The oldest and longest serving members of the Ranfurly Club, Beryl Stuart and Flo Dalgliesh [above], on Friday combined to cut the cake celebrating 120 years of the club’s existence.

The pair, with a combined membership of 100 years, joined around 90 members for lunch at the Masterton Club.

The club is the longest running women’s club in New Zealand.

The club started in 1899.

Although members came from all walks of life, it was started principally for rural women. Even today rural women, who have retired to town with their husbands from local farms, are members.

As in the past, members belong because they enjoy a pleasant social occasion and a chance to meet their friends.

Membership stands at 120 with two distinct groups having formed – the lunch group and the evening group.

Guest speaker for the event was author Susan Upton, who first published Women Together: a History of Women’s Organisations in New Zealand in 1993.