Staunch supporter surprised by top branch honour

A dedicated member of the Catholic Women’s League has been recognised for her years of faith and friendship.
Gaye Clark, of Stonor in the Southern Midlands, said her CWL branch life membership award came as a complete surprise.

CWL state president Wendy Harrap, of George Town, presented Mrs Clark with the award at the branch annual meeting at Oatlands.

Mrs Clark has been a member of Oatlands CWL for about 30 years, with long stints as president and secretary. Before that, she was a member of Brighton CWL, where she was also an office bearer.

Mrs Clark lives on a sheep and cattle farm, and has three children and 14 grand and great-grandchildren. She said she looks forward to the monthly CWL meetings, catching up with friends, sharing faith and supporting charitable causes.

“When I first moved here, I did not know many people and the CWL made me very welcome and I went on from there,” she said.

“We have a get-together once a month, and after our meeting we have a shared lunch. It is also wonderful that we have three new members [at Oatlands branch] too.”
Fellow Oatlands CWL member Judy Gibbens said Mrs Clark was ‘speechless but thrilled to receive the honour’.

“She has been a staunch supporter and a valuable and dedicated member,” Mrs Gibbens said. “She has been sacristan for St Paul’s Church [at Oatlands] for many years. Gaye has never missed a meeting to my knowledge. She makes the best soup and loves sharing her delicious cooking. She usually brings enough food for everyone’s lunch. “Gaye cares about all parishioners [and] is thoughtful and kind.”

The CWL State Executive congratulated Mrs Clark on her life membership and thanked her for her many years of great service.

CWL branches hold monthly meetings and provide an opportunity for Catholic women to share faith, home and community news, thoughts, recipes and future plans.

The state secretary of CWL, Wendy Fittler, said the league is ‘a great way to get to know the women in your parish’.
“Not only do the branches in parishes offer friendship but also support for women to develop their faith and their understanding of their role as lay women in the Church today,” Mrs Fittler said.

“The league upholds the dignity of women and promotes their participation in social and public life.

We foster and support families and Christian marriage, promote the teaching of Christ and His Church concerning the dignity and freedom of the human person, promote social justice and provide a forum for the voice of Catholic women.

“One of its objects is to enable women to participate more effectively in working for and building the Kingdom of God. In my own experience of the CWL, I have made firm and lasting friendships, have been given support in times of need and have enjoyed great personal development and opportunities of leadership and growth of my faith.”

For details contact state president Wendy Harrap: 6304 2829; southern vice president Pam Clark: 0407 872 675; northern vice president Jennie Taylor: 0466 473 096; or Wendy Fittler:

Photo: Gaye Clark (left), of Stonor, receives her branch life membership award from CWL state president Wendy Harrap, of George Town. Photo by Judy Gibbens.

Tags: Central Tasmania, News, Northern Deanery, Southern Deanery