Hats off to 80 years of travellers' tales

Dunedin Travel Club members (from left) Lorraine Harvey, Rona Chave, Margaret Woodford, Dawn Cassidy and Hilary Mitchell celebrate the club's 80th birthday at The Savoy yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Dunedin Travel Club members (from left) Lorraine Harvey, Rona Chave, Margaret Woodford, Dawn Cassidy and Hilary Mitchell celebrate the club's 80th birthday at The Savoy yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Elegant hats and gloves were a feature of the 80th birthday celebration of the Dunedin Travel Club yesterday.

Long-serving club member Hilary Mitchell, speaking at the celebration yesterday, said to attend some of the earlier meetings in the wood-panelled room at The Savoy, club members had to pass a doorman wearing a top hat.

The doorman would welcome members and remark if anyone had failed to wear a hat to the fortnightly meeting.

''We all had to wear hats and gloves in those days and frequently high heels,'' Mrs Mitchell said.

To mark the club's birthday yesterday, many of the nearly 70 members, past and present, at the celebration wore finery including hats, gloves and furs.

As many women's clubs in Dunedin had folded in the past 80 years, the travel club had survived and had more than 100 members, who were mostly retired, she said.

At the meetings, members enjoy morning tea and listen to a Dunedin resident talk about their travels.

The speaker scheduled for the next meeting was Otago Daily Times reporter John Lewis, Mrs Mitchell said.

Club president Glenda Burns said the club's membership peaked at about 450 during World War 2.

Members raised money for the war effort, she said.

''The club's got a lot of history.''

 

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