Far South Coast CWAs hold 2018 group conference in Bermagui

Country Women’s Association branches of the Far South Coast came together on Tuesday, March 13 for their group conference and cookery and handicraft competition. 

The event, held at the Bermagui Country Club, precedes the NSW state conference in Armidale on April 30. 

The best cookery and handicraft exhibitions on the day will now compete alongside exhibits from other CWA groups across the state, of which there are 30 in total.

The Far South Coast CWA group is made up of 10 branches along the coast, stretching from Batemans Bay to Eden. 

The cookery competition was split into 16 divisions, including fruitcakes, biscuits, lamingtons, chocolate sponge, rainbow cakes and a range of preserves.

Two junior divisions were also part of the competition, The 12-and-under age group submitted Anzac biscuits and the 18-and-under age group submitted friands.

The judge for the cooking division traveled to the event from Hume region to ensure there was no bias in the selection process. 

Likewise, the judge in the handicraft section of the competition, Caroline Richards, was from the Riverina CWA group. 

Ms Richards said she looked for technique, stitching and quality when judging the hadicrafts. 

“As you do more work of your own, you become more critical of it, so you develop your standards from experience,” she explained. 

“Attention to detail, like cutting loose threads and consistent tension are important, and taking on a more technical style will always score more points.”

Each CWA branch was required to submit eight items to the handicraft competition, made by eight different members of the branch, where possible. 

Narooma CWA was first placed in the Far South Coast group handicraft competition, Bermagui CWA placed second and Tilba CWA came third. 

Individual items were also selected to go to the state competition, including a knitted dressing gown by vision impaired Moruya CWA member, Elaine Heskett.

Bega CWA handicraft officer Joy Smith will proceed to The Land’s Cookery and Handicraft competition in May with her intricate doily design. 

Another Bega CWA member Daphne Sweeny took second place at the Far South Coast conference for her orange marmalade recipe. 

“You’ve got to get your consistency right, we had a meeting in November and I picked up some handy hints from the other ladies there,” she said. 

“It’s all learning, you’re always learning from these things because everyone has so much knowledge.”

The Bega CWA members all agreed there were increased numbers at this year’s meeting and were glad to see the competition grow.