Monday, May 18, 2015


I need to take a bit of break from thinking so seriously after posting all 242 pages of mum's autobiography and then had a bright idea on how to give myself a rest:

I was once again delving through 'TROVE", that wonderful website where so much history is contained in various newspaper archives and looking for news items relating to my mother including various 'letters to the editor'.  I have copied out a few just for the fun of it to show here, and I would be interested to see your reaction to them considering some were written over 50 years ago and times have certainly changed since then.........or have they?

This Letter to the Editor was published in The West Australian on Saturday, 20th September, 1952, and thought the content may be of interest.  It was, of course, written nearly 53 years ago.  I have highlighted certain words where they were organisations with which mum was involved.


To The Editor

Sir,  At the recent State Executive meeting of the Women's Service Guilds, attention was drawn to the pleasing fact that Mrs Florence Hummerston, J.P., had been endorsed by the *LC.L., as candidate for the North Perth seat at the coming elections.  Mrs Hummerston was at one time President of the Perth Guild.

The Guilds believe that it is essential for more women to enter Parliament and trust that the Labour executive will follow the lead of the L.C.L. and endorse women in the coming elections.  Fifty-two percent of the electors are now women, and it is felt that they should have representation by women in Parliament, on city councils, road boards etc.

Yours etc
WINIFRED KASTNER (State President)
GERTRUDE W. RUSTON (State Secretary)"

* L.C.L. was of course the Liberal and Country League

Letters to the Editor.....The West Australian, Friday 24th August, 1954. (51 years ago)


To the Editor.

Sir, - As an organisation which has fought for many years for equality of status for men and women, which includes jury service for women on the same terms as for men, we are naturally wholeheartedly in support of the present Bill before the Houses of Parliament, and hope, on this occasion, it will become law.

There is no desire for compulsory service for women any more than there is compulsory service for men, as there are clauses which deal with exemptions at the present time.

It is difficult to understand the attitude of some of the people writing to the press on this matter, because surely in this year of grace 1954 we should be an intelligent and enlightened community, and women in all affairs of life have proved that they have a worthwhile contribution to make.

The days when women were looking for protection are long since past - they are now striving for equal responsibility both in the home and out of it.

It could be a comforting experience for some women who found themselves in a court of law to see a number of their sex on a jury.

As far as is known, jury service has never been keenly sought by men - it is a responsibility which most of them accept; and there is no reason to believe that women will be more reluctant to accept this civic duty.

Yours etc.,
State President
State Secretary
Women's Service Guilds of W.A.


  1. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    Sadly, I don't think we have moved very far on these and related issues at all.

    1. I often feel it's three steps forward and then 2 steps back but I like to think there has been some improvement over the past 50-60 years.

  2. The fight for equality of status continues to this day.
    Including in the wages area.
    Women are still being paid less than men.

    1. The fight will continue as long as there are two sexes, of that I am sure.

  3. Hari OM
    So true... our recent election has resulted in the largest every number of female 'pollie's = but it is a long way from being representational in percentage terms! That said, the women themselves have to be prepared to take up the positions; and that is a whole different picture... YAM xx

    1. We are still in the age of many women wishing to have children and to care for them till they are at least of school age and therefore their advancement in the workforce is diminished.
      Although dads can be stay-at-home husbands, their salaries invariable are higher than that of their wife so who stays at home? Yes, of course, the wife.
      I hate the idea of a society similar to 1984 where babies were just a product without tender loving care etc.
      We now have quite a number of female pollies in Oz but so far not enough of them are ministers although many hold quite senior positions. xx

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