20 June 2023

Last call for glimpse into real story behind CWA ladies

| Sarah Martin
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Natalie Taylor plays Ruth McCoombes in More Than Tea and Scones.

Natalie Taylor plays Ruth McCoombes in More Than Tea and Scones.

AFTER joining to save the group from folding, Cooktown CWA volunteer Ruth McCoombes will be among those brought to life under lights in a new production coming to town this weekend.

Ms McCoombes said she’d always wanted to join the Country Women’s Association, but was too busy, and it wasn’t until she heard the Cooktown group could fold due to a lack of members that she stepped up.

“I thought no way in hell it’s going to close down, not the CWA,” she said.

“And, next minute, I was president.”

Ms McCoombes has been president for four years, and during that time started a popular Monday night soup kitchen that attracts people from local councillors to itinerant travellers and those down on their luck.

“We’ve only really missed two Monday nights in about three years,” she said.

“We started off aiming to help people living rough, but really it’s ended up just being anyone coming along, it might be a single mum wanting a night off from cooking or someone who lives alone and wants some company.”

Ms McCoombes said although she didn’t like being the centre of attention, she and most of the other CWA volunteers were excited to see the play.

“I think it’ll be good, obviously a lot of work has gone into it,” she said.

“It’s definitely going to be interesting!”

Playwright Angela Murphy said stories like the Cooktown CWA branch’s soup kitchen inspired the play More Than Tea and Scones.

“It’s an eye-opening revelation into what the women in the CWA do; it will surprise and amaze you,” Ms Murphy said.

“Under the CWA banner, they all have unique and different ways of engaging with and supporting their communities.”

Locals can still snaffle a ticket to the event at the Cooktown Shire Hall this Saturday 3 June from 6.30pm.

Visit www.trybooking.com/CGYHO to book tickets.

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