Women in Agriculture and Business

Rose: President of Wirrega WAB Phyllis Salmon, Bev Scown and past WAB state president Diana Penniment with the Spirit of Rural Women rose at Lochaber.
Rose: President of Wirrega WAB Phyllis Salmon, Bev Scown and past WAB state president Diana Penniment with the Spirit of Rural Women rose at Lochaber.

South Australian rural women’s organisation Women in Agriculture and Business (WAB) is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

A rose named the Spirit of Rural Women has been bred to mark the centenary.

Kym Syrus, well known as the presenter of Garden Gurus and an Adelaide nurseryman, has the Australian licence to grow the famous French Meilland roses which are the initial source of the WAB rose.

The Spirit of Rural Women rose is white with a soft creamy centre and has a delicate fragrance. Appropriately it is rated as a hardy specimen!

The label details WAB and its achievements, as Women in Agriculture and Business SA is Australia’s oldest rural women’s organisation.

For 100 years – from 1917 to 2017 - the unique SA organisation’s state-wide branch network has provided education, friendship and self-development.

WAB voices opinions on matters of concern, lobbies for action and provides financial support.

The Spirit of Rural Women rose pays tribute to WAB and all Rural Women – their strength, resilience and community ethos.

The rose will be available to purchase this year through Knight’s Roses at Gawler and Wagner’s Rose Nursery at Kalangadoo. 

It can be ordered through Hutchisons Nursery in Naracoorte.

Potted specimens were on show at recent WAB functions around the state – in the Limestone Coast at Lochaber.

Wirrega members were keen to see the rose and a beautiful bunch of blooms.

In late April, a garden bed of 25 roses was planted in the Brougham Place Gardens, North Adelaide with Sophie Thomson of ABC Gardening Australia planting the celebratory rose. 

Former state president of WAB, Barbara Schaefer of Kimba, unveiled the plaque.

In October, WAB will hold a two day celebratory event at Riverton, the location of the opening of the first branch of the organisation. 

A highlight of this event will be the planting of another bed of Spirit of Rural Women roses.