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CARTER, FLORENCE JANE nee BARKLA

 

Florence Jane Barkla was born in 1884 in Chacewater, Cornwall and was the daughter of John Truan Barkla and Bessie nee Sleeman. A sister was Annie Kemp. As a child the Barklas lived at Coombe Farm near Bickleigh in Devon, and came to New Zealand in 1903.

 

On the 9 July 1906 Florence married William Ernest Carter at All Saint's Church, Eltham, and most of their married life was spent at their farm on Hunter Road which they called "Bickleigh". This is still farmed by descendants.

 

Florence became a Justice of the Peace in February 1931, one of the first in Taranaki. Women were able to become JP's in 1926. For some years, she was also one of Taranaki's welfare officers, and took a prominent part in the public and social life of the district, being keenly interested in local and national politics. She was a member of the dominion council of the New Zealand National Party and was also a member of the Wellington National Party.

 

At the time of her death, Florence was president of the Central Taranaki Women's Division of Federated Farmers, and was an ex-president of the Hawera and Eltham branches of the division, being one of the founders of the original WDFU movement. She was also first president of the Hunter Road branch which later amalgamated with the Matapu branch.

 

Florence was also one of the Eltham County Council's representatives on the Eltham Public Library committee. As a member of the Eltham Comforts Committee and the Eltham Women's War Service Auxiliary, Florence was prominent in patriotic work during the second war.

 

Florence Jane Carter died on 13 February 1947 at Wellington and is buried at Eltham cemetery.

 

SOURCES
Barkla Family History Booklet

Obituary "Hawera Star" 15 Feb 1947

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