Despite the windy weather lots of cheerful people came to the Old Anglican Hall on Saturday morning.
They were there to remember and celebrate the work of the ‘Anglican Women’ who for so many years had used the Hall as the centre for their activities.
Responsibility for the Hall has passed from the local Anglican parish and now rests with a new body – the Community Management Committee for the Old Anglican Hall.
Faced with the daunting task of raising over $150,000 to restore and upgrade the historic building the Committee felt it was right to honour the past before moving forward.
One very significant part of that rich past was the work of Braidwood’s Anglican Women.
Saturday’s gathering included many ladies who had shared in that work and there were smiles all round as friends greeted friends. Some had come from Canberra and from Cooma. One lady – now in Tasmania, had asked her brother to attend for her. Two daughters came on behalf of their mother. For many it was a joyful reunion. Amongst the many other friends and supporters were Rev. Geoff Hoad – the last full-time Anglican Rector, and Mrs. Hoad. Many members of Braidwood’s current Anglican parish were there too together with Archdeacon Des McGuire and Mrs. McGuire.
In welcoming everyone Philip Hart – Chair of the Committee, spoke warmly of the tireless work of the Anglican Women over generations.
“Their work spanned catering for weddings, funerals, hospitality church events, birthday parties . . . and also a range of quieter achievements much of which was done discreetly, with compassion, dignity and privacy,” he said.
Mr. Hart highlighted how the Anglican Women had maintained and improved the Hall – for example putting in the present kitchen, as well as contributing to the Church.
He added “The Anglican Women built a wider network, tapping into the wider community. If they needed some additional support for an event or occasion the call would go out and invariably would be met with warmth, generosity and a strong community spirit.”
Mrs. Helen Farley - Committee Treasurer, then unveiled a plaque in honour of the Anglican Women. This will be mounted on the wall once the restoration is completed and the Hall open to everyone once more.
Although the Committee knew they could not emulate the excellence of the Anglican Women’s cooking - they did their best, and the homemade cakes and sandwiches soon disappeared.