New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - THIS WEEK IN... -

Happy birth­day to the Weekly! Eighty-five years old – what a mag­nif­i­cent achieve­ment. And she’s look­ing as beau­ti­ful as ever. As one would ex­pect, she’s changed her ap­pear­ance as she’s grown older. Fresh­ened up ev­ery decade or so.

And there might have been a few tweaks here and there over the years. It’s ac­cept­able, I think, for a woman of her age and in her po­si­tion to have had some work done.

But it’s been very dis­creet – she has re­mained true to her­self and aged with dig­nity and style. She is still rel­e­vant too. That’s be­cause as any woman of a cer­tain age knows, you must lis­ten to young peo­ple and take an in­ter­est in their pas­sions and their frus­tra­tions.

You must keep an open mind and a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude if you want to earn the trust and the re­spect of younger gen­er­a­tions. And I think it’s fair to say the Weekly does that.

She’s seen off some enor­mous chal­lenges in her past. The ar­rival of a brash and brassy new­comer on the block cre­ated some con­ster­na­tion. Woman’s Day, when it hit the streets, was full of gos­sip, scan­dal and pa­parazzi pho­tos.

This was not the Weekly’s way but she had to evolve and ac­cept that read­ers were look­ing for some piz­zazz from their mag­a­zines. So she be­came a lit­tle bit bolder per­haps in re­sponse.

Over time, the Weekly and the Day have be­come closer, forg­ing a work­ing re­la­tion­ship, and per­haps that was due to the ar­rival of a com­peti­tor that threat­ened to wipe them both out.

The in­ter­net brought with it a host of pos­si­bil­i­ties and threat­ened many long-stand­ing in­sti­tu­tions, not least pub­lish­ing. There were dire pre­dic­tions it would ren­der books and mag­a­zines re­dun­dant, but hap­pily this has not been the case.

Some women’s mag­a­zines fell by the way­side, but not the Weekly.

She en­dured and has weath­ered the storm, look­ing stronger than ever.

My own as­so­ci­a­tion goes back to when I was ap­pointed as a pre­sen­ter on Fair Go at the age of 21. To be fronting a na­tion­wide live pro­gramme with such a proud his­tory was very ex­cit­ing, but to be hon­est, my first thought was, “Ooooh, I might make it onto the cover of the Woman’s Weekly!” That seemed the ul­ti­mate sign that I’d ar­rived.

It took another three years and the ar­rival of my baby Kate be­fore I landed the cov­eted cover, but it was worth it. Af­ter that, the cov­ers came thick and fast but that one re­mained my most loved – un­til this year, when I was on the cover of the Weekly again, this time with Kate and my brand-new grand­son Bart.

It’s such a priv­i­lege to say I write for the Weekly. There are so many won­der­ful women and writ­ers who have come be­fore me that I feel hon­oured to be among them. I love be­ing able to share bits of my life with you. I feel that if we got to­gether over a cup of tea, we’d get on fa­mously.

My grand­mother reached 99, my mother turned 80 a few months back and is in great nick, and now it’s Happy Birth­day to the Weekly, another splen­did old girl in my life who has reached a re­mark­able mile­stone.

As well as read­ing her col­umn, lis­ten to Kerre on New­stalk ZB, week­days, noon to 4pm.

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