We should have been lunching on HQS Wellington on 11 June 2020 to celebrate our milestone birthday but sadly, this was not to be – at least not this year. Instead, we held an event in the virtual world where members were treated to music, poetry and chat and enjoyed admiring each other’s hats!
The programme began with a congratulatory message from Jacinda Ardern, followed by the Maori lullaby Hine e Hine, beautifully sung by NZ baritone Keiran Rayner. Our moving keynote speech was delivered by Tania Bearsley, currently NZer of the Year and outgoing Kea Regional Director for UK and Europe, followed by an equally entertaining talk from one of our older ex-Presidents, Yvonne Riley. We then had time in small break-out groups to chat to each other and see how we had fared during the Coronavirus lockdown. We reconvened to listen to Alex Bonham read Pam Ayres’ amusing and topical poem ‘Time for us Girls’, written during this time. Another president, Barbara Lloyd, then played Happy Birthday, we raised our glasses in celebration and concluded with Pokarekare Ana, a song of farewell, most movingly sung by NZ soprano Madison Nonoa. All in all, a highly successful, moving and memorable occasion. Please see more photos of this event in our 2020 Gallery.
We are extremely grateful to Bronwen Horton, founder, and members of the NZ Business Women’s Network, for technical help in running this event and helping some of us get online with Zoom. Thank you so much Bronwen and members Jude Sclater and Libby Gordon for your advice, support and input on the day.