For more than 70 years of its 90-year history, the SA Country Women's Association has had a strong presence at the Royal Adelaide Show, providing meals, gift ideas, and the renowned CWA scones to show attendees and giving branch members the opportunity to meet and network with others from across the state.
Starting out by providing meals at the show in the late 1940s, and then expanding to include a pop-up market selling gifts in the mid-2000s, state president Roslyn Schumann said SACWA's focus at the show had remained constant through the years.
"It's a showcase of what we do, where members can learn new skills, and it's also about providing a meal service to showgoers," she said.
Ms Schumann said members from across the state were always willing to contribute to the show, either by donating goods or helping out in the cafe.
"Members know that the money is going towards running the association in some way, so they're quite happy to support it, and it's a good outlet for them to practise what they've been learning in their handicraft sessions at branch levels," she said.
"There would be goods for sale here from Mount Gambier, and things from Ceduna."
For Victor Harbor evening branch president Erin Swan, who volunteered at the show last year, coming together as a group was extremely rewarding.
Her mother, Lorraine Chalmers, helped out at the show for about two decades, beginning in the mid-1990s, and Ms Swan, who helped out briefly while at university, said many of the women at the show remained familiar to her.
"The women haven't changed, they're still there, still making the scones and putting all the food out," she said.
"The best thing about working there last year was the social side of it, and being able to chat to women all over the state and see what's happening in their branches."
To celebrate the SACWA's 90th anniversary, a tea cosy competition was run, organised by former Adelaide Metropolitan branch member Amanda Blair, with a number of entries on display at the show.
"A good tea cosy can last a lifetime. I think many of these entries will stand the test of time, just like the SACWA," Ms Blair said.
SACWA PROJECT REQUIRES FUNDING
The SA Country Women's Association has used the Royal Adelaide Show as a springboard to launch a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new verandah at Mary Walker House, at the state office in Kent Town.
The building was designed in the 1960s by prominent Adelaide architect Phillip Earle Scott, and SACWA state treasurer Sharyn Muller said the replacement verandah would maintain the authenticity of the original design.
As of late last week, $30,000 had been collected for the cause.
Ms Muller said the goal was to collect $100,000 for the replacement, and urged people to donate.
"It's so important for us to be able to maintain the integrity of Mary Walker House, and to have it as a lovely space for people to come and meet," she said.
Need to know more? gofundme.com
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