CWA members honoured for combined 190 years' service

Three members of the SA Country Women's Association's Murray Bridge branch have received long service badges at a Christmas lunch.

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SA CWA president Roslyn Schumann, third from left, presents Maureen Kennett, Joyleen Lucas and Alice Jericho with long service awards. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Three local members have been recognised for their life-long service to the Country Women’s Association.

State president Roslyn Schumann came to the Riverside Hotel at Tailem Bend on Friday to recognise Joyleen Lucas, Alice Jericho and Maureen Kennett.

The trio had accumulated 190 years of service between them.

It was 70 years ago that Ms Lucas joined the CWA’s Alma branch, on the Adelaide Plains.

She had just left school, and was taking lessons in elocution at Hamley Bridge and dressmaking and needlework at Gawler.

Her early involvement included making an evening dress in a single day for a competition; her entry won branch, group and divisional prizes and earned her the right to attend a function at the old Palais Royal in Adelaide.

She also made a banner for the branch, which was brought out of the CWA's archives for its 90th anniversary last year.

Since her marriage in 1956, Ms Lucas had been a member of the CWA’s Wasleys, Coomandook and then Murray Bridge branches, Ms Schumann said.

“Joyleen has enjoyed receiving awards over the years and loves helping others,” the state president said.

“Although her eyesight has now diminished badly, we still see her making beautiful coat hangers and posies.”

Alice Jericho also received her 70-year badge.

She first joined the CWA’s Ki Ki branch in 1949 at the urging of her father, who said she needed to find interests beyond working on the family farm.

The Mills family later founded the Coomandook branch.

Since her marriage, Ms Jericho has been part of the Coonalpyn, Western Flat and Murray Bridge branches.

She loved handicrafts and was highly regarded for her beautiful needlework, Ms Schumann said.

Recognised for reaching 50 years of membership was Maureen Kennett.

She was originally invited to join the Wanbi branch soon after she and her husband moved to the Mallee town in 1969.

She, too entered a competition which called for her to make a dress in a day, and won branch, group and division awards.

She also won a state award after making a three-piece suit for her son Dion.

She had been president and secretary of both the Wanbi branch and, later, the Murray Bridge branch, Ms Schumann said.

“She has loved the opportunity to learn new crafts and has won many prizes for her beautiful work,” she said.

“She feels that being a member of the SA CWA has helped her to develop confidence and life skills.

“She has found the friendship factor a real highlight, but she also feels that she has got more out of being a member than she has put into it.”

Each of the three women thanked Ms Schumann for the honour before about 25 members of the Murray Bridge and Jervois branches and partners tucked into a Christmas lunch.

The Jervois branch has been inactive for much of 2020 due to COVID-19, and the Murray Bridge branch’s meetings have been shortened and modified but continue at the Johnstone Park combined clubrooms.