Newspaper Articles 1954 – British Women’s Overseas Club

[24 April 1954]

English Residents In Hastings to Honour Patron Saint

At evensong in St. Matthew’s Church, Hastings, tomorrow, many English people will be in the congregation. The Rev. K. F. Button will then conduct a St. George’s Day service, and it has been his desire since the war brought the English people to the Dominion to have them attend the service which pays tribute to the patron saint of England.

The social hour afterward will allow English people to meet each other and members of the congregation. So that full opportunity can be taken of this, Mr. Button had sought the help of the British Women’s Overseas Club. A member, Mrs. L. H. Wainscott, is in charge of the programme.

Around the parish hall will be emblems of the counties of England, so that former residents may meet under them.

The programme will have an English atmosphere with songs and music contributed by guest artists and members of the club. Mr. Miles Greenwood, well know in repertory circles, had been asked to give a reading from English literature. Accompanist for singers will be church organist, Mr. J. Trindall.

[May 1954]


Members of the British Women’s Overseas Club met for the first time in the ninth year of the club’s existence when they joined other English residents in Hastings at the annual St. George’s Day service in St. Matthew’s Church, conducted by the Rev. K. F. Button. A social hour was held after the service, for which the programme had been arranged by the club.

Later in the month, the club’s eighth birthday was celebrated at the annual party, presided over by Mr. Hayes. Members and friends were welcomed by Mrs. Hayes who presented sprays to retiring members of the committee, Mesdames Fox, Glover, Snell and Sunley.

Entertainment was given by Mrs. Boag and Anne Charlesworth, and by a competition presented by Mrs. Charlesworth. Mrs Malcolm Mason, founder of the club, cut the cake. Mrs. Mason, in a short speech, reminded members of the aims of the club and the reasons for its formation in 1946.

“We formed our club,” said Mrs. Mason, “to help new arrivals from Britain to settle down in their new surroundings and to get to know New Zealanders: we wanted to help them to combat home-sickness – that malady for which no doctor can prescribe a remedy.”

[June 1954]

Overseas Club

At a recent meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club the president, Mrs. F. H. Hayes, presided over a large gathering. Guest speaker, Mr. W. H. Walker, gave an account of his experiences as a young man in British Guiana. Mr. Walker’s talk was enjoyed by listeners, who appreciated the humour and affection with which he spoke of the coloured people who share the credit of achievements of this part of the Empire.

Mrs. Wainscott reported on the new choral and dramatic group which had been formed under the leadership of Mesdames Pat Wilson, Noel Sunley and Betty McDonald.

[July 1954]

Overseas Club

New arrivals from Britain attended the July meeting of the British Women’s Overseas Club in Hastings. Mrs. Hayes presided over a good attendance. Mrs. Pat Wilson recited in the Lancashire dialect, and Mr. Ian Hickman showed coloured films of North Island scenery. These were appreciated by the newcomers to New Zealand.

[16 October 16 1954]


Cleverly draped yellow and pink curtains formed an effective background for the concert conducted by the British Women’s Overseas League on Wednesday night. Sketches were well acted by players who were obviously enjoying themselves, and the use of a minimum of furniture was effective.

The first sketch, “The Perfect Mother,” acted by Olive Andrews and Ann Anderson, told of a girl home from a job in London getting ready for the village dance. The mother’s endeavour to convey to her daughter what a perfect mother she was, who “never had and never would interfere,” was enjoyed by a large audience.

An exclusive hat shop of Madame Estelle was the scene of the sketch, “The Hat Shop,” played by Pat Wilson, Connie Wood, Vera Lowe and Elsie Prior. This told of a woman who was reluctant to pay a high price for a hat, and who preferred a “soft shade of black.” The friend who accompanied her delighted the audience with her quick wit. She was obviously at home on the stage.

“On the Platform,” with Noel Sunley and Len Wainscott as the Cockney man and wife at Clapham Junction on a hot August day, raised laughs. The wife’s reprimanding her imaginary family for their misbehaviour was well done.

Another sketch, “Reducing,” was played by a visiting team from Eskdale. They were Zoe Martell, Nan Wood and Ann Charlesworth. This sketch was about a woman who wished to quickly reduce at a weight-reducing salon. There was roar from the audience when a small girl, in a fur coat and hat, appeared from behind the curtain at the end of the reducing period.

The finale, “The Marching Team,” was popular. There was chaos among the “Grenadier Girls from Great Britain” who appeared in a variety of costumes – slacks, dungarees, white overalls and shawls. Leader, Mrs. Mason, tried vainly to teach her team to march. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the sketch.

The sketches were interspersed with singing items. The choral groups first numbers were “Hearts of Oak,” “All Thru’ the Night,” “Comin’ Thru’ the Rye,” “Cockles and Mussles,” [Mussels] “Little Brown Jug,” and “Sanctuary of the Heart.” Solos by Rose Harbottle were “Some Day My Heart will Awake,” and “Because.”

A solo “I’ll Walk Beside You” by Miss H. Jenkins and a duet by Mr. and Miss Jenkins, “Give Me Your Smile,” were enjoyed. An encore was “Bless This House.”

The choral group entertained with popular songs, including “Dear Hearts and Gentle People,” “Mocking Bird Hill,” “I Love You Truly” and “At the End of the Day.” Betty MacDonald, who was in charge of the choral group, sang “Back to Sorrento,” and “Bill.”

Accompanist and announcer was Mrs. Wainscott

Original digital file



Other surnames – Boag, Charlesworth, Fox, Glover, Hayes, Snell

Business / Organisation

British Women's Overseas Club

Date published


Format of the original

Newspaper articles


  • Reverend K F Button
  • Anne Charlesworth
  • Miles Greenwood
  • Mrs F H [M] Hayes
  • Ian Hickman
  • Mrs Malcolm [Vera] Mason
  • Mrs Betty McDonald
  • Mrs Noel Sunley
  • J Trindall
  • W H Walker
  • Mrs L H [Marjorie] Wainscott
  • Mrs Pat Wilson

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