Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 38, September 1994

At the 1993 Paeroa Agricultural and Pastoral Association's show Mr Malcolm Davison, Manager of the Paeroa Branch of the National Bank presented five women with Royal Agricultural Society Suffrage Centennial Awards. These awards were presented to local women in the rural community who had been nominated by their peers as having made an exceptional contribution to their community. Two of those to receive the awards are members of the Paeroa Historical Society.


Mrs Spinks was a farmer, champion Shorthorn cattle breeder, former branch president of the Waikato Milking Shorthorns Association of New Zealand, former patron of the association. She is the daughter of the late Alexander and Frances Duncan, the eldest of their seven children. Her childhood was spent around Hikutaia where her father had horse stables next to the Hikutaia Hotel. Along with her brothers and sisters attended the Hikutaia Primary School. Mr Duncan later purchased a farm in the Maratoto Valley and commenced his long association with dairy farming which Mrs Spinks' grandson, Rodney continues today. From school Jean commenced her farming career working as a farmhand with her father. Following her marriage in 1934 to Harry Spinks they began farming. In 1947 Jean's interest in rearing Shorthorn animals began. That year her Shorthorn cow won the championship. From breeding champion cows and young stock it was not long before Jean Spinks became a well known judge of all breeds of cattle throughout the country, and the first appointed woman judge in New Zealand. She retired to Paeroa in 1973 and since then has been involved in many activities in town.


Mrs Reid came to Komata nearly 45 years ago when she married Arthur Reid. They had three children and when the children started school Noeline became Brownie leader of the Paeroa Third Brownie Pack, a Position she held for 25 years. She was a member of the Women's Division of Federated Farmers Komata branch, holding office of secretary until it went into recess. She also held office in the Methodist Church Women's Fellowship Group and is a Red Cross Society member and member of the Paeroa A&P Association and convener of the home crafts and art sections.

Other women to receive the award were Marion Smith of Hikutaia, Audrey Bax of Wharepoa and Penelope Curtis of Ngatea.