The next morning, Phyllis Fitzgerald (and Dorothy and Jackie) drove me around to see one of SI Upper Hutt’s projects – the Teen Parent programme, which is supported by SI Upper Hutt. This programme provides secondary schooling for teenagers who are pregnant or already parents. There is childcare available and a creche onsite and classroom for the girls.
Outside the school.
Cribs on the side of the classroom.
After that, we visited Kaitoke Regional Park, which was beautiful. The sun and blue skies also came out! It was also one of the film location sites of the Lord of the Rings.
I had a great lunch with SI Upper Hutt ladies. We also talked about the many challenges facing Soroptimism, namely extension, commitment from members, difficulties with new media for the older members etc. It was a good discussion and I enjoyed it very much.
Lunch with the Upper Hutt ladies.
After lunch, I was sent to Jocelyn Butcher, President of SI Wellington, for my final night’s stay in New Zealand. I was invited to attend SI Wellington’s executive meeting, which was chaired by Jocelyn and held at the Film Archive.
The meeting underway
The SI Wellington executive committee
My last supper with SI Wellington.
It was an amazing trip to New Zealand – everyday was packed, and every night I was in a different home, yet the genuine warmth was the same wherever I went. The SI ladies who hosted me were spectacularly hospitable and welcomed a stranger into their homes. This really brought Soroptimism to a new level of sisterhood for me, which I would like to pay forward.