Mt Roskill’s 20-year-old royal letter
Princess Diana’s legacy still remains strong 20 years after her death, especially for one Auckland resident.
Mt Roskill resident Jo Excell who is better known as ‘‘Aunty Jo,’’ ran an annual event called Aunty Jo’s Kids’ Day Out for more than 10 years.
It was hosted at Mt Roskill War Memorial Park and had raffles, presents and a barbecue for the children who went.
In 1998, Aunty Jo wrote to The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund hoping to change the event’s name to Princess Diana’s Kids’ Day Out.
Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris in 1997. Last month marked 20 years since her death. The fund with her namesake was created in September 1997. It aimed to continue her humanitarian work by providing grants and setting up initiatives.
‘‘I felt Princess Diana deserved to have her name somewhere in Auckland because she did so much good for the world,’’ Excell said. She received a letter from the fund’s fundraising manager Jacqueline Allen who informed her that she was unsuccessful after it was discussed with representatives of Princess Diana’s family.
The letter has been very important for her to have and keep, she said. ‘‘I’m honoured to get something with her name on it from England.’’
Mt Roskill resident Jo Excell, who is better known as ‘‘Aunty Jo’’, keeps the royal letter framed in her living room.