new members. Gloucester Branch meets at 10am, on the second Tuesday of the month, contact Robyn Scott on 0408 146 753.
Gloucester Evening Branch meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7pm - contact Ann Maggs on 6558 9956.
The meeting ended in great CWA style with a delicious morning tea. U3A president Gavan Bethke presented CWA members with a generous donation from the U3A committee in recognition of 90 years of amazing contribution from Gloucester CWA to our local community and beyond.