Kumbia QCWA members … vice-president Catherine Woodham, treasurer Aura Marks, president Julianne Cross, Sheree Jackson, secretary Moira Curtain, Ruth Moseling and Shirley Donohoe

February 27, 2024

One hundred years ago, Kumbia was a very different place … but there are two things time travellers would recognise: the hall, and the hard work of a keen bunch of local women.

Kumbia Hall (officially, the Memorial School of Arts) celebrated its centenary in 2022.

And on Saturday, a couple of hundred people packed into the hall to celebrate another 100th birthday … that of the Kumbia branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association.

There were speeches, a cake-cutting, the unveiling of a plaque and lots of memories shared.

Much of the history of the Kumbia branch was also on display, with tables full of craft, memorabilia, newspaper clippings and photos.

Kumbia QCWA president Julianne Cross recalled how she joined the QCWA more than 30 years ago.

“From that very first day, I knew this organisation – which has helped so many and changed so many lives nationwide – was quite special,” Julianne said.

“The ladies would teach me many life lessons all the while helping the community.

“I have made many special friendships.”

Back then, the branch had 25 members, but these days it was just eight – and they all toiled into the wee hours to get the hall ready for Saturday big celebration! 

“Our aims have not changed and that is to help anyone in need and to keep our rooms open for the community with lots of hard work, heaps of fun and lots of laughter,” Julianne said.

Other guest speakers included Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, who recalled how her cakes didn’t always match the QCWA’s high standards, and former radio journalist Gerald Tooth who spoke about his family’s connections with the Kumbia QCWA.

Kumbia QCWA secretary Moira Curtain read from her history of the branch, prepared especially for the celebration after she scoured decades of minute books.

She also shared her award-winning poem (see below) which was inspired by a collection of 1930s cups and saucers donated to the Kumbia QCWA when the Boyneside group closed.

Compere for the day was Peter Curtain, who pointed out that Australia’s favourite chocolate  bar, Cherry Ripe, was also celebrating its centenary this year.

This prompted the distribution of Cherry Ripes as lucky table draw prizes throughout the morning.

Special guests at the centenary celebration included QCWA State President Sheila Campbell, Vice-President Central Region Tamara Stephensen, representatives from the Gympie & South Burnett Division, and members from other branches.

Kumbia QCWA president Julianne Cross was welcoming visitors as they entered the hall
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, centre, with QCWA State President Sheila Campbell and State Vice-President (Central Region) Tamara Stephensen
Moira Curtain with her history of the Kumbia QCWA compiled for the occasion … copies were on sale f0r $20
Marla and Nate Hamon – family members of Kumbia QCWA member Aura Marks – provided the live music … their performance of “I Am Australian”, which included a moving monologue about Marla’s arrival in the country, attracted much applause
Kumbia QCWA members Aura Marks and Sheree Jackson were selling items from the craft table
Anne Skinner, from Kumbia, with her parents Tony and Sheilah Turton, from Kingaroy
Mary Turner and Charmaine Trace, from the Maidenwell QCWA, with friend Lyn Barclay, Ellesmere
Past Kumbia QCWA members Chris Quagliata and Tina Dolan were enlisted to work on the door
Kumbia QCWA member Ruth Moseling and volunteer Keryn Swindale, from Toowoomba, were selling raffle tickets
Kumbia QCWA members secretary Moira Curtain and vice-president Catherine Woodham
Murray Beil, from Kingaroy, with Heather Unverzagt, Kumbia; and Janet Watts, Kingaroy
Kumbia QCWA member Shirley Donohoe
Visitors from Gympie Wendy Flikweert and Clare Gâté with Division president Janice Jamieson
Peter Curtain compered the celebrations (and also distributed Cherry Ripes to lucky tables)
Former South Burnett Division secretary Mollie Kratzmann returned for the special day
State President Sheila Campbell emphasised the group’s activities involved much more than just making scones
Kumbia QCWA president Julianne Cross described her QCWA journey
Former radio journalist Gerald Tooth shared some family memories
Kumbia president Julianne Cross and Melissa Frost cut the Centenary cake
Unveiling the Centenary plaque … Catherine Woodham, Sheila Campbell and Tamara Stephensen
Catherine Woodham with the Centenary plaque which will be affixed to a wall at the Kumbia QCWA’s Rooms
Julianne Cross with Rita Buchholz who made the special Centenary cake
Pride of place amongst the craft displays with this hand-crocheted wedding dress made by Moira Curtain from an Australian Women’s Weekly pattern … Moira was taught to crochet in the QCWA, and with the guidance of her friends, made the dress in just six weeks!

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Long-time member Moira Curtain shared a summary of the history of the Kumbia QCWA as well as a poem which sums up many of the QCWA’s values:


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Gallery Of Photos

[UPDATED with correction]


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