Dedication to Dumbleyung CWA

Margie Ward, president Dumbleyung CWACountryman

The Dumbleyung CWA had its first meeting on July 7, 1930 and purchased its own building in 1934.

A new brick building was built on the same ground in 1957 and this was the home of Dumbleyung CWA until 2006.

Members from 1930 to 1960 raised funds to be able to purchase the first meeting rooms and land, and then build a new building.

Their main effort was from wheat and oat crops, collecting fleece, and, of course, catering.

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During the 1940s and 1950s, meetings were run with 30 to 40 women attending all in their very best outfits, including hat and gloves.

CWA provided them a social outing and also supported the community of Dumbleyung.

In 2006, with numbers dwindling, members were struggling to keep the building in good repair and a decision was made to sell it.

The Dumbleyung Shire purchased it, and when the branch received payment for the building, half went to head office and the other half went into a fund, knowing then that we wanted to do something special to commemorate all the hard work and time all members, past and present, had put into Dumbleyung.

Current members have battled along for the last 10 years and it came time to call it a day.

The decision was made in February to disband the branch.

We are all saddened by this, but also know that the community of Dumbleyung has so much going for it that the women are well taken care of.

Members had worked hard over the past 18 months to have artwork commissioned and in place to commemorate Dumbleyung CWA and its history in Dumbleyung and for the whole community of Western Australia.

So on August 31, with blustery winds playing havoc with plans, the Dumbleyung CWA unveiled its Bronze Statue, named Taking Tea, crafted by artist Phil Shelton, to more than 70 people.

The statue was unveiled and the speeches were held back at the Dumbleyung District Club.

State CWA Treasurer Marianne Hasson and General Secretary Anne Gething and their husbands travelled from Perth to be part of the unveiling, as well as many past members and families of past members.

Jacki Ball represented Dumbleyung Shire and a carload of women came up from Albany, with neighbouring CWA branches also attending.

All were treated to a delicious high tea at the Dumbleyung Club made by the current CWA members and friends.

They were also delighted and amazed by the beautiful work of art on display.

Mr Shelton, from Green Frog Studios in Esperance, and his mentor Chris Seimer also from Esperance, built the life-size bronze statue to commemorate more than 80 years of CWA in Dumbleyung.

The statue acknowledges and represents the companionship and friendship CWA has been for Country Women in Dumbleyung and Australia through the years.

Judy Morland, daughter of past member, Ruby Scott, upon seeing the artwork, exclaimed that the women of the statue looked just like her mother all those years ago.

Mr Shelton researched the project and used a picture taken in the 50s of a group of Dumbleyung CWA women at a catering day to get inspiration for the outfits, shoes and styles of the era, as well as support from the Esperance Theatrical Club.

It is well worth a trip to Dumbleyung to view the dedication to Dumbleyung CWA.

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