In November 2021, 90 years after its inauguration, the Midhirst branch of Rural Women NZ held a birthday lunch to celebrate the end of an era.
As membership has dwindled to a point where it has become difficult to continue, Midhirst Rural Women is finishing.
On Wednesday, November 18, 1931 the Midhirst branch of Women's Division Farmers Union was formed.
The initial primary aim of the women's organisation was to support the aims of their farming husbands, with the further object of providing support and improving conditions for women and children living in isolated rural areas.
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In 1946 the Farmers Union changed its name to Federated Farmers, and the Women's Division followed suit, making it WDFF. In 1999, a further name change took place and, now as Rural Women New Zealand, carries on the task of improving the health, conditions and welfare of women and children.
The remaining seven members and their invited guests enjoyed a finger food lunch, and many reminiscences were shared.
Lobbying for better conditions for rural communities, memories of past members, humorous incidents, and many events like flower shows, entertainments, competitions, and functions to raise funds for charity and other causes were recalled.
Two awards of branch life membership were made in recognition of years of service to the Midhirst branch over a number of years.
Viv Grigg has been the branch treasurer from 2006 to the present time. Her membership in the organisation began in 1963 when she joined the Ratapiko branch, transferring to the Midhirst group when Ratapiko branch closed in 2001.
Lorna Davies transferred to Midhirst in 2000, when Wharehuia branch closed. She was elected to the position of president in 2013, which she has held since that time. Having joined the Whakamara branch in 1966, her membership in the organisation has also been a long one.
The Midhirst Branch Banner which was displayed at formal Provincial and National RWNZ events and conferences will be placed in a glass cabinet in the Midhirst Hall along with historical information about the branch and its members.