WAB celebrates a century

The Women in Agriculture and Business SA is the oldest rural womens’ organisation in Australia and is celebrating its 100th birthday at Riverton, where the first branch was formed in October 1917.

President Liz Calvert and past state president Helen Colliver with volunteer garden manager Ross Kemp at Riverton deciding where roses will be planted.

President Liz Calvert and past state president Helen Colliver with volunteer garden manager Ross Kemp at Riverton deciding where roses will be planted.

One hundred years on, a group of energetic, far-sighted pioneering women from the Mid North are being well remembered and commemorated by present day members.

In the days of horse and buggy, those women were determined to improve their education and become innovative and progressive, so they travelled by horse to meetings at night when the moon was full, just so they could see their way.

Today, the WAB reflects with pride on its service record of helping women develop skills to become better farmers and partners in business, keeping abreast of modern practices.

The “Garden Guru” Kym Cyrus has bred a beautiful hybrid tea rose named ‘Spirit of Rural Women’ especially for the celebration and the Adelaide City Council has created a separate garden in Brougham Place, North Adelaide, where 26 of the roses have been planted.

On April 21, the rose was officially launched by ABC presenter Sophie Thompson, who also planted the final rose in the garden.

Long time member and past state president Barbara Schaefer then unveiled a plaque.

At Riverton, the pioneering women, and all who followed, are being remembered with a planting in the Riverton Pioneer Gardens, along with placement of a seat for visitors to enjoy.

On October 28 to 29, WAB celebrations will include a conference, dinner, service of reflection and annual meeting.

The opening address at the conference will be from Senator Anne Ruston, Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

World president of Associated Country Women of the World, Ruth Shanks, Dubbo, NSW, will also be a special guest after some sponsorship by Vennings, of Kadina.

ACWW has consultative Status at the UN, often acknowledged as the leading non-government organisation promoting rural womens’ development and representing more than nine million women across the world.

Programs to help rural women defeat poverty through teaching skills, innovation and education are funded in third world and poorer countries, all supported by the membership.

WAB has been a member of ACWW since 1948.

The dinner speaker will be Australian author Fiona McIntosh.

- Details: Former WAB members and families of deceased members can contact Lynette Staude on 0427 970 396 or email linfern1 2bigpond.com to be involved in the October festivities at Riverton.