HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The women of the Ballina Country Women's Association branch, with long-term member Ivy Delaney front and centre, celebrated the branch's 75th anniversary last week.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The women of the Ballina Country Women's Association branch, with long-term member Ivy Delaney front and centre, celebrated the branch's 75th anniversary last week. Graham Broadhead

A recipe for longevity as CWA celebrates

THE girls in the Ballina branch of the Country Women's Association are well known for their baking skills, but they also have the recipe for longevity.

The branch last week celebrated its 75th anniversary.

But this time the girls could take a seat away from the kitchen and a caterer was brought in so they could celebrate the birthday.

The CWA was formed in 1922 at a time when country women were fighting isolation and a lack of health facilities.

The organisation worked to set up baby health care centres, fund bush nurses, build maternity wards, provide education scholarships and fundraise to support various charities.

It has also acted as a lobby group.

And the CWA has provided a social outlet for women.

The Ballina branch, formed in September 1941, currently has 37 members, with that figure expected to increase slightly with membership subscriptions due this month.

Ivy Delaney, aged 94, has been in the branch for nearly 50 years.

She joined after moving from Ulmarra with her late husband in an effort to meet people.

She has been described as one of the branch's cooking gurus, and has made it to State level in the annual The Land Cookery Competition.

But more importantly, she said she has enjoyed the company of the CWA members.

"There is no loneliness in the CWA," she said.

"If there is, it's your own fault."

She said she would like to see the CWA branch grow with younger members.

Current president Lyn Davidson said the CWA was still relevant today as it was 75 years ago.

While there are more opportunities through technology for women to come together, she said that couldn't beat the face-to-face connection of the CWA.

The Ballina branch has regular craft sessions, mahjong games and takes part in the annual CWA cooking competition.



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