Lady Mateparae honours Tokoroa woman
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.