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Womens Institute to celebrate 90 Years.

November 21, 2018 November 2018 No Comments

The Martinborough Branch of the NZ Womens Institute will celebrate their ninetieth birthday with a function at Tirohana Estate on November 27th.

Around fifty guests will include the New Zealand President Fay Leonard.

The Martinborough Branch was formed from a meeting held at the Parish Hall on 27th November 1928 at the Parish Hall. Mrs John McLeod was elected President, a position she continued to hold until 1935. Mrs Jolly was elected Secretary  along with an eleven member committee. By the 1930s the Martinborough Branch membership had reached eighty. 

Meeting agenda from through the years show how the Institute’s original objectives have stood the test of time. Sharing home making skills, Providing friendly social contact, learning crafts and helping others have been continuing ideals. A motto  being ‘If you know a good thing pass it on’.  

The Institute came into its own during the 1930s depression years. Lists fro the time record huge amounts of every kind of food being collected and along with  prepared meals  distributed to needy families. Children’s clothes were made  and along with donated clothes also distributed.

During  WW11 food parcels were made up and sent along with knitted  and other needed items to Britain. Parcels of small luxury items were put together for the troops. 

Making donations to various worthy causes has been a part of the Institute’s programme. The list includes Red Cross, Wharekaka, Life flight Trust, Fred Hollow’s Foundation and The neurological  Foundation  to name but a few.   

Among the correspondence was a 1946 letter from the  Cape Palliser lighthouse keeper’s wife thanking the Institute for its support to her as a correspondent member. The letter told of  her, and the other keep’s wife’s isolated life where contact with the outside world was intermittent at best and of their, by necessity, completely self contained lifestyle. 

There are thirteen Institute Branches in the Wairarapa with the Wairarapa President currently being  Carol Wingate. The Martinborough  President is Betty Finlayson, Vice-President Noeline Bain, Secretary Nolene White and Treasurer Megan Philip.

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