Childhood holiday inspired Pat Jenke to spend 70 years with SA Country Women's Association

The South Australian Country Women's Association has only been in existence for 90 years, which makes Pat Jenke's achievement all the more remarkable.

Mrs Jenke, a Jervois branch member, received a pin commemorating her achievement of 70 years' service before a group of family members and fellow CWA ladies at Resthaven Murray Bridge on Thursday.

Branch president Samantha Wynen-Dowling and member Kath Peltz also presented her with a certificate, a bunch of flowers and a scrapbook.

"She is a special member of our branch who has given outstandingly to the branch over the 15 years she has been there," Ms Wynen-Dowling said.

Secretary Gloria Afford paid particular tribute to her flower arranging skills, which she said had won the branch many awards.

The seeds of Mrs Jenke's life-long membership were planted during her childhood, when the CWA gifted a holiday to her family at a time when her mother had fallen seriously ill and her brother had almost died.

"I'd never seen the sea, and everything was so green," she said.

"I was only 11 and thought 'when I grow up, I'm going to join the CWA."

True to her promise to herself, she joined the CWA's Hindmarsh Valley branch at the age of 19 in 1949.

"I was engaged to Gordon and his mother was an avid CWA handicrafter," she said.

"But I joined because my mother was a member."

At various times she held memberships at Mount Pleasant, Mount Torrens, Lucindale and Kingston before joining the Jervois branch in 2004.

"I've enjoyed every minute of what I've done over the years, all the friendships I've made with people I can't remember the names of all over the state," she said.

She recalled with fondness the bus trips she used to take to large CWA meetings all over the state, and the drought support she and other CWA ladies had provided at Perponda in the past, delivering food and clothes to struggling households.

The celebration doubled as a birthday party for Mr Jenke, 95 on the day.

Mrs Jenke had celebrated her 90th in April with a ride on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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