On the 17th June 1931 representatives of the four provincial agricultural associations, established between September 1925 and December 1930, met at Bloemfontein under the chairmanship of Major EW Hunt, president of the South African Agricultural Union. After much discussion the four organisations – TWAU, FWI, OFSWAU and CPWAA decided to form a national Women’s Agricultural Union and thus SAWAU came into being at a congress on 30th October of the same year.
The time was indeed ripe for a national body to promote national interests. In those early days higher education for women was the exception, rural areas were to a large extent isolated, and there was very real need for social interaction. Those years of depression made it incumbent upon the farmer’s wife to help swell the family income, and to utilise to the full home- grown products. For the younger generation there was a little inducement to stay on the farms, and taken by a large adult education and improved facilities for the youth, were pressing needs. Major Hunt’s inspired idea of organising country women and uniting them in a national body for the improvement of rural life and the advancement of culture thus came into its own.
On the 28th October 1931 the first executive meeting was held at a Woman’s Club in Pretoria and was chaired by Mrs Edith O’Connor. Two days later, at the congress, honoured by the presence of the Countess of Claredon, a lengthy agenda came under discussion and a constitution was adopted. Members were urged to pay attention to school gardens, tree planting and arbor day.
For sixteen years Mrs O’Connor guided the destinies of SAWAU with unflagging zeal, vision, persistence and above all in the faith that “our scheme – Adult Education will assist us all” She verily believed that SAWAU could become one of the greatest forces for good in South Africa.
( Acknowledgment - Jubilee Album – Mrs Glen Uys)
Die Suid Afrkaanse Vroue Landbou Unie het op 30 Oktober 2016 85 jaar oud geword. Ons is baie trots om te sê dat ons steeds van krag tot krag gaan en poog om ons organisasie die grootstse vroue organisasie in Suid Afrika te hou.
Dis ‘n prestasie vir enige organisasie, veral ‘n nie-regerings-, nie-winsgewende organisasie, om na 85 jaar steeds vollewe en entoesiasme te kan wees. Dit is alles te dank aan ons Besture en lede se positiewe gesindheid