From the Newsroom

Grafton Country Women’s Association (CWA) member and Patron Val Wood celebrated her 100th birthday on March 30 and attended a special morning tea with her fellow members earlier in the week. Image: Emma Pritchard

100 reasons to celebrate

Emma Pritchard


Members of the Grafton Country Women’s Association (CWA) branch held a delightful morning tea last week to celebrate the 100th birthday of their beloved Patron and dear friend Val Wood.

Describing the gathering, which was attended by close to 15 members on March 28 as a very special occasion, President Carol Smith said it was “a jolly big honour and a privilege” for the local branch to celebrate alongside Val.

As members were warmly invited to share their stories and memories together, Mrs Wood was presented with a commemorative 100-year badge on behalf of the CWA.

“From all our members, we wish you a happy birthday Val,” Mrs Smith said proudly.

Born in the Hawkesbury region, Mrs Wood moved to the Sydney suburb of Eastwood prior to commencing high school and relocated to the Clarence Valley in 1955.

She has been an active member of the CWA for close to 50 years and has held numerous roles within Clarence Valley branches including Grafton and Maclean.

Prior to its closing in 2006, she was twice President of the South Grafton branch, and was named Patron of the Grafton branch by Mrs Smith a couple of years ago.

When asked what she loves the most about the CWA, Mrs Wood said she enjoys the community spirit and the many friendships she has made.

As she revealed she was still waiting to hear from the Queen, having already received birthday wishes from local dignitaries and the Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley last week, Mrs Wood was presented with a special birthday message from the President of the NSW CWA Stephanie Stanhope, who met her during her tour of the North Coast shortly after her 99th birthday last year.

Smiling happily as Mrs Smith read the letter out aloud, Mrs Wood said she was touched by the kind gesture.

“Dear Val, it was an honour and a privilege to meet you when I visited the Grafton Branch,” Mrs Smith read.

“You are a remarkable woman.

“I am so sorry that I cannot be with you to join with you in celebrating your 100th birthday.

“May you enjoy the companionship of friends today as you mark this milestone in your life’s journey. “With affection, Stephanie Stanhope.”

As Mrs Wood celebrated her 100th birthday on March 30 with her family from the Central Coast, she said she was “very pleased and happy” to celebrate an early birthday with her CWA family on Monday morning.