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CLAPHAM, AMY nee SKILTON

 

Amy Skilton was born on the 1 April 1878 at Rockville, Collingwood, Nelson, the youngest daughter of John and Louisa Skilton nee Norrish. In 1909, she married Laurence Hugh Clapham at Rockville and the couple settled at Kohinui in the Wairarapa, moving to Tokomaru in 1912. In 1924, the couple came to Hawera were Laurence set up the Waimate Plains North Island Butter Factory in Rowe Street.

 

On the election of her husband to the mayoralty of Hawera in September 1939, Amy assumed a large measure of responsibility as mayoress in support of her husband, but more particularly as the leader of women's activity in the community in wartime. She became widely respected for acts of kindness in her immediate neighbourhood, and her self-imposed tasks became many times greater in the public service.

 

A member of the Hawera Women's National Reserve, she was prepared for her patriotic work as president of the Hawera branch of the NZ Lady Galway Guild in the preparation of comforts and in the spate of fund raising activity in which Hawera women played their part in keeping Hawera among the first towns to raise their quotas, either in patriotic funds, national savings or special appeals, of which there were many.

 

A home lover whose interests were centred largely in her family, Amy was adept in all the homecrafts. Just before the end of her term as Mayoress, Amy, at the invitation of Lady Barbara Freyberg, led a group of Hawera needlewomen in the making of the Hawera tapestry for a chair in the dining suite representing all the boroughs and cities in New Zealand at Government House, Wellington, for the Royal visit.

 

Amy was also a member of the Hawera Croquet Club and for some years the guild of St Mary's Anglican Church.

 

Amy Clapham died on 9 June 1955 at Hawera in her 78th year.

 

SOURCES

Obituary "Hawera Star" 9 June 1955

Doreen Clapham, Hawera (daughter)

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