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The 1960s


Chairman 1960-1963


This was Mrs. Thomson's (Left) first term as Chairman, the new title for the head of the EAWL. She had served as a Vice President, and held the office of Chief Steward Home Industries, Chairman of Executive and Chairman of the Benevolence Committee. She received the MBE in 1968 in recognition of her work for the League and her devotion to the welfare of women and children of all races.

“They Made It Their Home”

This is the title of the book published by the EAWL in 1961, in which all the embroidered panels are reproduced in colour, with a short historical not on each one. Three further editions of this book have been published, in 1969, 1975 and 1993


Mrs. MARY JOHNSON, Chairman 1963-1965

Mrs. Mary Johnson, wife of Mr. Peter Johnson, the League's Hon. Financial Advisor, had been a Vice President for some years. She was closely associated with the Princess Elizabeth Hospital for Women and the Nairobi Hospital. She took over the work of the E.A.O.E.A, which organizes charter flights for school children to and from the U.K. She received the MBE in 1970.


England Branch Groups

Through Mrs. Johnson's initiative the England Branch formed the County Groups, following the pattern of the parent body in Kenya with its branches. More frequent "get-togethers" became possible and it was easier to keep in touch with members from Kenya.


Weal House Flats

The second phase of the Weal House Scheme, inaugurated by Mrs. Anderson in 1957, was completed in 1964. Four self-contained flats for married couples were built in the grounds of Harrison House, and opened by Mrs. Johnson on July 1st 1964.


Mrs. GILLIAN SOLLY, MBE, Chairman 1965-1967


Mrs. Solly (Right) had been an active member of the League for many years, Chairman of Executive Committee and Editor of the Bulletin. She was one of the founders of the Kenya Women's Society and became a Vice Chairman of the National Council of Women of Kenya, formed in 1965. In 1967, the League's Golden Jubilee year, she received the MBE.

Refugees from the Belgian Congo (Above)

The EAWL and the Red Cross mobilized in July and August 1960 to meet and assist the wave of refugees from the Congo, with food and clothing and finding homes for them whilst they were in transit.

Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Fawcus and, extreme right, Mrs. Crosskill at the ACWW Conference

Famine Relief

In 1966 Mrs. Solly and Mrs. Anderson visited State House to present a cheque of £100 to President Kenyatta for Famine Relief. A total of £300 was given to the Fund in that year, but all through the '60's and up to 1971, when Mrs. Thomson, then Chairman, presented a cheque to Mr. Malavu, the League contributed generously for the relief of Kenya's famine stricken areas.


ACWW Triennial Conference 1965

Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Crosskill and Mrs. Fawcus represented the EAWL in Dublin. Mrs. Crosskill was then Editor of "Women in Kenya".



EAWL Golden Jubilee 1967. 

The League was honored when, on 1stMarch 1967, the Vice President of Kenya, the Hon. Daniel Arap Moi Moi, EGH, MP, opened its 50th Annual General Meeting. Representatives from the Government and from the many organizations with which the League has ties attended the meeting and also the service of thanksgiving. The service, held in All Saints Cathedral, was conducted by the Provost, the very Reverend Harries, assisted by the Archbishop and dignitaries from all other denominations. Other celebrations included a birthday party at Harrison House and a Ball, at which a parade of the fashions of the past fifty years was staged.

Golden Jubilee Scrapbook

To commemorate the League's Golden Jubilee, Branches were asked to produce a Scrapbook of their District. The books, which were not actually finished until 1969, were to contain an account of the geography, flora and fauna of the districts, memories of early settlers and the history of the development of the district, also brief histories of the EAWL Branch. The beautiful covers, for which a competition was held, included embroideries, paintings and collages of dried flowers. Karen Branch's embroidered cover won the contest. This project, it was hoped, would eventually lead to a publication. Elspeth Huxley edited the books in 1972.

Mrs. Solly Anderson and another cut the cake at the 50th Annual General Meeting.

Mrs. JEAN ANDERSON, MBE, Chairman 1967-1970

Mrs. Anderson took office at the Golden Jubilee Annual General Meeting for her second term as Chairman of the EAWL. She had originated the Weal House Scheme in 1957 and seen it through its various stages. The final phase was completed in 1968.


Cancer Research

In July 1968 Mrs. Anderson laid the foundation stone(Right) of the Kenya Cancer Research Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital, in recognition of the tremendous support of the EAWL in raising money for the building. The League had raised about Shs. 50,000/-, the rest being raised by other voluntary organizations.


Mama Ngina Children’s Home

The EAWL donated Shs. 10,000/- to build and equip the baby wing of this home built by the Nairobi Branch of the Child Welfare Society in 1967.

Presentation of the Embroidered Panels to the National Assembly

At the request of the Speaker, Mr. Humphrey Slade, and Members of Parliament, the EAWL presented their embroidered panels to the National Assembly at a ceremony held in July 1968. Mr. Paul Ngei, Minister for Housing, received the gift on behalf of the National Assembly and praised the work of the League throughout fifty one years.


In September Mrs. Anderson was invited to attend Question Time to hear a vote of thanks from the Government for the gift of the panels, proposed by the Vice President of Kenya, Mr. Daniel Arap Moi, who praised the beauty, workmanship and historical value of the embroidered pictures.

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