International Women's Day 2014
A Handful of Women
I volunteer at the Caboolture Historical Village, in the town of Caboolture, just north of Brisbane. It is an amazing collection of Australian history on 12 acres, with some 74 buildings, great numbers of farm machinery, vehicles, and much more. We have a Maritime Museum, a collection of old typewriters (anyone remember using one of them?), cameras, dairy equipment, a working blacksmith, a Gem Club that runs courses for budding jewellery makers, an old train that takes small passengers through the complex, prisons exhibit, shops, a hotel, several churches - and on and on. There's much more to this amazing place.
My role is as part of the Marketing Team - and one of the ideas that was discussed was to celebrate International Women's Day. It is something that I have celebrated for more years than I can remember, so I was keen to do it.
We have an old hall, Stanmore Hall, which came from a small town called Woodford, not far from Caboolture which is the venue of wedding receptions, musical events, citizenship ceremonies and more - so we decided to hold a Morning Tea there.
It was my job to organise it - so in my one day a week (oh, you can guess it took much more than that!!) I set about publicising it, and getting it all ready to be a great event. I chose Julie Kaeser who edited a book about Caboolture women - called Celebrating Caboolture Women where she interviewed local women and recorded their stories - to be our guest speaker.
One of the subjects of the book Liz Heber, an amazing silk painter came along with one of her items.
We had the catering done by a wonderful group that operates nearby - giving employment opportunities for people with challenges - and they did it well!!! I must again visit the folk at Lagoon Creek, for they have a wonderful complex, hidden in the bushland of Caboolture and with a great walk around the Lagoon.
Our numbers were not what we had hoped for, but we had a wonderful morning - listening to Julie talk about her book, hearing from a local gym club Jetts who kindly donated gifts to the ladies, and listening to a brief history of International Women's Day.
We chatted about the history of International Women's Day, and I spoke of my experiences at two International Women's Day events in China.
We had quite a discussion about pincushions, who had them, and surprisingly how old they were as some of the women had been gifted them from grandmothers and other family members.
The ladies were then escorted to the China House for the official opening of this exhibit - which houses a collection of over 30 years of china from all parts of the world.
There are many exhibits that show the way women lived in the early days of our Australian history. One exhibit is the Womens Pioneer Cottage - which is worth seeing.
History of International Women's Day
This information has been gained from a number of sources including Wikipedia.
On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Fifty-one years later, March 8, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honouring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labour.
The earliest Women’s Day observances were held on many different dates: May 3, 1908, in Chicago; February 28th, 1909, in New York; and February 27, 1910, in New York
Some time later it was decided to use May 8th as the date to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Other sites for information
Google - there are many sites with information.
These are some of the pincushions made by the volunteers in the Sewing Team. (Purple was the key colour in these).
The history of pincushions can be read here.