The Glenorchy Branch of what was then the Women’s Division of the Farmer’s Union (later WDFF) was originally formed in October 1931.
Women’s Division gave thousands of rural women all over the country a chance to come together and achieve collectively, and also to support each other in the days when rural life could be extremely isolating.
Over the years the Glenorchy WDFF was an important part of Glenorchy life and contributed funds to more than one important local project, often raised at the Flower Show which was originally their event.
By the late 1980s the Glenorchy Branch was struggling to keep members as society went through some radical changes. The branch officially went into recess in 1986 when membership declined to the point that it was not feasible to carry on.
In the intervening years the organisation went through some major changes, not least the name change to Rural Women New Zealand to better reflect the membership and encourage more people to take part, whether they were involved in farming or not. In November 2010 the Glenorchy Branch was officially re-launched and membership is currently 34 good-time girls under the dubious leadership of Fearless Leader Kate Scott. As it was Kate’s great-grandmother, also Kate Scott, who launched the original group in 1931 she somehow got the job.
Our stated aims are to keep it light and have a good time together without becoming bogged down in too much meeting procedure or official business. While we did originally swear there would be no knitting and scones, in actual fact we did get together several times over the 2011 winter to do some knitting for Christchurch, to help keep them warm. Never say never. (Actually it was fun and involved mulled wine and chocolate pudding).
Other activities to date include:
- An excellent pasta-making night during which only the chef was maimed – the rest of us ate and drank very well
- Running midwinter fundraising dinners for the last two years with the help of our friends in the Swanndri Quartet, raising over $4,000 for two great projects and having a lot of fun along the way
- Awesome trips away to North Otago and Stewart Island
- Starting the Harvest Festival which has become a fixture on the calendar over the last three years
- Helping out at Paradise this year on several occasions both happy and sad
- Making cushions for breast cancer surgery patients to help with their recovery
- Having great Christmas parties every year
- Having awesome AGM dinners every year
- Making some kind of world record length of bunting to decorate the Hall
- Pyjama Party and Pimms movie night
Our AGM is in August but new members are welcome any time, just get in touch with any of our members, local or global!
For the rest of the time we will carry on eating, drinking and making merry together just for the fun of it and if something useful accidentally gets done at the same time then we’ll probably cope with that too.
Contact Kate Scott for further information.
Article by Kate Scott
If you haven’t seen the new RWNZ website yet, do have a look, it is really good and there is heaps of info on there and great photos and stuff – www.ruralwomen.org.nz