This year, 2023, marks the centenary of one of Boorowa's iconic organisations, the Boorowa Branch of the Country Women's Association (CWA) of New South Wales.
This centenary year has been a marvellous year for the Branch with a resurgence of membership numbers and a host of successful achievements and community fundraising events. This centenary gives the women of Boorowa CWA the opportunity to honour those who walked before them.
In 20 July 1923, as reported in The Burrowa News, we see the first mention of interest in establishing a Boorowa CWA Branch. The first meeting of the branch was in the supper room of the Mechanics Institute on Pudman Street. Mrs Ada Bevan (born in Boorowa in 1877) was appointed as the first President of the Boorowa CWA Branch.
Over the past 100 years there have been many highlights of the Boorowa CWA Branch including:
The establishment of the first Travelling Baby Health Clinic in NSW whereby district centres were visited by a nursing sister from Boorowa
The work done during World War II by members to support the war effort (including Clara Montgreenan Stevenson's Sheepskin Vest Scheme).
The significant contribution to causes and charities in Boorowa and district over the last 100 years.
In more recent years the Boorowa CWA Branch have experienced their ups and downs with the sale of The CWA Hall and Membership numbers slowly dwindling. Despite the declining numbers the Boorowa Branch continued to roll up their sleeves and support their local community.
In the year 2000, building inspectors deemed the Boorowa CWA Hall unsafe and meetings were moved to the Boorowa Ex-Services Club. The CWA Hall was sold, and the State Office granted the Branch $5000 from the sale. There was recorded deep sadness felt by the CWA members and the community in seeing the sale of the CWA Hall, however in true CWA spirit all of the $5000 was donated to the local community. $1000 went to each of the five local organisations: Boorowa Central School, St Joseph's School, Boorowa and District Historical Society, Burrowa House, and Boorowa Hospital. From the sale of the contents of the Hall the Branch was able to donate a picnic table and seats, which were suitably engraved and installed at the picnic area of the Boorowa Court House.
During 2010's Boorowa CWA memberships began to dwindle further, despite the low numbers the Branch continued to support the local Boorowa community; sponsoring Boorowa's International Women's Day events, purchasing Christmas gifts for residents at Burrowa House, conducting market stalls and raffles sending proceeds to drought relief, the Boorowa Hospital Auxillary, the Boorowa Historical Society, Guide dogs aistralia, diabetes Australia and more.
In 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, combined with low membership, the decision was made to put the local Boorowa Branch in recess for 12 months.
Fortunately, thanks to the promotional efforts of Geraldine Gore, President of South West Group, the Branch came out of recess in September 2022 with a boost of 40 members! More recently at the South West Group AGM in October 2023 Boorowa received The Enid Smith Trophy for most increased membership, a first for the Boorowa Branch and a wonderful sign for the wonderful future ahead for the CWA Branch in Boorowa.
With this wonderful resurgence of interest and spirit the new Boorowa CWA Branch have had many achievements this year. Since the beginning of 2023 Boorowa CWA have been busy serving the Boorowa Community in the following ways;
Boorowa CWA Mother's Play Group established.
Management of the Pavilion Tea Room at the Boorowa Show serving Devonshire tea and sandwiches to show attendees and workers.
Australia Day celebrations selling tea, coffee, and scones to local community members and awardees.
Burrowa House Fundraiser celebrating 30 years of Burrowa House, CWA stall sold devonshire tea; scones and tea, to guests and residents and all funds raised were given to Burrowa House."
At the Southwest Group's Land Cookery and Handicraft day, Sina Banks date and walnut loaf came second and Karen Smith's fruit cake came third. Karen Smith's ladies camisole set and baby's outfit came first and went to the State Competition.
At the recent South West Group AGM in October 2023 Boorowa received two awards; The Enid Smith Trophy for most increased membership, and the award for the Best Secretary Annual Report.
Centenary Event - Fun in the Park!
There is lots of excitement as we lead up to the Boorowa CWA centenary event "Fun in the Park". The event will be held at Boorowa Recreational Park on Saturday November 25, 2023 from 10am - 2pm.
The Boorowa CWA Branch is teaming up with Anna Dreverman and her team of enthusiastic helpers from The Hilltops Youth Action Group to help make this day a fun filled, family friendly event.
"Fun in the Park" caters for all ages with a variety of fun games for kids and adults, including a Jumping Castle, Archery Boards, Mini Soccer, lawn games such as Jenga, Connect 4, Finska and good old fashion games such as the egg toss and tug of war.
The RFS Fire Truck will be making an appearance which will prove to be very exciting for our future volunteer fire fighters.
There will be live music provided by Anna Dreverman from the Hilltops Action Group.
There will be a sausage sizzle and cool drinks to purchase and Fairy floss and Snow Cones will be on offer for a gold coin donation.
There will also be a display of Boorowa CWA memorabilia, Christmas crafts and cooking for sale, as well as a huge centenary cake for all to enjoy.
In attendance will be the Hilltops Council Mayor, Margaret Roles, Deputy Mayor, Alison Foreman, Boorowa Councillors, John and Sandy Piper, Jo McKay and CWA guests including Jennifer Blinkhorn (State Rep, Wollondilly Group) Karen Pavey (President, Southern Tablelands Group) Tina Billings (President, Hume Group) Cecilia Klinger (President, Central Western Group) Colleen Cooper (President, Goulburn Branch) Brenda Phillips (President, Yass Branch).
There has been much planning and excitement leading up to this event. We look forward to welcoming our special guests and our fabulous local families and residents. This is an all age community event so please come along, bring a chair and/or picnic rug, and even your fishing rod if you have an enthusiastic fisherman! and help the Boorowa CWA Branch celebrate 100 years of CWA in Boorowa. We look forward to enjoying a fun day in the park, a wonderful way to bring our small local community together.
CWA Raffle for Ovarian Cancer
Wellbeing Pamper Package for Women
Prizes valued up and over $600
$100 Dining Voucher, The Top Pub, Boorowa
$80 The Stables Voucher, Young
$80 Flower Bouquet Voucher, The Girl and the Garden, Boorowa
Voucher, The Boorowa Beauty Emporium.
As well as an assortment of wine, Body Shop and Natio Beauty Products, home-made delicacies, the CWA Centenary Cookbook and Tea Towel, and more...
Tickets are $5 each and all proceeds will go to Ovarian Cancer Australia for Research and Awareness
Tickets can be purchased at "Fun in the Park", other sale venues will be advertised on Facebook.
Prize will be drawn at the final Boorowa CWA Branch meeting for the 2023 year, Tuesday 5th of December.
The new 2023 Boorowa CWA committee comprises:
President: Belle Banks
Secretary: Karen Smith
Treasurer: Jane Saillard
Vice Presidents: Yvonne Murphy and Christine Coble
International Officer: Virginia Keighley
Handicrafts Officer: Sina Banks
Land Cookery Officer: Christine Coble
Publicity Officer: Kirsty Miller
Cultural Officer: Natalie Downey
Group Councillors: Karen Smith and Jane Saillard
Catering Committee: Christine Coble, Fiona Gorham, Kirsty Miller, Virginia Keighley, Jayne Apps.
- By Kirsty Miller, Boorowa CWA Publicity Officer.
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