The Whanganui YWCA originated as an adjunct of the YMCA from 1939.
May 4,1939 there was proposal for a women’s department in the form of a “Young Women’s Friendly Club” be established. At that time there were 140 girls and women involved in YMCA physical classes. This was the start of the YWCA in Wanganui.
1950 the Wanganui YWCA became an autonomous organisation.
Snippets from those early years...
Some of the 1939 plans were put on hold due to War work.
Ways and means of introducing Maori Girls to the Association was one of the primary and important projects for the coming years work. Activities and initiatives included were:
- Free membership for orphanage girls just about to go out into the world
- Sunday tea for soldiers and “Drop In” nights.
- Public lectures for women and girls on Sex & Life.
- Fundraising – jumble sales, street appeal day, table setting displays, doll’s shows, garden parties, floral carpets, dances, wood collecting.
In the years through 1940 to 1963, the “Y” formed many clubs and groups and was involved in many activities in the community. We also had the following clubs: Business Girls Lyceum, Travel Club, Business & Professional Women’s Club, Twentieth Century Club, Carols by Candlelight, World Membership Day, Stay-at-home Camps, Established first Self-service residence in NZ, Parents Auxiliary, YWCA Club (known as extension clubs for outreach work).