|Newly Inducted Life Members: Colleen Edward (left) and Belinda Manus McGeehan (right), with NCWHC President Jenny Brittain (center). Image courtesy of Jenny Brittain.|
In April 2022, at a lunch in Orewa, forty members and family friends of Colleen Edward and Belinda Manus McGeehan gathered to celebrate the ladies being honoured with Life Membership of the NCW Hibiscus Coast (NCWHC) branch.
Both Colleen and Belinda were presented with framed certificates acknowledging their service to NCWHBC that has ensured the branch has continued to advance the status of women and girls locally and nationally since its incorporation in the 1990’s.
Jenny Brittain, President NCWHBC, spoke on Colleen Edward's contributions at the meeting. She described how Colleen during the 1980’s represented the Business and Professional group at NCW meetings in the Huntly and Districts area. After attending a meeting where the then national NCWNZ president spoke of how one of the organisation‘s strengths lay in its membership of around 200,000 diverse women and women’s groups, Colleen felt inspired to encourage local organisations to join their closest NCW branch. Colleen well remembers the amazing step forward for New Zealand women when in 1984 the Labour Government appointed Dame Ann Hercus as the first Minister of Women’s Affairs. During the early 1990s Colleen initiated forming a branch of BPW on the Hibiscus Coast and continued representing this organisation at NCW North Shore, shifting her representation to the NCW Hibiscus Coast branch when it was formed. For over four decades Colleen has been a President, Secretary, Treasurer, committee member and a gracious, patient, knowledgeable mentor to many women within the branch networks of NCW.
Belinda Manus McGeehan
NCW member Christine Davies outlined Belinda’s history from when she joined NCWHBC in 1998 as a representative for the HBC Community House while she worked as a community care coordinator. When the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren was formed in 1999, she encouraged representatives from the organisation to joined NCWHBC.
Belinda acknowledged NCWHBC members Margaret Stanners, Heather Hickey, Mona Townson and Beryl Anderson as providing mentoring and encouragement to her as a NCW member and when she took on the roles of Family Affairs Convenor for six years and the Social Issues Convenor for three years. At the time the government was re writing the benefit system and dismantling benefits. Belinda attended numerous Wellington parliamentary select committees to present NCWNZ’s submissions. After joining the Anglican Church’s Mothers Union Belinda became their NCWHBC representative. Over her 24 years with NCWHBC, Belinda has been the Branch Secretary and President for several years.
NCWHBC President Jennie Brittain concluded: "May we continue to work together with love and kindness."