[21 April 1956, Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune]
“Long-Suffering N.Z. Husbands” Was Toast
A toast to the “long-suffering New Zealand husbands, who have to put up with their wives crying on their shoulders when the letter they expected did not come from home,” was proposed by Mrs. Malcolm Mason, founder of the British Women’s Overseas Club, at its tenth anniversary birthday party at St Matthew’s Hall, Hastings on Wednesday night.
Mr. Harold Wilson, who replied on behalf of the New Zealand husbands, said: “On looking round the hall I think we Kiwis are to be congratulated on our choice. England’s loss – as regards their brides – is Hastings’ gain.”
In giving the toast “The British Women’s Overseas Club,” Mr. A. I. Rainbow said he was expressing the thanks of the community for all the club had done, what it is doing and what it will do in the future.
“English brides coming to New Zealand after the war found themselves without acquaintances and many of them were very lonely. The club fulfilled a very great need at the time and continues to fill that need,” Mr Rainbow went on.
Over 170 members, husbands and friends attended the party, including 20 foundation members. Five visiting women had been in this country only a few days and it was apparent that they had soon found friends in the club.
Mrs. L. H. Wainscott welcomed members and friends, especially the guests of honour – the mayoress, Mrs W. E. Bate, and Mr and Mrs Rainbow, who were mayor and mayoress at the time of the club’s inception.
Mrs Malcolm Mason and her husband started ball rolling in the Snowball Waltz – a fitting procedure for the founder of the club – and soon all those present were drawn into the dance.
The master of ceremonies, Mr Wainscott directed a varied programme of items and dancing.
Mrs Rachell Plank sang two songs accompanied by Mrs M. Bell at the piano: “In an old-fashioned town” and “Whatever is, is best.”
Mr Jack Trindall, organist at St. Matthew’s Church, played two pianoforte solos: “Romance” by Sibelius and “Caprice” by Coleridge Taylor.
Mr H. McDonald, an accomplished saxophonist played “Souvenir” and “For you.”
Mr L. Ruffell accompanied by Mrs Bell, sang “Long Ago in Alkala” and his vigorous interpretation of “The Sergeant Major” won him great applause. For his encore he chose “A Bachelor Gay am I.”
Mr Jan van Panhuys captivated the audience with lilting melodies on the piano-accordion.
Mrs Wainscott presented sprays to Mrs Bate and Mrs Rainbow and a bouquet to Mrs Mason. Past presidents, Mesdames Hayes and N. Snell, and Mrs E. Horne the oldest member were also presented with sprays.
“No-one knows the hard work theses ladies have done behind the scenes” said Mrs Wainscott, in presenting sprays to three retiring members of the committee, Mesdames W. Oliver, W. Powell and E. Pryor [Prior].
Mrs J. McLean, the hospital visitor over a number of years, was presented with a small gift as a tribute from members.
After the toasts had been drunk, supper was served, followed by a lively programmed of dancing.