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-u*u What does peace mean to you? What are your thoughts and plans and hopes for the future?"

When these questions were asked ?anrl c . r ° s _ s ' sectlon of women in Auckwerp °3 y ' - a V variety of answers Zllt t K Ceivea > but the fundamentals were the same—joy at the thought bus'oands and sons and sweethearts who would be coming home; dreams of rebuilding their ' e . s „ ™ a normal pattern; and among young women and girls, plans caree?s amage and amb^tions for wh'Jlt mot -her of a grown-up family, frnm son s rece ntly returned overseas, said: "I feel happy to H?i N t the lives of those belong- }}\ e will really begin now; that ♦ en Wl . be able to look f°rvai a to normal homes of their own to make their way in their chosen whfnh an< iL to e . njoy ' those things of rWi™ , hav ;°, bee n deprived ® what should be the best time ' feel a few qualms about the peace settlement, and the mousing problem in this city. thoughts go-back, too, to the ® ay , tn n. e we had during the peace celebiations m" London, where I was 2 111 the last war > and m y confic ence as a young married women mat my children would never know war. We know now how futile that us bope this time oui faith will keep the peace." Girls In the Services The reactions of girls in the Services were mixed. Some were aelighted at the prospect of freedom from restrictions and discipline, looked forward to going back to their former jobs and wearing attractive clothes again. Others were doubtful, even worried, about careers. On girl said, "I was still at school when war started. I took up millinery, which I love, but broke my apprenticeship to volunteer for the Army. When I was discharged, I had to do essential work, and now I'm too old to continue my millinery work alongside girls of 15. It's terrible to be too old at 21!

"As for peace," she added, "I don't really know what it's like, at least since I've been grown up. I've never had a boy friend who wasn't in uniform, and maybe they'll seem different in 'civvies.' I just can't imagine what it will be like to do what I want to do!"

A Waac who went into the Army straight from school was also anxious about her chances of getting a job, since she has had no training in a peacetime career.

Quite different, however, and probably exceptional, was the reaction of a Waac sergeant who doesn't want to leave the Army, and who hates the thought of getting out of uniform. "On leave, I always feel over-dressed and uncomfortable in high-heeled shoes, silk stockings and dresses," she chuckled. I would like to join the Foreign Legion," she added, with a twinkle in her eye. "There are a lot of reforms needed in that service, and I'd like to help clean it up!" Chinese Women Happy Shining eyes and a smile that kept the corners of her mouth turning upwards revealed the happiness of a wife who has known taut, unending anxiety for the fate of her husband, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese when Malaya fell, and from whom she had no news at all for two long years. "Yesterday was wonderful, but 'My Day' will come when my husband comes hoim," she laughed. Chinese women were especially jubilant, for the sudden ending of their eight years' war had come as sunshine after a storm. A mother and a young girl both said that the thoughts of all Chinese were turned to their relatives in occupied China, from whom they had not heard for so long. Many would like to go back to China for a visit, as soor. as they could get a ship. The young-- girl said she would like to finish her studies here before she returned to her homeland. Most women obviously regard the peace as a promise for a much happier future. One said quietly, "We must each of us have peace in our hearts, or we will never have it among nations. We must stop cavilling among ourselves." Thoughts Of The Men An amateur photographer said gaily, "Now I'll be able to cover the waterfront again! I used to love taking pictures of ships, and now that the censorship is lifted, I'm free again to shoo.t whatever I like." Thoughts of the men with war injuries who will still _ need care were uppermost in the mind of a 15-year-old girl, who said she intended to be an auxiliary nurse as soon as she was 16. Another girl said she wanted to get a job overseas as soon as shipping allowed it, and a third said with frank gaiety, When all the boys come home, I'm really going to have a good time!" •An "Ellen Wilkinson" spoke of the need for women to press for the equality which they have earned by their wonderful war effort and said she hoped women would not be overlooked at the Peace conference, and that New Zealand would follow the example of Britain with her 23 women M.P.'s. Material thoughts of shortages in stockings, household goods and food which will in time be relieved were not mentioned as important by any women. That in itself might be a good augury that women want the future "to be built on solid ground and fundamental values.

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Bibliographic details

FUTURE HOPES, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

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FUTURE HOPES Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

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