Life is full of coincidences and I have written before about those that existed between the purchase and eventual sale, of our Potts Point property. The same has held true for this tale.
The last State Executive Meeting is being held in the Auditorium at Potts Point this week, hence the late blog, so I thought I would delve into the archives to find when the auditorium hosted its first meeting of this committee and what was discussed within its walls, compared to now.
The new Administrative Block and Handicraft Headquarters were opened on 4th May 1957 by the Governor of the day, Sir John Northcott. The story in the June edition of The Country Woman was titled “The Nerve Centre of CWA” and the State President, Joan Lander, commented that whilst “the heart of the Association is in the country, the nerve centre will be in our new Head Office building.”
The first Executive meeting commenced on 18th June 1957 and one of the agenda items was a letter from Inverell Branch regarding passes for blind people so that their “seeing eye dogs” may accompany them when travelling on trains. The Executive of the day resolved to support this suggestion for “all methods of transport”. A further request went to the Minister for Health regarding the appointment of part-time nurses for baby health centres in the country following complaints about lack of staff in many areas.
The committee carried a further resolution recommending “that wherever possible a series of six lectures in home nursing and ….first aid be instituted with practical demonstrations to be undertaken by our Branch Members”. The following paragraph to this motion says there “was general discussion on the matter” and “… after considerable discussion” support should be given to first aid being taught in schools.
Fast forward fifty eight years where our Joint Patrons, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Linda Hurley were invited to attend afternoon tea with the members of the Executive Committee. Unfortunately a last minute change to plans prevented the Governor from attending but we had a delightful forty five (informal) minutes with Mrs Hurley.
The decisions we have made this week continue to reflect our determination to address issues that affect our communities and whilst we no longer actively participate in “front-line” provision of services, we can fund those who do. The Committee agreed to partner with several like-minded organisations to support programs aimed at reducing drug and alcohol addiction, training for rural professionals dealing with victims of domestic violence and a study investigating the role of hormones in adolescent health, behaviour and wellbeing.
Whilst we may be moving “the nerve centre” our focus and our ability to adapt to the changing needs of our society will continue so that the President of CWA of NSW in 2073 can hopefully relate a similar tale in whatever form of communication exists then.