On Friday 7 September Charmaine was acknowledged at the annual Founding Day ceremony at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School. She has gifted her two medals (for the Suffrage Centennial commemoration in 1993, and for the CNZM awarded in 2002) to the school because, as she told the assembled gathering, it was working with staff and students at AGGS which made her well-known, and indeed, many of the things for which she is acknowledged were mainly the work of others from AGGS.
Charmaine was accompanied by Tanya, and by one of her sisters from Australia- Adrienne, who happened to be available to fly across the Tasman to stay a few days with us.
In addition, Rosemary Ronald, one of the first staff members Charmaine appointed, was able to come, but sadly Pat Ward and Elaine Craig, the two senior staff with whom Charmaine worked most closely, were too frail to attend , at 93 and 89 respectively. We were all welcomed by Nga Tumanako o Kahurangi with superb haka and waiata.
Two other women, both ex-students, were honoured by the school on the day. Dinah Vaiaoga-Ioasa, a chemical engineer is now also a film maker (if you can, watch Hibiscus and Ruthless which she made with her brother – it is a delight). Dr Vivienne Bryner is a scientist who has specialised in geology and earthquake research, and has now established her own consultancy firm, helping to develop community resilience for crisis events.
Five awards were also made to current students, and what amazing young women they all were. The whole occasion was wonderful.