August 10, 2012
Exactly 90 years ago, a meeting was called in Toowoomba to discuss the idea of an association to assist country women in Queensland.
Mrs Ruth Fairfax – wife of grazier Hubert, a member of the Fairfax family of media fame – agreed to accept the position of President … and so the QCWA was formed.
According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Mrs Fairfax then embarked on a strenuous six months tour of outback Queensland in an open car, organising branches and even holding some meetings on the banks of creeks.
She didn’t have to travel far for her first success …
Queensland’s first rural CWA branch opened in Kingaroy on August 22, 1922, just a handful of days after that initial formation meeting.
Daphne Florence Youngman, from Taabinga Homestead, was elected the first President and served in the role from 1922-33.
Other local branches then opened at Wondai (1923), Hivesville, Murgon, Kumbia and Goomeri (1924), Nanango (1925) and Wooroolin (1926).
There are now QCWA branches at Elgin Vale, Nanango, Maidenwell, Kingaroy, Kumbia, Hivesville, Wooroolin, Wondai and Proston.
The Murgon branch is officially in recess (the second time this has occurred) but the group’s rooms are still being put to good use as the Divisional headquarters of the association.
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Kingaroy branch president Hazel Gurski told southburnett.com.au the Kingaroy Branch would be officially celebrating its 90th birthday at an afternoon tea which will be held from 1:00pm on August 22 at the clubrooms in Kingaroy Street.
CWA members from all 15 clubs in the local Division and local dignitaries have been invited to attend.
There will be historic displays, afternoon tea and tables showing examples of each of the QCWA “contests”, ie knitting and crochet, handicrafts, floral art, cookery and international.
There will also be a “Fashion Through The Ages” static display of clothing loaned by Branch members.
Mrs Gurski said the Branch was always keen to locate new members, and anyone interested in finding out more about the association should contact her on (07) 4162-1194.
The Kingaroy branch meets on the second Friday of every month at 1:30pm.