East Pier Restaurant at Ahuriri, looking out into Hawke Bay, was an idyllic setting for a spring lunch enjoyed by seventy five members. On arrival members were delighted to receive their new New Zealand Founders Badges. Very positive feedback was received regarding the new generic sailing ship logo, and the “new look” information brochures.
In her welcome, Branch President Paddy Bayley, made special mention of George Foulds, oldest branch member, who will attain that amazing age of 100 next month. George is one of two members reaching 100 in November. The Branch Committee members plan to take George and the other special member, Wendy Throp, out to a celebratory lunch in November.
Following presentation of new member certificates, members were asked to look towards Westshore where a flag was covering a post. Then President Paddy made this announcement:
“At 3.30 pm we will adjourn to the walkway near Perfume Point to unveil our Branch 40th Anniversary Project. A culmination of weeks of consultation and co-operation with Napier City Council”.
Guest speaker Cherry Dingmans enthralled members, following lunch, with the extra ordinary story about her grandparents. How this book ‘Radical Reformers and Respectable Rebels’, subtitled ‘How the Two Lives of Grace Oakeshott Defined an Era’, came to be written by Jocelyn Robson.
Cherry started her speech with this brief obituary which was published in the Newnham College, Cambridge magazine many years ago:
“This was in 1892, and it reads, “Grace” … her name was Cash. “Grace Marion, née Oakeshott married 1897; died 27th August 1907 while swimming off the Brittany Coast.” That was published in the Newnham College Register, and there was also a death notice in The Times of London with similar information, August 1907 “. Her next comment intrigued members even more “In October 1908 my father and a twin brother were born in Gisborne to the same woman.”
Cherry then continued with this amazing story. We will not spoil it for you, if you wish to read it the book mentioned above is available at Poppy’s Bookshop in Havelock North and https://knowledgebank.org.nz under Landmark Talks.
Back Row: Len Hodgson, Barbara Hodgson, Beverley Fullerton-Smith
Front Row: Paddy Bayley (Branch President) Maria Mudgway, Ann Whyte
George Foulds – 100 years old in November
Branch Members enjoying lunch