A woman with many hats
She’s a firefighter, mother and MP’s wife.
Jude Patterson wears many hats. Clutha District people got to know her first in a shiny helmet when she joined the Lawrence volunteer fire brigade eight years ago and eventually became station officer.
When rural and farmer, urban brigades amalgamated last year she became the voluntary women’s representative in Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
She is now part of Women in Fire and Emergency New Zealand - WFENZ, for area 24, which covers Oamaru to Gore.
The 42-year-old is also heading up to Auckland on May 19 for the annual Sky Tower Stair Challenge, for the fifth time.
‘‘I really enjoy the afterfunction and seeing where the money goes - that’s my favourite part of the event, that we’re raising funds for leukemia and blood cancer.’’
In the past three years, the event has raised more than $1 million because of the efforts of brigades around the country. The fundraising target for 2018 is $950,000. About 950 firefighters will be taking part.
It has been a tricky build-up this year for the Lawrence farmer and mother of two daughters, because she hasn’t had her usual training to tackle those 51 flights of stairs.
Life changed for the former Dunedin-based Invermay Agricultural Centre chemical technician when husband Mark Patterson became a NZ First MP in September.
‘‘He’s always followed politics, always wanted to be a politician, and he’s been focused on that for years.’’
So it was no surprise to her that he became one. However, if life was a balancing act before the election, it’s a juggling act now to keep life and family on track.
Continued, page 5.