Special celebration for Y Women Friendship Group

Published 12:00pm 3 July 2024

Special celebration for Y Women Friendship Group
Words by Jodie Powell

A social club connecting women has celebrated its 50th birthday.

The Pine Rivers Y Women Friendship Group was founded on July 1, 1974 with 17 members and this week they marked the milestone with a lunch attended by about 90 current and former members.

President Bev McPherson says many of the early members are still active today, including vice-president Barbara Greaves, who has been with the group for 48 years and Jean Beattie, who joined 49 years ago.

The group's eldest member, Joan O’Neill, 94, also attended the lunch.

“In 1974 we had Cyclone Wanda, Australia had a population of 13.5 million, Australia’s first bankcard was introduced, Countdown screeded on our TVs for the first time...you could buy a meat pie for 20 cents, a Big Mac was 60 cents and petrol was 12.1 cents per litre,” Bev told guests at the lunch, which was held at the Heritage Hotel Function Centre at Old Petrie Town.

Bev says the Pine Rivers Y Women Friendship Group was founded as a social club with a babysitting service for children provided.

“Many of those early members are still active today and Y Women in our community still meet on a regular basis for companionship, love and support,” she says.

“We have picnics, coffee mornings and monthly lunches and do fundraising to give financial assistance to various organisations.”

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Vice president Barbara Greaves took guests on a journey through the club’s history.

“The first meeting was held on a Monday and it was actually the first of July 1974,” Barb says.

They first met in the Methodist Church Hall on Todds Rd at Lawnton with two representatives from the YMCA and 17 women – the group has since grown to about 70 members.

“The very first meeting was a talk about ‘Know your meats’,” Barb laughs.

“They advertised in the Courier-Mail for babysitters and they were paid $3 each for the morning and members were charged 10 cents per child to be minded.

“The group had husband and wife dinners at restaurants, and progressive dinners and the T in town has lots of morning teas and lunches.

“In 1976 the name changed from Y Wives to Y Women.”

Barb says over the years members enjoyed workshops covering activities such as macrame and make-up workshops, as well as visits to a variety of places such as Masons Preserving Works at The Gap.

In the 1990s they began having weekends away – a tradition that continues and has expanded to weeks away.

“The Y has given us good friends, learning and a sense of belonging and certainly has enriched our lives,” Barb says.

For more information phone Barb on 0408 460 435 or June on 0409 619 493.

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