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Women’s Group enjoys campus gathering

Lincoln Women’s Group held its annual social gathering on 2 December with universal confirmation from those present that the group should continue to meet each year.

The group was founded in the 1960s by Lady Burns, wife of Lincoln College Principal of the time Sir Malcolm Burns.

Over 35 attended the 2015 function, which was organised by Vice-Chancellor’s Office and hosted on the campus by Alumni and Development Officer Penny Curran and Heritage Writer Ian Collins, in Te Kete Ika. Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Business Development Jeremy Baker opened the function with an overview of the University’s current activities and developments.

It was a particular pleasure to have present Nancy,  Lady Stewart, former Patron of the group and wife of College Principal the late Sir James Stewart.

When a minute book from the group’s meetings in the 1980s and 1990s was shown to her, Lady Stewart reminisced about an entry for 6 December 35 years ago which recorded that gifts for the College Children’s Party had been chosen at McKenzie’s (then a large and popular store in Christchurch like Woolworths) and “wrapped by Mrs Stewart and members of the committee”.

The minutes also recorded that hay rides had been given at the children’s party by John McCartin. John’s wife Shona, later a committee member, was also present at the gathering, along with Margaret Sykes and Barbara Rowe, both committee members in 1980. 

Guest speaker was Albert Smit, Senior Project Manager with geotechnical and engineering consultants Coffey, who has been project managing the deconstruction of the Hilgendorf Building.

Albert described the process, the nature and volume of material recovered from the building, and the rubble disposal task. Many women present knew the building personally through either working in it, such as Margaret McPherson and Janette Busch, or their husbands working there such as Margaret Sykes and Barbara Rowe.