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A Brief History of the Zonta Club of: Port Nicholson

With its SOM Committee headed by Beverley McGlashan (Wellington), the new Zonta Club of Port Nicholson was facilitated by the Zonta Club of Wellington in the short space of four months.  It was chartered at the very end of Cherry Raymond’s biennium on July 7th 1992 with Amelia Longuet as Charter President. At the Club’s Charter Dinner on November 14th 1992 on board a ship moored in Wellington Harbour, the Charter was presented by then past Governor, Cherry Raymond. The Hon. Fran Wilde, Mayor of Wellington, was the guest of honour and expressed her awareness of Zonta’s standing with the United Nations, stating that she was attracted by Zonta’s International status of women policies. Wellington Zontian, Dame Pat Evison, also became a Charter Member of the Port Nicholson Club.  District 16 sent congratulatory messages to the newly formed Zonta Club of Tallinn, Estonia, now twinned with the Zonta Club of Port Nicholson, since as new Zontians, both were likely to share similar experiences.

In later 1992, the Zonta Club of Port Nicholson, along with other mid North Island Zonta clubs, joined District 16’s newly-established Area 4, with Gwendoline Ross (Rotorua) appointed as the first Area 4 Director. Port Nicholson Zontians participated in club and inter-club activities with enthusiasm.

However, by April 1994, the Zonta Club of Port Nicholson had shrunk to 14 Zontians although the Club was still enthusiastic about recruiting new members. Port Nicholson was one of three clubs with falling and low membership that Governor Jean Corbin Thomas worked hard to retain but without success. Members of the Port Nicholson Club, not wishing to close their club, decided to seek recess for one year before making a final decision about their future path. A membership drive had not succeeded, but some Port Nicholson members were determined to regroup after a recess period. In the end, this did not occur but a few Port Nicholson Zontians joined the other Wellington clubs. The Zonta Club of Port Nicholson was officially disbanded on May 8th 2000.

Compiled by Historian: Jennifer Loughton, District Historian.