Ex­hi­bi­tion brings his­tory to the present

In the first story of our new Reporter Chal­lenge se­ries, Rexine Hawes mod­els for the Ladies High Tea event held at the week­end for Pohlen Hos­pi­tal.

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

It’s a dream for many women to wear a wed­ding gown and feel like a princess for a day.

I’ve al­ready had my turn, I mar­ried Craig Hawes in 2007. I re­mem­ber it fondly but I’ll ad­mit I’m not much for primp­ing and preen­ing, so the whole ‘princess’ thing was lost on me.

Even so, I was hon­oured to be in­volved in the Ladies High Tea, and model wed­ding dresses dat­ing back to the 1930s, and then write about my ex­pe­ri­ence for my Reporter Chal­lenge as­sign­ment.

I could quite hap­pily have stayed in one dress in par­tic­u­lar, worn by Mar­garet Wif­fin’s mother in 1933, not only be­cause it was so tight fit­ting that it was a bit of a chal­lenge in it­self to get on and off, bend or sit, but it was just so beau­ti­ful.

I also had the priv­i­lege of wear­ing Mar­garet Wif­fen’s wed­ding dress from 1960 and Joanne Mor­gan’s dress, from 1980.

While the dresses were stun- ning, it was more of an hon­our to bring a wee bit of his­tory into the present. The smil­ing faces of many of the ladies as the mod­els pa­raded was price­less and made be­ing part of it so worth­while.

Prior to be­ing in­volved in the event, I didn’t re­alise that Wil­bert Marks De­part­ment store sold many of the dresses be­ing mod­elled, the store my hus­band’s grandma, Betty Hawes, worked in.

It also gave me a lit­tle in­sight into the cre­ative tal­ents of both Shirley Frew and Dul­cie Bar­ton.

The Dal­ton’s Daisies, well known for their fundrais­ing abil­i­ties, could put the most ex­pe­ri­enced event plan­ner to shame. They made and poured ev­ery cup of tea, baked ev­ery morsel of bite sized food, dressed and un­dressed the mod­els, some­times in a big hurry, and had us all where we needed to be at ex­actly the right time. Do you have a chal­lenge for our reporter? Send in your sug­ges­tions to rexine.hawes@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

‘‘it was more of an hon­our to bring a wee bit of his­tory into the present.’’

I must say a huge thank you to San­dra Hunter, who made it pos­si­ble for me to be in­volved in the event, while she cov­ered it for the pa­per, see her pho­tos on page 8.

The big­gest chal­lenge for me - my calves are still sore from my 11 inch heels, now I re­mem­ber why they have sat un­used on my shoe rack for so long, which is prob­a­bly where they will stay for another few years.

Rexine Hawes, in Joanne Mor­gan’s wed­ding dress, pictured with brides­maid Jaimee Tye. More pic­tures, page 8.

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