The Urunga CWA will celebrate their 90th birthday Friday 14th February at the Ocean View Hotel Urunga. “This is a celebration of our history, our steadfast support for women in this region and the long lasting friendships that have been forged,” says Margaret Grice-Little (pictured), member since 2006 and current President.
The Country Women’s Association NSW was formed in 1922 when country women were fighting isolation and a lack of health facilities. The Urunga branch was formed only eight years later. Traditionally monthly meetings were a chance to socialise and support one another. But in reality, while sharing stories over a cup of tea, the women of the CWA have been initiators, fighters and lobbyists. They have made localities into communities by providing social activities and educational, recreational and medical facilities.
“So many laws that we now take for granted were initiated by the CWA. Seatbelts in cars is just one law that was initially lobbied by the CWA,” says Margaret. Only recently the CWA of NSW has passed a motion calling for a halt to any further “unconventional gas exploration” in NSW – a ban on Coal Seam Gas. The conference also called for greater controls to foreign ownership of farms. “This decision has certainly attracted new members to our local branch. We have a voice in the Nation’s affairs. It was this political aspect of the CWA that initially attracted me to join,” says Margaret.
CWA Urunga is a strong and vibrant group these days with 23 members, despite nearly folding just 2 years ago due to lack of members. “Many of our older members had died or left the area. We put out the call and managed to attract new members. The Urunga ‘Quilters’ and the CWA Urunga group effectively amalgamated, buoying our numbers and providing us with a lot of talented and capable women,” says Margaret. These days the group is going from strength to strength, with a very cohesive executive.
The addition of the quilters provided the impetus for the upcoming 90th birthday celebrations. The group has created a quilt to be raffled for the birthday celebrations, with the winner to be drawn on the day. “Each of our members has created a ‘patch’ for the quilt,” says Margaret.
Raffles and fund-raisers are a traditional activity in CWA. “The Urunga Branch has a firm tradition of supporting local initiatives, which was cemented during the 16 years that Betty Cornwell was president. We provide financial support for Urunga Public and Bellingen High School’s prize giving ceremonies. We also contribute to the Urunga Primary School’s Harmony Day event each year,” says Margaret.
The group also fund-raise for CWA state initiatives. The CWA NSW support a Medical Research Project each year- this year it is Endometriosis. And there is ongoing fundraising for CWA of NSW’s Disaster Relief Fund, supporting people in need.
So is this an organisation relevant for younger working women? “Yes definitely. We understand that the role of the CWA is a changing one. There is now a virtual group to cater for younger working women. We provide support and an entree into your local community, while solving the problems of the world,” says Margaret with a smile.
The public are invited to share morning tea with the CWA Urunga for the 90th birthday celebrations at the Ocean View Hotel Urunga from 10.30 am February 14th. Dignitaries from the CWA organisation, our local Mayor and Councillors and the business community will be represented. Gold coin donation welcome.
For CWA Urunga 90th birthday breakfast bookings:
Call Margaret- 6655 5544 or email Alison email@example.com