The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
Report of the Committee of the Wellington Ladies' Christian Association
Report of the Committee of the Wellington Ladies' Christian Association
The Committee of the Wellington Ladies' Christian Association have much pleasure in presenting to the members a short report of the work they have been engaged in.
It is now eight years since this Association was formed, and during that time it has steadily, if slowly, added to its numbers and extended its operations. The Committee are greatly encouraged by the success which has attended their labours during the past year, and trust that the year on which they are entering will prove to be one of greater prosperity than any of its predecessors.
The only change that has taken place among the office-bearers of the Association has been the appointment of Miss Caverhill as Secretary.
It may be advisable to mention that this Association, including the "The Alexandra Home for Friendless Women," has now been incorporated as a separate Institution under the Hospitals and Charitable Institutions Act, which has just come into force, and has compelled the Committee to seek for incorporation.
|(a.)||Father and two children suffering from typhoid fever; mother lately confined; six occupying one room. Milk and nourishing food were given until the parents recovered their health.|
|(b.)||Father down with typhoid fever, no bed to lie on; furniture all sold to procure food. A bed was provided by the Dorcas Branch, and substantial relief given.|
|(c.)||Husband had been for a time in the Asylum; six children; very destitute. Clothes and food were supplied.|
Many similar cases could be mentioned, but these are sufficient to give an idea of the suffering and destitution which the Association seeks to alleviate, so far as it is able.
This Society meets every Thursday, at 2 p.m., in the Girls' Club. We are sorry to say the attendance of late at these meetings has fallen off, and we would earnestly urge upon all those who have the page 6 welfare of the poor and needy at heart to give us practical help in this branch of our work. The need is always greater during the winter months, and we trust we shall receive a hearty response to out appeal.
The amount of work done during the year will be seen by the following statement:—Meetings held, 41; average attendance, 8; garments made, 3G5. Donations;—new goods, 105; material, 29 yds.; second-hand garments, 506. Distributed;—new garments, 470; yards of material, 132½; quilts, 7; blankets, 6; second-hand garments,706.
There are now 41 members paying into this Club. The amount paid in last month was £6 0s. 3d.
Mrs. Wright (who, on the death of Mrs. Eades, was appointed Bible-woman) proved herself to be an earnest worker in this department, having in the space of seven months paid over 1,100 visits; reading and praying with those visited, when it was desirable. In November, Mrs. Wright gave up her appointment as Bible-woman. The Committee were very sorry to lose her valuable services, and the Secretary was instructed to convey to her by letter their regrets, and also their entire satisfaction with the work done by her.
Mrs. Roberts was appointed in July as second Bible-woman, and since Mrs. Wright's resignation she has been carrying on the work alone, and has rendered valuable service in visiting the sick and the dying, the destitute and neglected; in reporting deserving and needy cases to the Committee; in persuading drunkards to sign the pledge; and in reading, praying, and leaving tracts with families. Her visits have averaged 189 each month, exclusive of those paid to the Hospital and Gaol. The number of visits can be enumerated, but who can estimate the good that has been done, as day by day these earnest women have gone forth in faith, sowing the seed of the Word with a full hand? God grant that that seed may in due time yield an abundant harvest.
The funds for maintaining the Bible-women are raised (specially) by weekly or monthly subscriptions, collected by the following young ladies;—Misses Jessie Smith, Costall, Pilcher, Sloan, Moxham, and E. Wilkinson; Treasurer, Miss Duthie; Assistant Treasurer, Miss E. Wilkinson. The Committee tender their hearty thanks to these ladies, who have done their work so efficiently, and take this opportunity to urge others who have an aptitude for such service to come forward and join this band of workers. By so doing, they would greatly aid the Association.
There are now four of these meetings in connection with the Association.page 7
The meeting at Newtown is conducted by Mrs. Boxall and Mrs. Mansfield, and, as the following report shows, has kept up its numbers during the year;—"There are twenty names on the book, with an average attendance of eleven. The mothers enjoy these meetings, and also value the second-hand clothes which from time to time they have opportunities of buying. During the year £3 16s. 6d. received for these has been expended in helping families in need of assistance. Twelve of the mothers pay into the Shoe Club, and are very thankful for this help, as it enables them to provide their children with comfortable boots. Most of these children attend Sunday-school. We feel conscious of many defects, but while the women evince such a deep interest in Bible and other readings, we are encouraged to continue the work, praying God to crown our feeble efforts with great success."
Herbert Street.—This is presided over by Mrs. and Miss Costall. There are eighteen members, but the average attendance is only six, as several mothers have young children, and consequently cannot attend regularly. There is a marked improvement in those attending. Clothing is made at the meetings, and sold at the cost of the material, which is a great boon. The interest taken in Bible and other reading is very encouraging; also, the Library is much valued, books being regularly taken out and read.
Webb Street.—This meeting is under the superintendence of Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Gill, and Mrs. Galway. It was commenced on the 13th October, 1885; it now numbers twenty-one members, with an average attendance of eleven. There have been twenty-one meetings held up to date.
Molesworth Street.—Mrs. Dumbell and Miss Bennett take charge of this meeting; there is an average attendance of from ten to twelve, many attending regularly, and seeming to value the meetings.
Tea Meeting.—A mothers' united tea meeting was held on the evening of the 2nd February, at the Girls' Club. This was quite a success; about eighty were present, and a very enjoyable evening was spent. These social gatherings tend to give a stimulus to the weekly meetings. Our thanks are due to the ladies who provided the tea on such a liberal scale that we were able to send a supply of the good things to the mothers who were not able to be present.
Orphans' Christmas Treat.
A tea and Christmas tree were given to the orphans, on December 80th, at the Girls' Club, and thus they were enabled to share in the festivities of the season. Upwards of twenty were present. It was very gratifying to see the tidy, healthy appearance of these children. After spending a happy afternoon, all received gifts from the Christmas tree, which they highly appreciated, judging from their beaming faces as they left the rooms. We would tender our thanks to the ladies who so kindly provided a substantial tea, and to the friends who sent us the gifts for the Christmas tree, which was tastefully arranged by Mrs. Boxall and Mrs, Louth.
During the year the Association has extended its work in a new direction, by opening a Girls' Club for the benefit of those employed in factories, shops, and other places during the day. Suitable rooms in Manners street have been rented and furnished, and are open every weekday from 12 a.m till 2 p.m., and from 7 p.m. till 9.30. Mrs. Louth is engaged to attend at the rooms. A good supply of books, games, and amusements has been provided. Two ladies are at the rooms each evening to instruct the girls in any work they may wish to learn, to give lessons in writing, or to help them to spend their evenings in an enjoyable and profitable manner. The names on the book now number sixty; but we regret to state that since January the attendance has not been encouraging. We trust, however, that a fresh start will be made now that the evenings are lengthening. As a stimulus, the idea of a sale of work has been suggested to the girls, in the hope that it Will be beneficial in a twofold aspect—viz., by adding to the funds, and by inducing the girls to attend more regularly. Those who now spend their evenings at the Club are delighted with the prospect, and are diligently working up any material that has been kindly given for that purpose.
The gaol has been regularly visited by the ladies appointed. Mrs. Roberts, Biblewoman, is also a visitor.
In reviewing the work of the past year, we have much cause for thankfulness to God for the measure of success which has attended our efforts, and would take this opportunity to record our gratitude to those who have assisted us with the means to carry on the work; but a rapidly increasing population, and the present depressed state of the times, occasion increasing demands on our sympathy and help. If we would meet the wants of the day and fulfil our mission, time, effort, and money are required; and let us ever remember our highest mission is to work for God and humanity. We would, therefore, earnestly solicit your prayers, sympathy, and co-operation, feeling assured that if, in dependence upon Divine aid, and looking for the promised blessing, we go forward animated by the one desire and aim of succouring the needy, and leading the outcast and neglected to the fold of Christ, we shall not labour in vain; knowing that He whose glory we seek, and whose children we would fain benefit, is Lord of all, and will in due time crown our feeble efforts with success.