Kingaroy QCWA President Hazel Gurski with clippings from the branch's 90-year history

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.

Kumbia Celebrates With Garden Party

Former QCWA State President – and recently elected President of the Kumbia branch – Marian Mudra has organised a garden party to be held at her property at Ellesmere tomorrow (August 11) to celebrate the Queensland association’s milestone birthday.

The festivities, which have a gardening theme, will kick off at 9:00am at 30 Pauls Parade.

There will be three guest speakers:

Bob Dobbs – curator of the Roma Street Parklands in Brisbane

Harry Franz – a local member of the Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP), and

Warren Bailey – from Hivesville-based Orgro Natural Products who will discuss natural ways of getting the most out of your soil.

There will also be competitions, including a photography competition for photos of a flower or a plant, and a featured tree, and a hat competition for most humorous, most creative and most unusual.

Entry to the day is $5 which includes a ticket in a lucky door prize and a bottomless cup of tea or coffee.

Food and plants will be available to purchase.

Marian has invited all South Burnett residents to come along … participants don’t have to be a member of a QCWA Branch to join in the fun.

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.

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