Holbrook CWA branch set to celebrate 90 years

CELEBRATING AT HOLBROOK: CWA NSW state president Stephanie Stanhope.

CELEBRATING AT HOLBROOK: CWA NSW state president Stephanie Stanhope.

A CELEBRATION of longevity and diversity will take place this week when the Country Women's Association (CWA) of Australia's Holbrook branch marks 90 years.

The 90th birthday celebrations in the eastern Riverina are set to attract around 50 people.

Jenny Gillespie said it was a huge achievement for the women of Holbrook and the 90th birthday was a wonderful occasion to come together and celebrate. "It is a celebration of country women and this wonderful community," Mrs Gillespie said.

The formalities will take place on December 5th at Mrs Gillespie and her husband John's property at Hay Street, Holbrook.

Guests include Greater Hume Council mayor, Heather Wilton CWA NSW state president Stephanie Stanhope, CWA Murray Group President Lyn Buck and CWA Holbrook branch president Janet Kemp together with current and former CWA members.

Reflecting back on history; it was December 5 1929 when the branch was formed in Holbrook.

At that time CWA was not only becoming an International organisation via the International Council of Women but a strongly local one in many rural towns in NSW and Queensland.

In Holbrook by 1937, just eight years later, the branch had 115 members.

And just like we see today the great work of the CWA spanned from establishing and supporting hospitals and maternity homes to rest rooms and designated rail carriages for women and children, to holiday homes for country families.

Where government help didn't prove forthcoming the association paved the way for things to happen.

In time hospitals, baby health centres and libraries have became the structures of any healthy thriving community.

Organisers are hoping that some of the pioneering members and those with connections back over the history of the Holbrook branch will participate in the events in the eastern Riverina.

Guests are set to wear their favourite period frock or costume with a parasol if possible.