HOORAY: Division President Margaret Grayson with Broadwater treasurer Alma Faulkner and president Sue Boyce at the branch's 70th birthday.
HOORAY: Division President Margaret Grayson with Broadwater treasurer Alma Faulkner and president Sue Boyce at the branch's 70th birthday. Contributed

MILESTONE: Marking seven decades of service

PRESIDENT of Broadwater branch Sue Boyce recently welcomed members and guests to the branch's 70th birthday.

The branch was formed on October 31, 1947 beneath the Broadwater School. The meeting was opened by division president Mrs Atkins, who then appointed the following officers: President, Mrs Welsh; secretary, Miss Pyle; treasurer, Mrs Pyle; and vice-presidents - Mrs Furness, Mrs Tumbridge, Mrs Gow and Mrs Bamberry.

Other members were Mesdames Yeates, Scott, Gimm and Symons.

The members worked hard to raise money to buy a block of land. They catered for school sports, tennis association and afternoon teas. They held fruit and lamington drives, street stalls, raffles. Dances were held in the Broadwater School.

In March, 1954, the branch purchased a block of land next to the school for 48 pounds from the council. The same year members borrowed 500 pounds from state office, which was paid back at 100 pounds per annum. This money was used to build the hall.

Mr Les Atkins built the shell of the hall for 500 pounds. On December 9, 1954 an advertisement was placed in the Border Post: "Stump capping and sports day will be held at Broadwater in aid of QCWA hall with novelties, games, basketball, tug of war and refreshments. Hot water for refreshments available commencing at 2pm”.

January, 1955 was the proposed start of the building. The young lads of the district rolled up in full force and the husbands of the members helped in every way possible. In March, 1955, Cottonvale QCWA donated 5 pounds to the building fund.

An advertisement was placed in the Border Post for an opening dance. "QCWA Broadwater Hall, March 19, 1955, Ross's band, good supper. Official opening will be by Mrs Tennant, Divisional President at 9pm. There will be novelties, lucky door, free monte carlo. Admission 3 shillings”.

An article on the opening appeared in the Border Post on March 31, 1955.

"QCWA Broadwater opened the new hall with a dance for the occasion. Mrs R Furness, president welcomed Chairman Rogers, Mrs Tennant and Mrs L Atkins and all visitors and thanked everyone who helped in any way with the hall. She said it had been very hard work. Mrs Tennant then told how the branch worked to build the hall and said it brought back memories to the members of when the meetings were held under the school. Concluding, Mrs Tennant wished members every success in their new hall. Chairman Rogers (Shire Council), on behalf of visitors, wished the branch every success”.

There were 250 people present at the dance and official opening. A Younger Set was formed and continued for a number of years.

Dances were held regularly to raise funds. Catering for these was a task as sandwiches were made under the stage and passed through a small door in the front of the stage. A copper was used to boil water outside and tea was made in kerosene tins. Cups were put in a small tub and carried round the hall. Lighting was by pressure lamps.

As more money was raised, the supper room and kitchen were added, the hall was lined and sealed. Electricity was installed when the power came to Broadwater. The exterior of the hall was painted and a new tank installed. Cupboards, sink, urn, crockery, cutlery, stoves and fridges were added as finances permitted. It was marvellous when septic toilets were installed. Later came heaters inside.

Members have worked very hard over the years with catering, markets, dances and cent sales. The hall is hired for various functions. Schools use the hall free of charge.

Three schools use the hall for art council and international days. Pre-school groups use the hall regularly as does the Granite Belt Disability Group and the line dancers group. Church groups also use the hall.

Killarney branch is holding a Christmas carols around the world function next Tuesday. Contact Jenny Whitsed on 46648083 or jennywhitsed@hotmail.com for more information.

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