Te Aroha West WI 70 years
Seventy years on and still growing strong.
That’s the phrase used by members of Te Aroha West Women’s Institute when they celebrated their 70th Anniversary with a special luncheon at the Te Aroha RSA.
President, Ngaire Young, welcomed past and present members and special guests president Fay Moore, vice president, Margaret Gaskell and Penny Curtis from the Waikato East WI Federation.
Throughout their 70 year history the members of this busy Women’s Institute have raised money for hundreds of charities.
They have donated thousands of knitted and crochet items such premature baby bonnets and vests, blankets, fiddle muffs, baby cardigans, hats and more to local hospitals and Plunket. They have supported Te Aroha Community Foodbank over the past few years on a monthly basis.
The Women’s Institute (WI), a communitybased organisation for women, was founded in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, by Adelaide Hoodless in 1897, and the British WI movement was formed in 1915 in, Anglesey Wales.
The idea of Women’s Institute was first introduced to New Zealand by Miss Anne Elizabeth Jerome Spencer on her return from war work.
On February 7 1921, in conjunction with Mrs Francis Hutchinson, Miss Spencer formed the Rissington Women’s Institute, Hawke’s Bay; the first in New Zealand.
Her hopes were fully realised as the movement spread quickly throughout the country. The first meeting was February 21. In 1947 the Te Aroha West WI was formed. Young spoke with pride about the Te Aroha institute’s long history, honouring past and present members, for the fine voluntary work they have achieved across the years, before cutting the beautifully decorated cake made by member, Molly Shanley, with long serving member Norma Graham and the youngest member, Sukhjit Singh.
Members then sat down at the beautifully decorated tables with special floral arrangements in the green and gold of the WI colours by member, Wanda Brittain, to enjoy a delicious luncheon.
Norma Graham, Ngaire Young and Sukhjit Singh.