If the walls of the Hastings Municipal Women's Rest building could talk, they'd tell the stories of the hundreds of thousands of women who have been through the building in its 100 years.
Originally opened in September 1921 as a Women's Rest, the building is now home to the Heretaunga Women's Centre and will celebrate its 100th birthday on March 23.
Amanda Hanan from the Heretaunga Women's Centre says everyone who comes through the centre has a story to tell about the almost 100-year-old building.
It was the first purpose-built women's rest rooms constructed in New Zealand.
People will come in and talk about how they used to come to the building with their mothers or bring their children to it, she says.
"For us the stories of the women reverberated and we are keen for people to know how important this building was and still is."
From the start the Women's Rest provided Plunket rooms, a lounge, nursery and toilets.
Plunket rooms were provided free in exchange for a contribution from Plunket to the matron's salary.
There was also a matron who lived on site until the 1990s.
The council is looking for relatives of the donors of the building and the women's centre is looking for the matrons or their families.
Hanan says one year the building had more than 207,000 women through it.
"As the centre of Hastings was being developed there was nowhere for women to go to the toilet or feed their children when they came [into town], it was a very male dominated society."
So when the women's rest opened, she says it would have meant women were able to get out more and socialise.
"They really were home-bound if you think no cars, possibly some trams, but you'd have to plan your whole visit and where would you go to the toilet? Where would you feed your children? There was nowhere to leave [them] if they weren't school age.
"I imagine it would have made life so much easier.
"I think even now women are isolated once they have children and that thing of coming here, cups of tea, doing your Plunket together, meeting a friend ... it would have made a difference."
The purpose and benefits of the Women's Rest have been continued through the Women's Centre which also works for women to feel less isolated and build friendships.
"Everything we do with the counselling and the classes really does help for women to feel more part of the community and get women more skills and resources.
"And of course we still do have the nursery where they have a play group once a week and there's somewhere to go.
"It's safe here, it is a safe place, you don't have to worry about something going on, it's just a nice caring environment."
The celebration will begin at 10am with a speech from the mayor, those involved, and hopefully from family members of donors followed by a performance by the local Māori performing arts group and a traditional morning tea like they would have had when the building opened.
The building will be open for people to walk through.
There have been "loads" of family members of the original donors get in touch, Hanan said.
If any former matrons or their families would like to get in touch before the celebration, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org