"She can't swim, she's a bit afraid of the water and she's also got two bung knees. But she just gets in there and paddles. And that's the character of the CWA, isn't it?"
Helen Wall, Caniambo CWA, Victoria
CWA stands for Country Women's Association and it is a network of women spread all over Australia.
If you like a book about strong characters, overcoming obstacles and a bit of a chuckle then I can recommend this book to you.
My sister in law gave it to me for Christmas and I read it straight away. I have always been in touch with my inner Nana (ie I enjoy making sponges and crocheting) so I was interested to see what the CWA was all about.
Turns out, they do a lot more than knit crochet coat hangers and make scones. They do a lot of work with drought relief, rural health, caring for newly arrived immigrants. They seem have have some political clout as well, they were instrumental in leading the push for big shopping centres to include public toilets.
I was saddened to read that the older women were concerned that the numbers were declining all over the country. Although there seems to be some hope with younger women starting to be attracted to the organisation. Evening branches of the CWA have been springing up and these tend to appeal to today's women.
So what does that all mean for me.
Well a couple of days ago I made the CWA brandy snaps (from the included recipes). Master B raved about them and declared for the next two days it was the best dessert he had ever had. (love that boy).
I felt after reading the book that I should join. These women have set up a very impressive network and do so much to help rural women and their communities. City branches are also gaining in popularity.
I googled our local CWA branch and they do have an evening branch. So, when school goes back, I am going to check it out. I am reminding myself of all my other commitments. But, I also believe in the old saying, "ask a busy person and you will get the job done".
If it turns out it is not for me or the timing isn't right. No problem, at least I will have calmed a little voice in the back of my head telling my to do my bit to preserve this wonderful institution.
Have you had any experience with the CWA?