Cel­e­brat­ing the right stuff

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By JOAN STAN­LEY

Pur­ple, gold and white bal­loons at Lachie and Ann Dun­can’s gate at Piarere wel­comed Mata­mata women to the open­ing event cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of women’s suf­frage, (the right to vote), in Fe­bru­ary 1993.

The event was called Sum­mits for Suf­frage.

The two dozen women and two ba­bies who at­tended climbed to the high­est point on the prop­erty to mark the oc­ca­sion and af­ter­wards en­joyed a pic­nic lunch to­gether.

Twenty years ago, this was the start of a se­ries of spe­cial events or­gan­ised by many or­gan­i­sa­tions in the Mata­mata dis­trict and over the whole of New Zealand to cel­e­brate that New Zealand was the first coun­try in the world to grant women the right to vote.

That was on Septem­ber 1893.

These

Mata­mata

19,

events in­cluded a women’s-only triathlon, pot-luck lunches and pic­nics, a Mata­mata Col­lege speech con­test en­ti­tled A Woman’s Place, an in­ter­me­di­ate school writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion on A Woman I Ad­mire, var­i­ous speak­ers on top­ics re­lated to women’s suf­frage and the de­ci­sion to al­low women to be­come mem­bers of the Mata­mata Club.

A Suf­frage Fes­ti­val from Septem­ber 16 to 19, or­gan­ised by the Mata­mata Suf­frage Cen­ten­nial Com­mit­tee in­cluded a Suf­frage March to open the pro­ceed­ings, most of which were held at the Mata­mata Memo­rial Cen­tre, a women’s art ex­hi­bi­tion, var­i­ous speak­ers, demon­stra­tions, a va­ri­ety con­cert, a play with all women ac­tors and a launch of the book Mata­mata Women.

The fi­nal func­tions

were

a com­bined Thanks­giv­ing Ser­vice in the Angli­can Church and a Women’s Suf­frage Hui, held at the Raun­gaiti Marae, Wa­haroa, where women were al­lowed to speak on this marae for the first time.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Ac­knowl­edg­ment: Sum­mits for Suf­frage on Lachie and Anne Dun­can’s farm in Fe­bru­ary 1993 cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of women’s right to vote and New Zealand be­ing the first coun­try to grant this.

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