[Editor: These items are extracts from the “A Woman’s Letter” section, published in The Cairns Post (Cairns, Qld.), 9 April 1929.]
A Woman’s Letter.
News from the South.
Melbourne, April 4.
The new President of the Housewives’ Association of Victoria, Mrs. Percy Russell, O.B.E., takes office as a woman of considerable experience in social work.
During the war Mrs. Russell took a prominent part in Red Cross activities and proved herself a good organiser of volunteer workers. Much of the success of the Red Cross Kitchen, from which went for years nourishing invalid cookery for sick soldiers in hospital, must be ascribed to Mrs. Russell.
Four times Mayoress of Hawthorn, Mrs. Russell has had plenty of scope for her organising ability. At the present time she gives a helping hand to the Women’s Hospital and to the Talbot Colony for Epileptics. Now that she has become its president the Housewives’ Association may be expected to forge ahead.
Teaching of Civics.
Delegates to the conference of the Women’s Country Party met at Anzac House last month. About one hundred women, delegates from all parts of the State, attended. Mrs. R. J. Gibson, President, was in the chair. A wide range of subjects came under discussion, mostly, as was natural, things that would be of benefit to Country women and children.
Provision in country towns for rest places for women and children was strongly urged, and even seats under the spreading shade trees, which some country towns have in profusion, would not be despised. One delegate expressed the opinion that if municipal councils had some women among their numbers the interests of women and children would be better served.
Among other resolutions were those much in favour of a stricter censorship in regard to indecent publications, the appointing of rangers to prevent bushfires in likely places (such as where picnic parties foregather) and more humane treatment for travelling stock.
Some serious discussion was given to the need of teaching Civics in State School, seeing how large a proportion of votes are informal at election time. It was thought that if the teaching of this subject was made compulsory in every State School and if the Women’s Country Party had an annual Civics day it would mean a better all-round knowledge of what voting, and all that the term “Civics” stands for, mean.
A practical resolution was one dealing with small parcels of fruit or vegetables (such as a country woman would be likely to send from her garden to a city friend). It was that such parcels should be carried on passenger trains for one shilling, or at goods rate. As fruit and vegetables perish so quickly the advantage of allowing them to be carried by passenger train is obvious and would open up the way for folk in the country to send many little gifts to their city friends.
The decision of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria to hold its monthly exhibition in the afternoon as well as the evening proved a popular one. The first of these afternoon shows was held in the Melbourne Town Hall last month and was well attended. An autumn show is just as beautiful in its way as a spring one, and dahlias, gladioli, cannas and herbaceous perennials and annuals proved how beautiful autumn flowers can look en masse.
During the afternoon Mr. W. R. Warner, an expert in flower growing, gave some valuable advice as to the care and preparation of perennial border to a lawn or garden. To give a good effect such a border should be eight feet or more in width. At the back of it there should be placed stepping stones or slabs of concrete to stand on when picking flowers or attending to the plants in wet weather. These stepping stones should give a better effect in a garden than paths and do just as well.
Late autumn and early spring are the right times to plant perennials which being the biggest things in the border should be planted at the back. The smaller perennials should never be planted singly but triangularly in threes, to get the best effect. At the edge of the border a foot and a half should be allowed for planting low growing things and creepers. Mr. Warner took the opportunity of recommending the perennial lupin — somewhat of a newcomer — which he says stands the heat well and has succeeded admirably in Australia.
The National Council of Women of Victoria held their council meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall. Mrs. I. H. Moss, the new president, is a good public speaker and with her fine record of public service appears the ideal president for a council with which is affiliated practically every women’s organisation.
In the course of her speech, Mrs. Moss stated that there are now 40,000,000 members of the National Councils in various parts of the world. She was anxious that every woman who was a member should feel that she was a distinct entity, and that she had special work to do in the National Council.
Mrs. Moss outlined the coming year’s work as one which, she hoped, would be of practical effort, and such as would add two or three more bricks to the row of women’s achievements.
The Cairns Post (Cairns, Qld.), 9 April 1929, p. 10
Also published in:
The Chronicle (Adelaide, SA), 13 April 1929, p. 71
en masse = (French, meaning “in a mass”) all together, as a group, as a whole (usually used regarding a group of people, or lots of people, carrying out an action together, or at the same time)
lupin = (Lupinus, also known as lupine, lupini, or bluebonnet) a genus of plants (in the legume family Fabaceae), with tall tapering spikes of flowers of various colours (usually blue, purple, white, or yellow)
See: “Lupinus”, Wikipedia
O.B.E. = Order of the British Empire (a British order of chivalry)
See: “Order of the British Empire”, Wikipedia
State School = a primary or secondary school which is controlled and funded by a state government; a government-run school
[Editor: Changed “These stepping stones sould” to “These stepping stones should”; “be placed stepping stones should give a better effect stand on” to “be placed stepping stones or slabs of concrete to stand on” (a line was inadvertently repeated; the missing line was sourced from The Chronicle, 13 April 1929, p. 71); “new president” to “new president,” (added a comma); “women’s achievement” to “women’s achievements”]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]