Iso­bel’s years of ser­vice recog­nised

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Iso­bel Smith made sure she had a han­kie to calm her nerves dur­ing the New Zealand Women’s In­sti­tute’s award cer­e­mony in Wellington re­cently.

Dur­ing the in­sti­tute’s 95th con­fer­ence at the Michael Fowler Cen­tre a spe­cial few were awarded ser­vice badges.

Smith, who is a mem­ber of the Toko­roa Women’s In­sti­tute, was one of three to be awarded the Gold Honours Badge for her 53 years of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

It is the high­est badge mem­bers can be awarded.

Among her many ser­vices has been sewing emer­gency hospital bags and knit­ting cloths for pre­ma­ture ba­bies.

The award was pre­sented by Lady Mateparae and Smith said it was a nerve-wrack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘When it is the first time you have been on stage in front of a lot of peo­ple it gets you,’’ she said.

‘‘But I was very very lucky be­cause where I was sit­ting on the stage I had this big woman in front of me and she blocked out the ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple so it wasn’t so bad.’’

The 85-year-old she said there were well over 200 peo­ple at the cer­e­mony and de­spite her nerves she had a lovely time.

‘‘When I got up it took me a few sec­onds to re­alise it was my name that had been called.’’

‘‘It was a big hon­our, it’s once in a life­time, and not ev­ery­one gets them.’’

Iso­bel con­tin­ues to sew with a trea­dle ma­chine and one room in her house has been ded­i­cated to Women’s In­sti­tute projects.

She also proudly dis­plays many of her cre­ations from years gone by and said she con­tin­ues to en­joy be­ing part of the in­sti­tute.

PHOTO: LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Toko­roa Women’s In­sti­tute mem­ber Iso­bel Smith is hum­bled to re­ceive her Gold Honours Badge which is the in­sti­tute’s high­est hon­our.

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