Mt Roskill’s 20-year-old royal letter

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MANDY TE

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.’’

MANDY TE/STUFF

Mt Roskill res­i­dent Jo Ex­cell, who is bet­ter known as ‘‘Aunty Jo’’, keeps the royal letter framed in her liv­ing room.

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