Home' Tennant and District Times : 2018-0713 TDT Contents 4 TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 13 JULY 2018
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l Tennant Creek CWA women with Judy Anictomatis and Lorna McLaughlin from the NT CWA executive
(fifth and sixth from left) at the launch of Together - A History of the Country Women’s Association in the
Northern Territory by Sheila and Peter Forrest.
A BOOK about the CWA’s work in the North-
ern Territory was launched in Tennant Creek
last week with great salutation.
Together - A History of the Country Women’s Asso-
ciation in the Northern Territory by Sheila and Peter
Forrest features the contribution Tennant Creek women
have made to the organisation over the years.
While the CWA might invoke images of sponge cakes,
scones, jam and tea, locally it’s quite a different story.
Although the group wasn’t formalised until 1936 when
it became a South Australian-affiliated branch, the Ten-
nant Creek CWA began as a support group when the
handful of women who had ventured to the fledgling
goldfields met for companionship and to share informa-
tion on children’s health and welfare.
Circa 1934, Kathleen Weaber, Nellie Ryan, Phyllis
Staunton, Clara Mill and Francie Udall were among
those women who went on to organise social evenings
and functions including the Christmas Tree - now an
annual tradition that has delighted tens of thousands of
children over the years.
During the war years, the local CWA women rallied
to establish a canteen to provide tea, scones cakes and
light meals to military convoys passing through town
en route to defend North Australia.
Over the following few years, about 30 branch mem-
bers - working on a roster - cooked scones, boiled water
in backyard coppers to tea in kerosene buckets, minced
corned beef to make rissoles and served the food to
hundreds of hungry soldiers every day. And when the
women weren’t working in the makeshift kitchen, they
were raising funds to buy more supplies.
After Darwin was bombed, military leaders wouldn’t
allow the soldiers to stop in Tennant Creek because of
the urgent need keep moving and so the local CWA
women then turned their attention to raising funds to
buy fresh eggs from Adelaide to send to those in the
Tennant Creek’s CWA held an annual spring flower
show for many years and established the CWA
Art Award, acquiring winning works that have now
become a valuable collection.
These days, the CWA has an ongoing working relation-
ship with Rotary and joins them in working for causes
such as the Pink Ribbon Breakfast.
Speaking at the launch, CWA Vice President Roddy
Calvert - who has been a member of the local branch
for 21 years - said the book was wonderfully informa-
tive, words that were echoed by current President Kathy
Muir who has also clocked up many years of service
to the CWA.
“The long-awaited history book retells stories of
strong, formidable, legendary women - both past and
present - and will hopefully inspire others to join the
Country Women’s Association,” she said.
Special guest at the event was Judy Anictomatis from
the NT CWA executive. Having been involved with
the CWA for many years and last month received an
Order of Australia Medal for her longstanding service
to women in the Northern Territory.
Lorna McLaughlin from the NT CWA was also a guest
at the launch along with Member for Barkly Gerry Mc-
Carthy and Mayor Steve Edgington.
CWA book highlights
efforts of local women
l Jill Kleiner, Member for Barkly Gerry
McCarthy and Roddy Calvert.
Photo by KARL HERZOG.
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