From the start of 2019 Grafton Branch has been carrying out fund-raising activities for drought relief, with cake stalls at the Showground Markets, which were held monthly and the selling of raffle tickets at Coles Mall.
During this period normal activities suddenly turned, with the advent of a major bush fire event which broke out in the Northern Rivers region. The fires were fought on land and in the air.
Ladies from Grafton and South Grafton Evening branch began cooking biscuits and packaging in small boxes and distributed to the RFS depot, supporting the fire fighters on the ground and taking boxes of biscuits to the airport to be delivered to the airmen flying helicopters. We were able to assist with this project until the fires were contained.
The cooking was greatly appreciated.
As publicity officer I approached local businesses for assistance in fund raising events. In turn the businesses concerned, generously donated gift vouchers as prizes in our raffles with funds raised going assist in the drought relief drive. With the help of Bunnings, we also held a sausage sizzle as a fund-raising event.
Awareness Week 2019 saw Eye Care Plus allow CWA to use one of their windows to display handicraft articles, journals and posters. The Branch received many complimentary remarks and we received requests that the display be left for several more days.
Tarts Day (held in CWA rooms) raised funds for medical research into endometriosis. A staff member from the community health centre was our guest speaker. Many of our visitors who attended were not aware that they had suffered from this complaint. The hand-outs which were given on the day was self-explanatory and extra hand-outs were given so that daughters and granddaughters would be made aware of this debilitating disease.
A special presentation was made in December 2019, to reward four of our members with long service badges and one fifty-year long service medallion. Mrs Jo Edgar from North Coast Group made the presentation to the recipients and floral tributes were given.
CWA returned to work in February 2020, by attending the North Coast Group Council meeting in Maclean. Grafton Branch were rostered to assist in running the trading table, selling raffle tickets and handicraft items. Final arrangements were discussed for the North Coast Group handicraft and cookery day to be held in the Glenreagh Hall.
In March I attended the Grafton Embroidery Group at the ‘Joan Muir’ rooms for morning tea to be presented with a cheque donated by the embroidery group to be forwarded to Sydney for the CWA disaster fund. This was to be our last meeting, as March was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and all CWA branches were closed, and restrictions were put in place. CWA state AGM was cancelled, and postal voting was held.
June 2020 the local newspaper (Daily Examiner) closed their doors, and our monthly publications would no longer be published. This was a sad month when I wrote our last report to the local news outlet. The CV Independent paper which is published in Yamba have supported CWA for the past 21years and we thank the editor and staff that they continue their ongoing support for CWA.
A lot has been achieved by our members, unfortunately our activities have been curtailed due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions which has been challenging our community.
I wish to thank CWA members for supporting me in my endeavour as publicity officer.