Last weekend, the Broken Hill Branch of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) celebrated its 100-year anniversary by holding two significant events.
On Friday evening, the branch launched its 100 Years of History book, titled Women of the West, in front of a packed crowd of approximately 65 people at the Broken Hill City Library.
Written and donated by local historian Paul Armstrong, Secretary of the Association Joan Casey said the book showcases “the wonderful effort and hard work of the ladies over many, many years.”
The printed book was edited, formatted, and funded by generous local philanthropist Robert Williamson, who has “a passion for preserving our local history in the written form,” said Pam Tucker of the CWA.
“Along the way, many have been involved, and we thank them all. No contribution is forgotten,” Pam added.
On Saturday, CWA members gathered at the National Parks and Wildlife Car Park at 11 a.m., opposite Foundation Broken Hill and the Sufi Bookshop, for the reveal of some commemorative murals.
“It is the most amazing art installation,” a spokesperson for the CWA Centenary Committee said.
Local artist Amanda Johnson, supported by her husband Brett Johnson, designed the four murals, which represent the four 25-year periods of CWA history.
The mural, which took three years to plan and a year to create, “is really meaningful, especially when you understand the history of it,” mentioned Joan Casey, secretary of CWA Broken Hill.
Ms Johnson said she drew a lot of inspiration from her family, with her daughter being her muse and featuring prominently in the murals.
“I don’t think she’ll mind me saying, my muse for the whole thing is my daughter, Lauren; she is the main girl that goes through the four panels. She’s dressed differently for each era that reflects each 25 years,” Ms Johnson told the Truth.
The family connection doesn’t end there, with her mother, grandchildren, and even her husband’s HD Holden featuring in the mural. Despite the personal touches, the mural is masterfully interwoven with the history of the CWA.
“I have my little granddaughter in there strapped into a car restraint in the back of my husband’s HD Holden because the CWA lobbied to have car restraints put into cars during the 60s and 70s,” Ms Johnson explained.
A generous donation of $22,000 from the Demo Club and the Sturt Club made the project possible, along with support from the National Parks and Wildlife service for use of the site.
Pam Tucker said, “much work happens behind the scenes to bring a dream alive for our member Fran Whitelaw.” She added, “we are so grateful to everyone who has contributed in any way.”
CWA President Kathy Reid, Secretary Joan Casey, and Centenary Committee members Penny Dennis, Judith Johnson, Pauline Carroll, Christina Tolu, Kathy Hastings, Belinda Barlow, Pam Tucker, Barb Gear, and Robyn Jenkins, “along with every single member of our branch,” ensured the weekend recognised the tireless efforts of so many past and present volunteers.
Those wishing to become members of the association can contact Joan Casey on 0417 085 124. The CWA meets on the last Monday of each month at the Fred Jobson South Community Centre.
CWA members are now looking forward to helping the local Quota Club with their annual ten-cent auction this Friday, 7:30 p.m., at the Musicians Club.
PICTURES: STUART KAVANAGH