Circle: Overberg
Branch: Kleinmond
Date: June 2022
Event: Meeting in Medowie
Correspondent: Hermien van Zyl

CWAA Kleinmond connects with CWA Medowie, NSW, Australia

Hermien van Zyl, secretary of the Kleinmond branch, and her husband recently visited their son and his family in Medowie, a village near Newcastle in New South Wales. Her internet research uncovered a local branch of the Country Women’s Association in Medowie. Her son meanwhile contacted them and immediately after arrival she received an invitation to join a few of the ladies for coffee. It was a group who meets weekly and they work together on their crochet, knitting and sewing articles. What an enjoyable morning of non-stop chatting and lovely coffee!

Hermien was delighted to realise that their Australian itenary allowed her to attend the CWA’s monthly meeting as she hoped and planned for such an opportunity while still in South Africa. Louise Bruwer, the Kleinmond chairlady, gifted a tablecloth with pincushions from her shop for Hermien to hand over as a gift from Kleinmond branch. It was quite a surprise for the Medowie ladies. She also took a plate of small “tipsy tarts” (baked date tartlets garnished with brandy – a traditional South African delicacy), which she made as a special treat for the ladies at the meeting, as the Australians are not familiar with drinking brandy. And Hermien also made a small exhibition of her own knitting like the rainbow blankie and jerseys she knitted for her grandchildren, the CWAA’s logo and a photo of Kleinmond.

The ladies were quite interested in hearing about the CWAA and the ladies all realized how much they have in common.

The Country Women’s Association of NSW is celebrating their centenary in 2022 and at the meeting the delegate from Medowie reported on the festivities and discussions when they attended the State Conference in Sydney from 2 – 5 May 2022. Adele Richards received first prize for her quilt.

The CWA had it’s beginnings at the Bushwomen’s Conference held in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural Show in Sydney in April 1922. There was a need to improve conditions for rural women, and a plan, inspired by the Women’s Institutes of Canada and Britain, was published in 1921 to path the way. The CWA focused on fighting isolation and a lack of health facilities for families in the remote areas. At the Centenary Conference the President of the New South Wales CWA, Stephanie Stanhope, payed homage to “these women who were initiators, fighters and lobbyists, who were passionate about making rural and regional NSW better for those who lived there and we must continue the legacy of those trail-blazing foundation members.”

The invitation

Hermien (middle) with Adele Richards (left) and June Fuller (chairlady) at the informal coffee date.

Interesting hand crafts they were working on.

Adele’s winning quilt


Their motto displayed at the monthly meeting       Hermien with the tipsy tartlets and the tablecloth

Hermien’s display at the meeting







The interesting way they wear their badges.








Hermien’s display at the Kleinmond meeting showing all the presents she received from the members at the Medowie meeting.