Sunday, March 15, 2015


I don't feel I need to introduce further episodes of mum's work with the Guilds unless there is reason to do so.

Excerpt from "THE CLOCK OF TIME" by Gertrude Ruston (pp 121-126)


This Conference was held in Perth on 22nd October, 1951.  This was also the Commemoration Year of the Australian Commonweath - 1901 to 1951 - so our conference became a landmark in the history of A.F.W.V.

Delegates and members travelled from the Eastern States by seas, rail or air for about a week, an indication of the vastness of this continent

The theme of the Conference was :-


As State Secretary I was involved in considerable preparation and organisation at our headquarters in Cecil Building, Sherwood Court in Perth.

There were many notable speakers including Dame Florence Cardell-Oliver, M.L.A., and Senator Dorothy Tangney, while messages were received from the International Alliance of Women, the League of Women Voters of America, the Women's Commission at the United Nations, the British Commonwealth League, as well as leaders of many women's organisations in Australia.

In her Presidental Address Mrs Amy Wheaton said:-

"The Australian Federation of Women Voters has here tonight as honoured guests, distinguished representatives of Business and Professional Women; University Graduates, and *Soroptimists; a sign of future co-operation which has already been expressed in the signing of a common Declaration of Equality".

The "West Australian" reported the signing of the Declaration, and also showed a very good photograph of the four of us.

After the conference Mrs Rischbieth wrote thanking me for my help, and asking me to take a week's holiday and rest away from the work  Her letter has been very much treasured."

I have scanned the two pages of the book that contain the Declaration and also Bessie's letter of thanks to mum.   I think the words of the Declaration are easy to read, especially if you make it larger but I will type out the words of the letter as I am delighted that mum's work was appreciated so much.

"To the State Secretary                                                                                     27.7.1950
Women's Service Guilds
Cecil Buildings, Perth

Dear Mrs Ruston

It is the wish of officers and members that you have a week's holiday and rest right away from Guild duties in order to recuperate after the strenuous work of Conference in which you have been engaged.

We deeply appreciate all your efforts to make the Conference the success it has proved to be and we wish you a peaceful few days away from the work.

With our very best wishes
Yours sincerely
Bessie M. Rischbieth
State President"

*Further along in mum' story you will read about Soroptimism coming to Perth.              


  1. How lovely to get a letter acknowledging all your mum has done. A wonderful thing to hand down to future generations as part of the family story.
    I'll bet the week off was much appreciated too.
    I have no idea what Soroptimism is, I've never heard the word.

    1. Knowing mum's admiration for Mrs Rischbieth I can imagine how pleased she was to be recognised as she was.
      I think any rest mum had was very much appreciated as she gave much more time than was expected of her.
      You will soon hear about Soroptimism when it arrives in W.A.

  2. Looking forward to learning about Soroptimism.

    1. Learn you will Delores. Just a few more chapters and all will be revealed.

  3. Hari Om
    Ah the unsung Soroptomists! It does not surprise me at all to discover your mother had association with same... this was a delightful letter- generous with its time! YAM xx

    1. Thanks Yam. You obviously have an insight into Soroptimism.
      Mum was very much involved with them for some years. xx

  4. How lovely. Still work to be done on the Declaration front though. Rather a lot of work.

    1. I feel that type of work will be never ending EC. Perhaps they will get there in time but I have my doubts.