IWS members at Melbourne Cup Charity function.
IWS members at Melbourne Cup Charity function.

International Women's Society marks 20 years

SOME years back, myself and a few friends, were sitting around a table during the break-time in an evening of line dancing.

There were five of us in all and while we sat there chatting, the conversation strayed to different kinds of dancing and cultures, it was then that we realised that the five of us sitting around this table were each from a different country and different cultures, realising that we really enjoyed discussing these various kind of cultures and being sure that there were others out there with similar backgrounds, that they too might want to chat about their different ways of living.

Mavis Scherer, the most senior member at age 92... Member since 1997.
Mavis Scherer, the most senior member at age 92... Member since 1997.

We then called a meeting for all interested ladies, who whilst residing in and around Bundaberg, had a heritage of far distant lands, with the aim of a meeting time and place to bring these ladies together, so that we could all benefit from each other's upbringing and experiences from far and wide and of course to include all these ladies, who in some cases, was the only person in this area from her particular country, and had therefore never had the pleasure or means of speaking of her ways and heritage in the country from where she was born.

IWS members in their traditional outfits.
IWS members in their traditional outfits.

This group then commenced as soon as they were able to find a suitable meeting place and from that day on, these various cultures, from China, Italy, United Kingdom, Philippines, Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Tonga, New Zealand Maori, Vietnam, Tuvalu, Samoa, Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Holland, have been to the forefront of the meetings, to the extent of each lady portraying her country with song and dance throughout the year at various charity functions.

Members in traditional costumes.
Members in traditional costumes.

Being a not for profit organisation, some of the charities that the International Women Society have donated to, have been breast screening, Women's Crisis Centre, Cancer Council, cystic fibrosis, not to mention the $17,000 that was raised for the island of Manicani, after that terrible Typhoon Haiyan nearly raised this island to the Ground.

Mrs Pat Walker presenting certificate of appreciation of continuing support from IWS.
Mrs Pat Walker presenting certificate of appreciation of continuing support from IWS.

Then each year, under the guidance of their president Norma Jensen, they have put together one of the finest theatre restaurant evenings here in Bundaberg, and this year, on the 15th October, the International Women's Society are celebrating their 20th year of being together and with me being one of those first five ladies sitting around that table 20 years ago, makes me feel proud to have played a small part of creating the International Women's Society and can only wish them well for many years to come.  

Patricia Walker

Moore Park Beach

Past Member

The Women's International Society



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