Dame Lynda, Dame Jools
They were rebels, activists. Now they’re dames.
Entertainers Jools and Lynda, the Topp Twins, were appointed Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Or as Jools - sorry, Dame Julie Bethridge Topp - puts it: ‘‘The rebels got their medals.’’
Jools and Lynda - that’s now Dame Lynda Bethridge Topp - have been entertaining the nation for more than 30 years and their honours were awarded for ‘‘services to entertainment’’.
Their parents still live in Morrinsville.
As well as putting smiles on faces with their humorous country tunes, the Topp Twins have also been at the forefront of some major social changes in New Zealand.
Lynda says the sisters accepted their damehoods to honour all New Zealanders who fought alongside them to make the country nuclear-free, to reform laws around homosexuality and against South African apartheid.
Entertainment and politics have never been far apart in the twins’ world. Jools says music and performance are a way to get their message across.
Lynda says their career has been more of a lifestyle than a job. ‘‘A lifestyle is all about whether you believe in something, and whether your work fits with the politics in your head. And that is a lifestyle,’’ she says.
Their ability to connect with New Zealanders from all walks of life is another important component of their success.
‘‘We manage to haul a very diverse group of people together, because in all honesty, everyone understands the truth, and when you tell the truth, it’s pretty hard to fight that.’’
And as for what it says about New Zealand that the rebels are now dames, Lynda says it’s simple.
‘‘New Zealanders are really cool.’’
❚ Burglary: Two residential properties were entered but nothing was taken. An industrial property entered but nothing taken also. ❚ Arrests: A 28-year-old man was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon; a 27-yearold man was arrested for assault; A 24-year-old man was arrested for assault.
For all emergencies, please call 111. Give information about crime without revealing your identity, call 0800 555 111 (Crimestoppers).
The Topp Twins have been entertaining the nation on stage, record and TV for more than 30 years.