This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first meeting of a New Zealand Women’s Institute (WI) at Rissington, Hawke’s Bay, on 27 February 1921. The founder was Anna Elizabeth Jerome Spencer (1872–1955), who lived and worked in Hawke’s Bay for most of her life. The aim of the Institutes were to provide opportunities whereby rural women, often isolated from one another, and lacking any organised support structure, could meet other women and gather and share information. Institutes became the main focus for adult education and social activity in many rural settlements and rural towns throughout New Zealand.
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