In Memoriam: Pamela Cherrington Sutton JP QSM, 1926 - 2022

Pamela Cherrington Sutton at Nelson Branch 60th birthday celebration
Pamela Cherrington Sutton (1926-2022) at Nelson NCWNZ 60th birthday celebration. Image courtesy of Mary Gavin.

It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Pamela "Pam" Cherrington Sutton JP QSM . Born 25 August 1926, she passed away on 1 April 2022 at the Wood Rest Home. Her funeral was held at Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson, on Saturday, 9 April 2022.

Pam had joined the Nelson NCWNZ branch as a delegate from the New Zealand Association of Anglican Women (AAW) in the late 1960’s and served in many capacities for the Nelson NCW Branch for thirty years, including as Branch President 1974-76.

Pam Sutton had a strong sense of social justice and she researched relentlessly for remedies for social inequity. Minutes from monthly Branch meetings record that Pam led working groups on many issues: media sensationalism and gender bias, prisoner rehabilitation, abortion law reform, pornography censorship, homosexual law reform and the ethics of assisted reproduction. Mary Gavin gave a eulogy for Pam Sutton on behalf of the NCWNZ, reminding everyone that during these exciting times -- during Pam’s presidency in 1976 -- that Nelson NCWNZ membership demanded the married women be identified in the official correspondence by their own initials – rather than those of their husbands.

During the 1970s Pam developed a strong interest in the monitoring of balanced media reporting and publication standards. Pam was the NCW National Standing Committee Convenor for Mass Media for twelve years and Vice-President of the International Committee for five years. She was also Chair of the Central Regional Advisory Committee on Broadcasting. During this time, Pam was the architect of many strong submissions from the NCWNZ to the Broadcasting Commission.

Pam’s skill in submission writing was also invaluable in her role for many years as the convenor of Nelson NCWNZ Local Issues group. She led the work to analyse local authorities' policies and projects through a lens of social justice and gender equality. Nelson City Council showed their appreciation for her work with a Civic Award in 1997.

Pam worked closely with Dame Alison Roxburgh (1934-2020) and travelled with her to International Council of Women (ICW) events including the ICW Centennial Conference in 1988.

Pam received many awards recognising her work, among them Nelson Branch Life Membership in 1982, NCWNZ Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and the Queen’s Service Medal in 1990.

Mary Gavin concluded her eulogy with praise for Pam's contributions:

"Pam challenged us and motivated us and entertained us. We smile at memories of her quick brain, her quirky reasoning, her gracious hospitality at Bishopdale, and her random humorous anecdotes from her personal and public life. Most of all we will remember her for the wisdom she contributed to NCWNZ."

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