Happy centenary, Canterbury WEA!

One of Canterbury’s most popular voluntary organisations, the Canterbury WEA, turns 100 this year, and celebrations are most definitely in order!

Photo of WEA Centenary placardThe CWEA, or, if we want to be formal, the Canterbury Workers’ Educational Association, was the first WEA to be set up in New Zealand. Like the English WEA, which was founded in 1903, the CWEA aimed to provide university level education to working men and women.

In the subsequent century, many changes have, not surprisingly, taken place; however the CWEA remains the ‘People’s University’. Offering as it does some 130 courses each year as well as hosting special interest clubs, such as mah-jong, bridge, and sketching, the WEA has been and continues to be a part of life for many Cantabrians.

The centenary celebrations are therefore guaranteed to be popular – make sure to contact the Association as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Scheduled events:

  • Cover of The People's UniversityWednesday 4 March, 6pm: launch of The People’s University: A Centennial History of the CWEA by Ian Dougherty, published by Canterbury University Press. The book will be officially launched by Mayor Lianne Dalziel at the WEA. Numbers are limited so please let the Association know if you’d like to receive an invitation to this event.
  • Thursday 5 March, 7 – 9 pm: Community Night with presentations from groups that use the CWEA rooms. All are welcome.
  • Friday 6 March, 12 – 2pm: shared lunch and items from CWEA classes. All are welcome.
  • Saturday 7 March: 6.30 pm: dinner at Hagley Community College, BYO. Cost $35. After dinner Speaker: Garry Moore. Numbers limited to 100 so early booking is advised.

To let the CWEA know that you’d like to attend any of these events, you can

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