CWA celebrate the women who have served during the past 100 years

cwa women placing flowers on past members PICTURE: LIZ BREBNER

Around thirty women participated in the Country Women’s Association (CWA) Celebration of Life Ceremony last Saturday.

The Celebration of Life Ceremony is one of the events scheduled to celebrate the CWA NSW Branch’s 100th year of existence.

The CWA women remembered past members in the Garden of Remembrance at the Broken Hill Cemetery.

The Ceremony started with an acknowledgement of Country, the CWA pledge, Bette Midler’s song “The Rose”, followed by a talk by Reverend Helen Ferguson.

Reverend Ferguson spoke about how these past members had dedicated their time and ideas for the CWA in Broken Hill.

“These were the women of the highest calibre and blessed role models for women of every age,” Reverend Ferguson said.

The women read out the names of past members before a final song, Supermarket Flowers, recorded by Ed Sheeran, caused tears to flow in the crowd.

Then groups of CWA women journeyed throughout the cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of each past member.

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Afterwards, the women went to the Library on Patton Street to enjoy lunch together.

The CWA in NSW was formed in April 1922 by two women, Grace Munro and Florence Gordon.

Both women had first-hand experience in the fight to overcome isolation and the lack of health facilities for families living in remote parts of NSW.

Within a year, the CWA became a resourceful group that, through sheer determination and hard work, was integral to setting up baby health care centres and ensured funding for bush nursing positions.

The Broken Hill CWA Branch was established in 1923 and consisted of women from Broken Hill and the Far West.

The CWA saw the establishment of rest homes for frail country people and helped set up schools in remote areas.

Their charitable work raised funds to help battle fire, flood and drought.

Numbers in Broken Hill CWA Branch dwindled some years back, and local members travelled to the Menindee CWA Branch to attend meetings.

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Judith Selby canvassed people in Broken Hill to see if there were enough women interested in re-establishing the group in 2018.

The Broken Hill CWA group began meeting again in February 2018.

They now regularly meet on the last Monday of each month at 7.00pm at the South Community Centre Library on Patton Street.

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