Matrons and Spinsters call it a day

Last Matrons and Spinsters Social Group president Sandie Iedema donates the group's remaining funds to John 'Dodge' Landers of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service support group.
Last Matrons and Spinsters Social Group president Sandie Iedema donates the group's remaining funds to John 'Dodge' Landers of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service support group.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter is more than $1100 richer today, but it comes at the demise of another community group.

After more than 70 years of outings, balls and upholding social standards, Tenterfield’s Matrons and Spinsters Social Group has disbanded after struggling to fill committee positions at its August AGM.

Last president Sandie Iedema said times have changed since the group’s inception, when there were fewer social outlets for women. Numbers peaked at around 150, and Mrs Iedema said membership became a rite of passage for young women following in the footsteps of their mothers. Those with no filial connection had to be invited to join, and their acceptance ratified by the committee of 10.

While the group still had around 50 members at the end and continued to enjoy themed outings three or four times a year (most recently to Arrajay Downs in July), it has struggled to form a committee for the past few years and was unable to gather a quorum of 20 for the AGM.

Members decided to disband and to donate any remaining funds.  Mrs Iedema said the rescue helicopter was chosen as it had touched the lives of so many members, and potentially could do so again in the future given the tyranny of distance.

“We couldn’t think of a better cause,” she said, to the agreement of John ‘Dodge’ Landers who accepted the donation on behalf of the rescue service.