Rural Women New Zealand – stand out performance!

 I blogged about the Rowley Brooch in March. This is a follow up.

After publishing my blog I was invited to Alexandra by the Rural Women Committee to present the Rowley Brooch at the Otago – Southland regional conference. I thought how crazy to fly to Queenstown collect a rental car and then subject myself to having to speak in front of people renowned for their speaking abilities. I need my head read!! Anyway I decided to do this in memory of my Mother.

I arrived on a very wet and cold Autumn afternoon thinking again “I must be mad flying to Alexandra for this 30 minute stint”. Continue reading

How rural women make it happen!


I love the small things in communities that no one much knows about out in the big world. This is tribute to my late mother  – Patricia Jeanette Rowley.

The West Otago Provincial Executive of Womens Division of Federated Farmers is quite a mouthful. My mother served the WDFF Otago (we think) as President as well as being the President of the Roxburgh Branch. Later on she was elected to the Dominion Council and travelled to Wellington for regular meetings. She contributed greatly to the work of this organisation in spheres such as Health, Education and Law as it affected rural women.

She was a woman before her time and she was forward thinking.”The Rowley Brooch” competition was instigated by my mother Pat Rowley in 1972. Continue reading

Celebrating life

image13 women had a lot more in common than the fact that they recently turned 70 or would do soon. If you say seventy slowly it does sound old, but we all choose to say 70 quickly and skip the thought from our minds. We are, I think, fortunate that the 55 years since we first met at boarding school  seems like yesterday.
Columba College is a private Presbyterian girls school in Maori Hill, a fashionable suburb of Dunedin. The grey stone Bishops Court building sat formidably on the rise overlooking the city and overlooked the girls strict education. It housed the principals office and a number of dormitories such as Melrose, Selwyn, Ross, Solway and Girton. Austere and very strict we all settled in to boarding school life. In those days we were allowed ‘out’ twice a term to see our families but soon we opted to share holidays with each other staying on farms for our term holidays. We actually spent more days over an average of 3.6 years with each other than we spent with our parents, we brought each up really. We laughed and cried together, shared our success and our disappointments, admired the boys from a distance, shared our innermost thoughts and then we departed. Many didn’t see each other again for years, some were  recently reunited 50 years later and yet it seemed like we all really still knew each other. 55 years later we could share our lives – the good the bad and the ugly!!

Continue reading