Topic: Waireka Boy's and Girl's Rallies

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A reunion of those that attended the Waireka Boy's and Girl's Rallies, held there over the years. Waireka B. & G. Rallies began in 1945 continuing until 1973 and they bring back fond memories of the simple pleasures of a bygone era for everyone connected with them. They were held once a month and began after the War when there was not too much in the area for younger people to do.

In October this year, there will be a special gathering at the Broughton Family property ot 'Waireka. It's a reunion of those that attended the Waireka Boy's and Girl's Rallies held there over the years. Waireka B. & G. Rallies began in 1945 continuing until 1973 and they bring back fond memories of the simple pleasures of a bygone era for everyone connected with them. They were held once a month and began after the War when there was not too much in the area for younger people to do.

Judith Earl-Williams (nee Cullen) remembers being collected from the Homebush area, where her family home was, in a big, old car and transported to Waireka. Judith recalls many such vehicles being dispatched about the district - Sheffield, Whitecliffs, Darfield, Kirwee etc and the most wonderful times they had when they got there. The vehicles were all driven by volunteers, from Hororata, Glentunnel and Kirwee and surrounding districts or if extras were required, by the Broughton Family themselves. Mr Thompson from Thompson's Store in Darfield would bring a van load of children and in later years Mr Priest would do the same.

The organiser and initiator of these Waireka B. & G. Rallies was the late Mrs Janet Broughton and her Daughter-in-Law Mrs Mary Broughton is assisting in the organisation of this reunion. The rallies provided fun and comradeship for those attending and children and parents heard about them through the schools or just by word of mouth. Mrs Janet Broughton felt they would be a wonderful community gesture added to which she enjoyed the children and enjoyed baking for them too. Judith can well remember the treat of icecream they were given occasionally. "Most homes", she said, "didn't have fridges, so icecream was virtually unheard of except in the most special of circumstances". The children attending enjoyed making friends, playing numerous games and the sausage sizzle with sticks over the fire was always popular. The children listened to Bible stories and often had Missionary speakers as well.

The Boys", said Mary Broughton, "always preferred to play in the riverbed, while the girls played on the lawn" As part of the Waireka B. & G. Rallies, summercamps were also available for those that wished to attend. These were held over three or four days at the School for the Deaf at Sumner.

The Organising Committee are currently attempting to contact those that attended any of the Rallies to invite them to the October gathering.

Source: Malvern News 23rd May 2003

 

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