Newspaper Articles 1955 – British Women’s Overseas Club

[21 April 1955]

British Women’s Overseas Club Annual Meeting

At the annual meeting in Hastings of the British Women’s Overseas Club, the president, Mrs. Hayes, presented a review of the year’s activities to a large gathering. The treasurer, Mrs. Wainscott, read the financial report.

In honour of St. David and St. Patrick, whose anniversaries occurred last month, the choral group sand Welsh and Irish songs. These were followed by community singing.

The election of officers resulted: – president, Mrs. L. H. Wainscott; vice-president, Mrs Hayes; secretary, Mrs. Mason; treasurer, Mrs. Graham; hospital visitor, Mrs McLean; committee, Mesdames Dickins, Isaaacson, [Isaacson] McDonald, Oliver, Powell, Prior, Stuart, Watson and Wood.

[5 May 1955]


A larger number of English people now living in Hastings attended the recent St. George’s Day service held annually in St. Matthew’s Church. The Rev. K. F. Button conducted the service.

A social was held afterward in the parish hall. The programme opened with the singing of “Land of Hope and Glory” by some of the club members and consisted of songs by Miss Helga Jenkins, recitations by Mrs. Olive Andrews, musical monologues by Miss Margaret Gorton, songs by Mr. Jenkins and songs by Mrs. Gray.

Mr. Button thanked the artists and the British Women’s Overseas Club for organising the entertainment and for the floral decorations on the stage. In reply, Mrs. Wainscott, president of the club, thanked Mr. Button for giving those from the Mother Country the opportunity of joining with their New Zealand born friends and neighbours in the commemoration of England’s patron saint.

Mrs. Malcolm Mason, who was asked to tell of the origin of the club, which she founded in 1946, explained that the idea came to her through a chance meeting on a bus with a lonely and homesick young Englishwoman, and the club was formed to help the war brides who were then arriving from the United Kingdom and other parts of the Empire.

Mr. Button, recalling his own memories of homesickness upon first arriving in England as a student, commended the work done by the British Women’s Overseas Club in Hastings in helping new arrivals to settle down happily in their adopted country.

The evening concluded with supper, served by Mrs. Upchurch and the St Matthew’s Ladies’ Guild.

[11 May 1955 – April meeting]

British Women’s Club Celebrates Birthday

The British Women’s Overseas Club celebrated its ninth birthday at an afternoon function in St. Matthew’s Hall, Hastings, recently. The President, Mrs. Wainscott, presided over a large gathering, which included some new arrivals in the district.

Presentations were made to Mrs. Hayes, the retiring president, and other members of the outgoing committee.

Mrs. Sunley presented a competition designed to test members’ knowledge of Britain. This was won by Mrs. Burton. Mrs. Hayes entertained with songs.

A birthday cake, made by Mrs. Mason, depicted shipping routes between Britain and New Zealand. This was cut by the club’s oldest member, Mrs. Horne.

[May 1955]

British Women’s Overseas Club

Three new arrivals from Britain were welcomed by the president, Mrs. Wainscott, and a large gathering at the May meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club.

Mrs. Sunley and Mrs. Andrews entertained with a sketch and Mrs. Prior presented a quiz which was won by Mrs. Oliver.

Members of the committee conducted a bring-and-buy stall in aid of club funds.

[16 July 1955 – June meeting]

British Women’s Overseas Club

Two new arrivals from Britain were welcomed to an afternoon meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club held recently in St. Matthew’s Hall. The president, Mrs. Wainscott, welcomed a large gathering.

A group of Havelock North members entertained with an amusing charade, devised by Mrs. Malcolm Mason. Mrs. R. Galbraith gave and interesting demonstration on clay modelling.

[August 1955]

Women’s Overseas Club Meeting

At the July meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club Mrs. Wainscott presided over a large gathering and welcomed several new arrivals from Britain.

Miss Jeanette Laws, Napier, gave a talk on her visit to Canada in 1954 as a member of the Empire Games. Miss Laws’ description of her experiences at the Games, both as competitor and spectator, and her account of the tour which she and Mrs. Laws afterwards made through Canada and the States, was enjoyed.

Mr. Cecil Anderson entertained with some excellent coloured movie films taken in New Zealand and Australia.

Mrs. Wainscott expressed the club’s appreciation to Miss Laws and Mr. Anderson.

[1 October 1955 – September meeting]



A packed St. Andrew’s Hall in Hastings on Wednesday night enjoyed a programme brimming with talent, ingenuity and humour, presented by the entertainment group at the annual social of the British Women’s Overseas Club.

Among the audience were a number of British newcomers some of whom had been in New Zealand for as little as two weeks.

The variety of entertainment from singing by the choral group, and several sketches to a “potted pantomime”, with imaginative scripts written by Mrs. Noel Sunley, revealed many weeks of hard work.

A mime, “A Bench in the Park”, told the story of a downtrodden, bedraggled tramp who lay down to sleep on a bench next to a sheet-covered statue and who was disturbed by a lady, two “spooning” lovers, a well-dressed flapper and an inquisitive, sweet-sucking “school-child’.

The bench was full, until each person who was seated next the tramp left one by one, scratching furiously. Finally the tramp left hurriedly as the statue began to scratch. Those taking part were Doris Andrews, May Watson, Hilda Stuart, Pat Wilson, Maureen Fielding, Peggy Horne, Olive Andrews.

Women Dieting

A clever sketch “False foundations” by Mrs. Noel Sunley revealed a group of women who had preciously proclaimed their intentions to diet. However, all but one had thrown away her diet sheet – one used a ‘vibro-massager” and another had begun to exercise, showing her ability by almost touching her toes.

But the hostess had a much better idea – “the secret lies in the foundation garments, not one but several”. Five garments were needed by each woman, and the hostess was going to pay for them from an inheritance left by a favourite aunt.

However a solicitor’s letter revealed that the inheritance was a three-tier cake stand, a 42-piece tea-set and a recipe book on cake-making.

Both the script and the acting were extremely well done. Nan Fulford, Vera Lowe, Olive Andrews and Connie Wood took part.

“The Cockerel’ by Courtney Hope was a fight between Mrs. Tipper (Olive Andrews), whose cockerel had flown over the fence and was not seen again, and Mrs. Dyson (Pat Wilson), who said that she had not seen the bird. Insults in a broad Lancashire accent were screamed at one another, and the scene ended when Mrs Tipper was chased out of the house, and Mrs. Dyson brought out two eggs from her apron picket saying “she ought to have the cockerel seen to”.

Gypsy Scene

“Gypsy Encampment” devised by Mrs. Betty McDonald, was a large group of gypsies, in peasant skirts and blouses, scarves tied gypsy-fashion around their heads, and golden ear-rings, seated round a campfire. Songs with a gypsy flavour included “Golden Earrings”, the first verse recited by Olive Andrews. After a dance with castenents [castanets], by small Pat McCue, the song “Gypsy Sweetheart” concluded the scene.

A game “Where Am I?” conducted on the lines of twenty questions by Len Wainscott and Malcolm Mason, was a popular item. Three men and three women from the audience formed the panel.

The potted pantomime, “Cinderella”, devised by Mrs. McDonald with the script written in rhyme by Mrs. Sunley, caused the audience a great deal of amusement. The costumes, although not quite as the fairy story brings to mind, were similar.

The ugly sisters prepared for the ball, and Cinderella was left behind “weeping”. Imagination was necessary during the Cinderella transformation, at the wave of the fairy godmother’s wand, into a beautiful belle of the ball. A pumpkin was whisked off the stage and the coach – a tiny seat in between two sticks with a servant at each end – was brought in.

Theme Unchanged

Cinderella left for the ball still in her fleecy-lined boots and at the strike of twelve, rushed away leaving her “glass-slipper” behind. The fairy story continued in Cinderella’s home, but with more humour than the original author ever intended.

Those taking part were Olive Andrews, Betty MacDonald, Doris Andrews, Pat Wilson, Peggy Horne, Betty Isaacson, Mary Watson, Vera Lowe, Joan McDonald, Maureen Fielding, Noel Sunley, Elsie Prior, Hilda Stuart, Nan Fulford.

A cavalcade of song was presented by the choral group, with perhaps the “Happy Wanderer” as favourite. Solos were sung by Mrs. B. McDonald and Mr. E. Hall.

[17 November 1955 – October meeting]

British Women’s Overseas Club Meeting

At the October afternoon meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club, a bring-and-buy stall was conducted in aid of the Y.M.C.A. building fund.

The president, Mrs. Wainscott, announced plans for the Christmas party this month and the children’s Christmas party in December.

A clever and amusing competition based on the names of club members was presented by Mrs. Mason and won by Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Sunley. Another competition was won by Mrs. Marshall. Vocal items were given by Mrs. Betty McDonald.

[December 1955]


Although Christmas was still a month away, the festive spirit was in evidence among members of the British Women’s Overseas Club at an evening function held at St. Matthew’s Hall recently.

Mrs. Wainscott presided over a large gathering and judged the entries in a “Mad Hatter’s Parade”. A realistic-looking Christmas cake, a flying saucer, a chic cocktail hat composed entirely of pot-scrapers and a gaily-decorated Christmas tree were among the amusing and original entries. Mrs. Watson was voted the winner with her “Egg-strordinary Hat” – an ingenious arrangement of straw, egg-shells and a newly-hatched chick.

Games, community singing, carols and an exchange of gifts were in the Christmas tradition, and after supper Mrs. Malcolm Mason, for the benefit of the club’s many new members, told how the club came into being and outlined its purpose.

A presentation was made to the president, Mrs. Wainscott.

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Other surnames – Andrews, Burton, Dickins, Graham, Gray, Hayes, Jenkins, Marshall, McLean, Oliver, Powell, Upchurch

Business / Organisation

British Women's Overseas Club

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Newspaper articles

Date published



  • Cecil Anderson
  • Doris Andrews
  • Mrs Olive Andrews
  • Reverend K F Button
  • Maureen Fielding
  • Nan Fulford
  • Mrs R Galbraith
  • Miss Margaret Gorton
  • E Hall
  • Courtney Hope
  • Peggy Horne
  • Betty Isaacson
  • Miss Helga Jenkins
  • Miss Jeanette Laws
  • Vera Lowe
  • Malcolm Mason
  • Mrs Malcolm [Vera] Mason
  • Pat McCue
  • Mrs Betty McDonald
  • Joan MacDonald
  • Elsie Prior
  • Hilda Stuart
  • Mrs Noel Sunley
  • Mrs L H Wainscott
  • Len Wainscott
  • Mary Watson
  • Pat Wilson
  • Connie Wood

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