Dame Lynda, Dame Jools

Piako Post - - FRONT PAGE - JACK VAN BEY­NEN

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).

SUP­PLIED

The Topp Twins have been en­ter­tain­ing the na­tion on stage, record and TV for more than 30 years.

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