90th Anniversary Celebration on board HQS Wellington

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June 16, 2022

After a two year wait, over 70 members and friends gathered on board the HQS Wellington at Victoria Embankment, London for lunch and to mark this significant anniversary in the history of the NZWA.

The celebration was not dampened due to delays caused by the Covid pandemic, in fact, it made the occasion extra special. Those attending gathered in their finery and fascinators on the Quarterdeck in the sunshine for a glass of fizz before lunch was served in the dining room, formerly the engine room! After excellent food and wine, our Patron Shannon Austin, New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner said a few words of thanks which was followed by a speech from New Zealand High Commissioner, Bede Corry. This was both entertaining and interesting as he spoke of how kiwis like to find connections with each other and also highlighted the importance of the free trade agreement signed this year with the UK which now encompasses, food, wine and technology.

After Marianne Harper, our NZWA President thanked all speakers and members for their support, this was followed by an auction by John Bonham, also our excellent host for the lunch, of a watercolour ‘The Hills of Wellington’ gifted by NZ artist Vivian Manthel-French. £1,150 was raised after lively bidding and we thank the new owners Stephen and Beverley George.

The 90th Anniversary lunch was a most enjoyable occasion to celebrate the NZWA, formed originally in June 1930 in London at the suggestion of Sir Thomas Wilford, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to the UK at that time, who recognised the value of an organisation for NZ women far from home. Those objectives are still being met with current members today as our association enables us to come together and share the love we have for NZ.