Veteran member’s call to arms to save QCWA
SINCE her days as a student boarder in Roma in the 1940s, Isla Grulke has been involved with the Queensland Country Women's Association, and now she is calling for help to keep her local branch alive.
An active member for almost 50 years, the organisation has been her support system through loss, brought her friendship, grown her love of cards and given her a chance to showcase her cooking.
Growing up, Mrs Grulke remembers her mother as a keen participant of the branch that then existed in Eumamurrin.
"My mother had been a member there, near where we lived. It was an amazing place," she said.
"We'd play tennis there, if there was a church service it would be held there. My mother was a wonderful musician so she would play the piano.
In her final three-and - a-half years of secondary schooling back in the 1940s, Mrs Grulke boarded at the Roma Girls Hostel, which was at the time run by the QCWA.
It's an organisation she never forgot, and after she was married and was raising her three sons, she joined the Roma branch in 1971.
"It was the crafts that got me there in 1971, my boys were a bit older and I was interested in being a part of what my mother had been," she said.
"A few years later they couldn't get a president, but I was the canteen convener at the meatworks so I couldn't get to meetings during the week, so I asked if they could be changed to Saturday and I would be president," she said.
The QCWA is an integral part for rural communities around the state, designed to be a place for women of all walks of life an opportunity to forge friendships.
In 2022, the organisation will celebrate 100 years, by then, Mrs Fisher will have been a member for more than half that time.
"I don't think Roma is at risk of closing down in the foreseeable future, but we've lost our Injune and Surat branches which is a shame," she said.
"But we need more young people to join, they've got different ideas. A lot has changed over the years, and things aren't the same as they used to be, but I think it's important we keep the QCWA branch in Roma alive."
The QCWA Roma branch will host their inaugural handmade markets on Saturday, March 21 from 9am to noon, and all are invited to attend and support.
If you are interested in joining the QCWA, please contact Chris Beling on
0428 904 080.