At our Annual New Year Lunch in the Taradale Club, Branch President Paddy Bayley welcomed 72 members. We were delighted to welcome one of our delightful centurions, Audrey Densham. Paddy made special mention of how fortunate our Branch was to be meeting today with Omicron gradually spreading in the country.
During the afternoon two members received their New Zealand Founders membership certificates and badges. Four more new members should have received their certificates, but unfortunately, they have been delayed by NZ Post “snail mail”.
Our special Founders Grace prior to the meal was read by Secretary Richard Bayley to acknowledge his hard work obtaining new members each year. Hawke’s Bay Branch has won the NZ Founders Henderson trophy for most new members in a branch since its inception in 2013.
Guest speaker was Branch member Christine Hardie. Her topic " Why didn't you stay?” had everyone very interested...what was this about? Well, it was “Some thoughts about what founders and immigrants leave behind". Christine quoted very diverse memories from early immigrant women, regarding living conditions and situations they found themselves in, upon arrival in New Zealand. Some young ladies said the promises they were given upon leaving their homeland were untrue, and they felt like domestic slaves. It was a “step back in time” when Christine used the “old fashioned slide show” to conclude her talk.
On display was a book written by Branch member Niki Keehan, called “Samantha”. This is a story looking back through the eyes of a young girl growing up near Onga Onga in Central Hawke’s Bay. Very typical of “an ordinary childhood in New Zealand when the Queen was young”. Niki donates a percentage of her book sales to the Onga Onga Historical Society.
At the conclusion of the afternoon, members participated in the reading of the new updated version of our New Zealand Founders Pledge.
Photo 1 New members Stephen & Maree Bevan with Branch President Paddy Bayley
Photo 2 Niki Keehan’s book “Samantha”