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A Brief History of the Zonta Club of: Auckland 2

In July 1984, Joan-Mary Longcroft, Convenor of the extension committee of the Zonta Club of Auckland, arranged an organisational dinner at the Secondary Teachers’ College in Epsom to establish a new Auckland club as part of District XVI’s Area Three. The Zonta Club of Auckland 2 was chartered with 43 young executive members under Charter President Gabrielle Wilson at a cocktail function at the Hyatt Kingsgate Hotel on November 11th 1984, two days after Zonta International’s 65th Birthday. District Governor Valerie Webster presented its Charter to Club 1099, and she was in turn given a cheque to finance a well in Sri Lanka, then Zonta’s international project. At this time, all membership classifications for a new club for its first two years had to be approved by Zonta International headquarters.

The Zonta Club of Auckland 2 went on to organise some notable events, including a Radiothon in September 1985, when Auckland 2 and other organisations raised over $100,000 for the Auckland Cot Death Society. In May 1986, Auckland 2 published its study entitled ‘Women On Board’, exploring issues surrounding the scarcity of female company directors in New Zealand. Anne McKenzie of Auckland 2 ran a ‘visionary computer session’ during the Area Three workshop at the Putaruru Timber Museum in March 1987, which prompted thinking about the computerisation of District membership and financial records. Auckland 2 member, Lorna McIntosh, presented a distinctive New Zealand flavour at the end of the District Conference in Adelaide in September 1987, with a Maori blessing, as well as singing a waiata before one of the Conference sessions. After the cervical cancer enquiry at the National Women’s Hospital, the Zonta Club of Auckland 2 began plans for a rock concert in March 1989 to raise funds for a colposcope for the Family Planning Association, later changed to funding the training of Pasifika nurses to take cervical smears and for mobile clinics to offer smears to low income women.

However, contrary to the trend of District expansion, the Zonta Club of Auckland 2 was disbanded in 1992. The Club was unable to form a new Board for the 1992-1994 biennium. With this impasse, and only 15 members, it became the first club lost to the new District 16. The 1987 stock market crash also contributed to the demise of Auckland 2 since many members were young self-employed businesswomen. Sadly, the Club was disbanded and funds were redistributed to pay transfer fees for members, with a majority of those who wished to transfer joining the Zonta Club of Auckland. Joan-Mary reported her personal sorrow at losing this Club whose members had worked so hard for the District.

 

Compiled by Jennifer Loughton, District 16 Historian.