Members of the newly reinvigorated Wagga branch of the Country Women's Association have been robbed of the chance to attend their first state conference by the coronavirus.
For the first time in 98 years, the annual CWA of NSW state conference has been cancelled.
Treasurer of the Wagga branch Denise Fergusson said three members of the Wagga branch, which was saved from likely closure by a public campaign earlier this year, had been planning to attend the annual conference in Newcastle in May.
"It is quite understandable that it had to be cancelled, but we are all devastated by it," Mrs Fergusson said.
"It's really sad that it's had to be cancelled. That didn't even happen during the war."
Ann Adams, from the Oura branch, has served as the CWA's state secretary for the past three years. She was to have formally relinquished the role at the Newcastle conference.
While Mrs Adams will still step down from her role, it will be done without the usual send-off at a state conference.
"It's really devastating, but you can understand why they didn't want to have nearly 1000 women from all over the state together in the one place," Mrs Adams said.
According to Danica Leys, the CWA's NSW chief executive officer, postponing the conference was deemed as not feasible, due to the changing nature of the risk posed by COVID-19.
Mrs Adams said the CWA is now making plans to hold office-bearer elections via a postal system.
"It's disappointing, but we will work through ways of meeting our obligations for elections," she said.
"It's going to mean a lot of lost income for Newcastle as well, and that's really sad."