Lady Mateparae hon­ours Toko­roa woman

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

A Toko­roa women’s 53-years of serv­ing the com­mu­nity will be recog­nised for her vol­un­teer work by Lady Mateparae.

Iso­bel Smith from the Toko­roa Women’s In­sti­tute will re­ceive the Gold Hon­ours Badge in Welling­ton on June 20.

The 85-year-old said she is ner­vous to meet the or­gan­i­sa­tions pa­tron when she is awarded the or­gan­i­sa­tions high­est award.

‘‘The trou­ble is I don’t drink, so I can have a stiff one.

‘‘To tell you the truth I’m a bit scared still and I’m hard of hear­ing to and I could miss my cues.’’

Smith re­ceived the good news in March­which came out of the blue.

‘‘She opened up the let­ter and sat on the fence and saw con­grat­u­la­tions and sat there and cried,’’ Pres­i­dent Fay Moore said.

‘‘It’s just a big thrill to see Iso­bel on the stage. I’m so glad she’s fi­nally be­ing recog­nised.

‘‘It’s not a thing that is given lightly.’’

The ac­co­lades con­tinue to come in from the Hau­raki Thames Fed­er­a­tion where Smith joined be­fore mov­ing to Toko­roa.

The award cer­e­mony co­in­cides with the In­sti­tutes 95th Con­fer­ence which will be held at the Michael Fowler Cen­tre.

Smith is one of three women to be recog­nised.

In­tro­duced to the Women’s In­sti­tute in 1962 in Te Kuiti Smith was able to put her knit­ting and sewing skills to good use.

A few of the projects Smith still does is sewing emer­gency hospi­tal bags and knit­ting clothes for pre­ma­ture ba­bies.

She learnt to knit on 4 inch nails at 7 -years-old then cro­chet and cross stitch at 11.

‘‘Dad brought them home from work. Knit­ting nee­dles were too ex­pen­sive to buy.

Later on she use meat skew­ers to knit big­ger projects.

‘‘You can put more stitches on them and you’d knit away and un­ravel it.

‘‘I use to make up my own pat­terns. In those days Mum and Dad couldn’t af­ford wool.’’

Smith still sews with a trea­dle ma­chine. One room in her house has been ded­i­cated to In­sti­tute projects.

‘‘Over the years you sort of don’t rec­ol­lect a lot of the things that you’ve done.

‘‘I love my in­sti­tute. You’ve got com­pan­ion­ship and ever­last­ing friend­ship.’’

Pres­i­dent of the Toko­roa Women’s In­sti­tute Fay Moore is proud Iso­bel Smith is fi­nally be­ing recog­nised for her com­mu­nity work.

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