Newspaper Articles 1956 – British Women’s Overseas Club

[March 1956]

British Women’s Overseas Club

At the annual general meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club held at St. Matthew’s Hall recently, Mrs L. H. Wainscott was unanimously re-elected president. Mrs Wainscott thanked the retiring committee for their services to the club, paying a special tribute to the hospital visitor, Mrs. J. McLean.

Some new arrivals from Britain were welcomed.

The evening concluded with the presentation of an amusing sketch, “Old Moore’s Almanack,” by members of the entertainment group.

Election of officers: Mrs. Wainscott (president); Mrs Malcolm Mason (secretary); Mrs. Bruce Graham [Grahame] (treasurer); committee, Mesdames Isaacson, Stuart, Watson, McDonald, Sunley, Lowe, Fielding, Sowman, Fulford and Miss Horne.

[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.

[26 April 1956]

St. George Honoured At Hastings Service

Many English people now living in Hastings attended a special service in honour of St George in Hastings last Sunday evening. The service, conducted by the Rev. K. F. Button, in St Matthew’s Church, is held annually on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day.

The service was also attended by Sir David Ewan, K.B.E., Dominion president of the New Zealand Boy Scouts Association, and a party of senior Hastings Boy Scouts, who, earlier in the day, had held a service in honour of St George, the movement’s patron saint.

After the evening service, a social was held in the parish hall. The programme, which had an appropriately English flavour, was  arranged by the British Women’s Overseas Club. It consisted of songs by the club’s entertainment group, songs by Mrs Pirie, recitations by Miss Margaret Gorton, songs by Mrs Betty McDonald, a piano solo by Mr Trindall and songs by Mr Linaker.

Accompaniments were by Mrs Louie, Mrs Mary Bell and Mr Trindall. Mr Button introduced the artists and thanked the British Women’s Overseas Club for arranging the entertainment.

[May 1956]

Miss I. Russell Guest-of-Honour At Overseas Club

Miss I. Russell, retiring matron at the Hastings Memorial Hospital was the guest of honour at the May meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club, which was presided over by Mrs Wainscott.

Mrs Malcolm Mason, who founded the club soon after the war, recalled that in those days Miss Russell often assisted the work of the club by putting the committee in contact with those women among her patients who had lately arrived from the United Kingdom. These patients were often friendless and homesick and Miss Russell had shown great understanding of what it was like to have to be in hospital so far away from one’s family and home.

Miss Russell was presented with a brooch and floral spray and accorded musical honours. In acknowledging the tribute, Miss Russell mentioned that she always found women from the U.K. to be very good patients.

During the evening the club’s choral group entertained with two brackets of songs, and competitions were won by Miss Horne, Mrs Sunley and Mrs Fulford.

[September 1956]


About 300 members, husbands and friends of the British Women’s Overseas Club gathered at the St. Andrew’s Hall, Hastings, for the annual social held recently.

A highlight of the excellent entertainment, arranged and produced by Mesdames Noel Sunley and Betty McDonald, was “The Palace of Varieties,” presented by club members. This included old-time musichall hits. Perhaps the most amusing was an item “Two Little Girls in Blue,” sung by the two tallest members of the club.

A 10-piece orchestra, under the direction of Mrs. M. Pell, gave much pleasure, and the Havelock North Madrigal Group (leader, Miss Tuckett) delighted the audience with their singing of Elizabethan madrigals.

The club’s choral group sang a bracket of songs, followed by a humourous sketch entitled “The Letter,” by Margaret Hodgkinson, with the following cast: Ivy Wallace, Nan Fulford, Doris Andrews, Elsie Prior and Mary Watson.

A half-hour’s entertainment was provided by the Parkvale-Mayfair Kindergarten Mothers’ Club, and a mime was given by Noel Sunley and Nan Wood, entitled “The Lighthouse.”

Following the entertainment, the audience and cast were guests of the club for supper.

[6 November 1956]


The beauties of the New Zealand countryside were unfolded before the eyes of about 80 members, husbands and friends of the British Women’s Overseas Club at St. Matthew’s Hall, Hastings, recently.

Through the courtesy of the Hastings Camera Club a large number of coloured slides taken by some of the 48 members, was shown by Mr. Bruce Martin, with a running commentary by Mr. W. H. Tustin, who had taken many of the South Island views.

The president of the camera club, Mr. H. A. Teasdale, said that amateur photographers would find it well worth their while to join their local camera clubs where they would learn first to understand the working of their cameras and how to take a good photograph. They could then pass on to the art of developing and enlarging their own prints.

A good photograph should have a main point of interest and picture appeal, said Mr. Teasdale after the showing. The many beautiful cloud and water effects on the slides were examples of this appeal.

The best effect gained by water in black and white photography was by reflection or movement. “Toss a pebble into the pond and the tones of grey will bring instant appeal,” he said.

In colour photography subdued colours had their own appeal, the colour contrast in mountain scenery and autumn tonings were particular photogenic.

A vote of thanks was extended to the camera club by the president, Mrs. L. H. Wainscott.

[November 1956]


About 70 members and friends attended St. Matthew’s Hall, Hastings, recently for the British Women’s Overseas Club annual Christmas party. Mrs. Wainscott presided. Under the leadership of Mrs. Betty MacDonald, members of the entertainment group presented an hilarious “Palace of Varieties.” The accompanist was Mrs. Whitehouse, who also played for the singing of traditional Christmas carols. A “Christmas present” competition was won by Miss E. Wilson.

An afternoon party was also held at St. Matthew’s Hall for the younger children of club members, at which 40 small guests were entertained to a party tea. A gaily-decorated Christmas tree was the focus of attention and the president distributed gifts to each of the children, whose ages ranged from a few weeks to five years.

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Other surnames – Bate, Fielding, Horne, Isaacson, Linaker, Louie, Lowe, Pirie, Sowman, Stuart, Whitehouse

Business / Organisation

British Women's Overseas Club

Format of the original

Newspaper articles

Date published



  • Doris Andrews
  • Mrs May Bell
  • Sir David Ewan
  • Nan Fulford
  • Miss Margaret Gorton
  • Mrs Bruce [Dorothy] Grahame
  • Margaret Hogkinson
  • Bruce Martin
  • Mrs Malcolm [Vera] Mason
  • Mrs Betty McDonald
  • H McDonald
  • Mrs J McLean
  • Mrs W [Alice] Oliver
  • Mrs M Pell
  • Mrs Rachell Plank
  • Mrs W [H] Powell
  • Elsie Prior
  • A I and Mrs Rainbow
  • L Ruffell
  • Miss I Russell
  • Mrs Noel Sunley
  • H A Teasdale
  • Jack Trindall
  • Miss Tuckett
  • W H Tustin
  • Mr Jan van Panhuys
  • Mrs L H [Marjorie] Wainscott
  • Ivy Wallace
  • Mary Watson
  • Miss E Wilson
  • Harold Wilson
  • Nan Wood

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