Celebrating the Alstonville Wollongbar Day VIEW Club’s ninth birthday and 50 years of VIEW last Monday were (l-r) zone councillor Joy Gregor, guest speaker and Ballina councillor Sharon Cadwallader, president Delma McDonald and national councillor Jan Blanch.
Celebrating the Alstonville Wollongbar Day VIEW Club’s ninth birthday and 50 years of VIEW last Monday were (l-r) zone councillor Joy Gregor, guest speaker and Ballina councillor Sharon Cadwallader, president Delma McDonald and national councillor Jan Blanch.

Man, what a wonderful VIEW

Ladies from the Alstonville Wollongbar VIEW Club dressed in their best 60s outfits last Monday to celebrate the club’s ninth birthday and 50 years since VIEW was founded.

Alstonville Wollongbar VIEW Club member Betty Saunders explained it was actually a man, George Forbes, who established VIEW (Voice, Interest and Education for Women) in Sydney in 1960.

“He worked for The Smith Family, an organisation that was run by men, but women would come in to provide afternoon tea and he saw this need for women to get together for a meal with one another,” Betty explained. “It started at night, with women able to leave the kids at home with their husbands and go to dinner with other ladies.

“The women could bitch about their husbands or whinge about their kids – and the VIEW Club would never forget their birthday!”

Betty said for a man to establish a group like that for women in the 1960s was revolutionary and to this day they still meet for friendship and to raise money for The Smith Family.

“He was a man of great vision in what was very much a man’s world,” Betty said. “In those days women were trained to get a job, get engaged, get married, have kids and be dominated by her husband. There were a few rebels like Germaine Greer but some of us didn’t want to burn our bras – we couldn’t afford a new one!

“George Forbes obviously had a great respect and love for women and we still have 22,000 members Australia-wide today. He opened up a whole new world for us.”

President Delma McDonald said the Alstonville Wollongbar VIEW Club is a great social outlet.

“We have a lot of fun and as well as working for The Smith Family, here in Alstonville we also raise funds for Lismore Base Hospital,” Delma said. “We also sponsor a child through the Learning for Life program, giving a child financial help to complete their education. Plus we have social outings and a great time together.”

For more information or to enquire about joining VIEW, phone Delma on 6628 5795 or Christine MacDonald on 6628 5937.


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