HISTORIC DANCE: The belles, partners, page boys and flower girls of the Proston CWA Debutante Ball in 1950.
HISTORIC DANCE: The belles, partners, page boys and flower girls of the Proston CWA Debutante Ball in 1950. Contributed

LOOKING BACK: What life was like in the 1950s QCWA

THE life of the Proston QCWA women was busy with catering events, fundraisers and the debutante ball in 1950.

Joyce Penman has been compiling the history of the first 50 years of the Proston Queensland Country Women's Association group.

She has gone through QCWA meeting minutes and South Burnett Times newspaper clippings to discover how the ladies supported their Proston community in the earlier years.

There was a change of leadership in 1950 with Mrs Keys elected as president and Ms Macfarlane and Mrs Bosel elected as vice presidents of the QCWA Proston branch.

The Proston members provided refreshments of cakes, sandwiches and savouries for returned servicemen and their families after the service on Anzac Day and again at the 'Birthday Party' on April 28.

On May 5, Proston held Centenary Celebrations with fireworks arranged by the Wondai Shire Council and a concert run by the Proston State School and Proston School of Arts.

The CWA ladies ran stalls serving bread-rolls, saveloys, tea and coffee, of which 'much credit was due to the few who worked so hard that night.'

During June the group received a letter from the secretary of the Women's Institute at Hexham Northumberland, England who gave an account of the WI activities and their members.

This was the start of years of correspondence between the two groups.

The QCWA's highlight of the year was the Proston debutante ball held on July 7, 1950.

There were 15 debutantes who were presented to Mr JA Heading and the Proston community.

The QCWA put on the ball sending out invitations to special guests, flower girls, page boys and assigning ticket sellers, door keepers and billy boilers.

There was an orchestra, Master of Ceremonies and photographer as well as supper donated by the QCWA members.

The Proston CWA members decided they would give their full support to raising funds for an Ambulance Centre in Proston, during August.

The group later catered a dinner of ham, corned meat, stuffed eggs, potato salad and trifle for a RSL reunion on September 27.

Former State Handicrafts chairwoman Mrs Reddan and her assistant ran a Handicrafts School for the ladies from November 6 to 10.

They covered skills in basket and glove making, leather work, seat weaving, Swedish weaving, felt flowers and toys.

Throughout the year two dozen CWA cups and saucers were purchased.

The Proston and District Heritage Association welcomes any Proston CWA photos prior to 1978, including the Deb Balls of 1946, 1948, 1953 and 1955.

If you have any historical information about the Proston CWA contact the Proston and District Heritage Association treasurer Linda Rea on 0428689280 or email glrea6@bigpond.com.

Read more stories about looking back at history in the South Burnett here