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"How can women influence' the thought-currents of the world? By beginning just where they are; by realising what is important in their midst, tackling local problems and stepping out of domestic clubs and committees to local bodies and thence to Parliament."

In these words, Miss Joan Rattray, a member of the Auckland City Council, summarised a talk on "Women in Local Public Life," which she gave this morning in the series of lectures on "Women in the Community," at present being held by the advisory committee of adult education. .

"Throughout the ages women have exercised a tremendous power in directing the thought currents of the world by their beauty, their charm, their wit, their intellect, and, many, by their quiet and persistent pursuit of an ideal," said Miss Rattray. "It is on the quality of its women that a nation stands or falls.

"It is interesting to note that all through history it has taken wars to make women increase their interest in public affairs, and to give them more opportunities. Switzerland, one of the oldest democracies in existence, has not been involved in wars for a very long period, yet her women are still without the franchise."

As a result of this war the eyes of the world were centred on women more than ever before because of all they had accomplished, the speaker continued. A new tj r pe of women had emerged; the women of the underground, who, having lost everything, would surely strive for what they wanted in the new world. How "Women Can Begin Perhaps the best way in which women in this community could make a start in public life, said Miss Rattray, was to serve on a school committee. In such work contacts were made with other parents, with teachers, dental nurses and doctors, and all who had the interest of children at heart. Later, election to local bodies, such as hospital, education and electric power boards and city councils might follow. Matters with which women could make themselves specially wellacquainted included housing, health, and the question of day nurseries and play centres, Miss Rattray continued. Furthermore, they could help develop cultural interests, of which New Zealand was at present starved, and could work to establish schools of drama, music, literature, the arts and horticulture. Proper training was ne°ded, and women had to equip themselves for whatever part they wanted to play in public life. Mixed committees of men and women-were vitally necessary. The speaker quoted Marjorie Shuler, an American writer, who said, "Every human being owes a responsibility to the world. Governments, wars and social conditions don't just happen—they are the sum total of the thoughts and actions of the nation."

A women's conference in the near future, to be representative of women all over New Zealand, was suggested by Miss Rattray, so that women might discuss plans and problems and make a united effort in the future. She concluded with Matthew Arnold's words, "If ever the time comes when women work together simply and solely for the benefit of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never known."


WOMEN'S INSTITUTE SUCCESS A combined choir of 70 voices of the North and South Auckland Women's Institute Federations gave their first concert last evening in the Lewis Eady hall, which was well filled. The choir has been formed from the musical circles of the institutes for the purpose of mutual enjoyment and musical education. Th aim is to provide programmes for institute and charitable purposes.

Mrs. H. M. Bayliss, of the Taka-puna-Belmont Institute, is the conductor, and credit is due to her for the success of the first concert. The programme opened with two Women's Institute songs. The rendering of Handel's "Largo" was enthusiastically received, as also was "The Rosary." Another popular item was a solo, "Holy City," by Mrs. Wells, accompanied by the" choir. Other items were given by Misses Binns and Bok (elocution), and Misses J. Cleal and E. Brown (sketch).


The resignation of Miss A. G. Blewett, lady superintendent, Green Lane Hospital, was accepted with regret by the Auckland Hospital Board last evening. Miss Blewett, who is retiring for health reasons, has been in the continuous service of the board since 1917. It was decided, in recognition of her services, to make her a payment on retirement of the equivalent of six months' salary.


Of the 45 candidates for the final State examinations for nurses in June, 33 were successful, and the ether 12 gained partial passes, the lady superintendent, Auckland Hospital, reported to last night's meeting of the board. Nurse M. G. Sache gained honours in two subjects and Nurse M. L. Curtis in one subject. The acting - lady superintendent, Green Lane Hospital, reported that the whole class of eight nurses from that hospital who sat the examination in dietetics for third-year nurses was successful. One nurse obtained 90 per cent, two nurses over 75 per cent, and five nurses over 60 per cent.


Hadfield—Tuck.—The engagement is announced between James Gordon (R.N.Z. A.F.), only son of Mrs. M. Hadfield. of Auckland, and Betty May, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Tuck, of Inglewood. Nicholson—Fitzgerald.—Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Fitzgerald, of Wellington South, announce the engagement of their only daughter, Joanne, to John William, only son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Nicholson, of Heme Bay, Auckland.

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Bibliographic details

FOR WOMEN WOMEN'S POWER, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945

Word Count

FOR WOMEN WOMEN'S POWER Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945

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