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Muriel Anthony was born at Makaraka, Hawkes Bay in 1890, the daughter of Frank and Annie Anthony nee McGlashan.  She received her primary schooling at small country schools in Hawkes Bay and South Taranaki.  After winning a junior national scholarship, Muriel completed her secondary education at Wanganui Girls College, where she was a prefect.


Upon leaving school, Muriel following in her mother's footsteps, became a school teacher - a career also followed by Muriel's two younger sisters.  Her only brother, Frank Sheldon Anthony, made his mark as the author of the books Me and Gus and Follow the Call which depicted his life on a Central Taranaki farm following World War One.


Muriel taught at small country schools, at Okoia near Wanganui and then Whakamara for several years.  She then gave up teaching and took a position in charge of the office of Gibsons hardware shop in Patea.  She worked there until her marriage in 1912 to John Kerrisk, a farmer of Ohangai.  The remainder of her life was spent on the farm at Ohangai, where Muriel participated in all activities of the district.


Muriel was a foundation member of the Ohangai-Meremere branch of the WDFU and held executive positions of secretary and president for many years.  She was one of the first women to be presented with WDFU life membership, and was very proud of this honour.  Her support and interest in the Division and its work was life-long, and she regularly attended  annual dominion conferences in Wellington, either as a delegate or an observer.


Always interested in painting and all forms of creative handwork, Muriel gave much of her time visiting local branches of the Women's Division or Country Women's Institutes to demonstrate and teach various handcrafts to their members.


Muriel, with Amy Clapham,  was greatly honoured to be invited to embroider the tapestry chair cover depicting the Hawera coat of arms, which was presented for use in Government House in Wellington.  When the chair covers, representing various town and city coats of arms, were completed, those who had done the embroidery were invited in October 1952, to Government House to inspect them.  There they met, and were entertained at an afternoon party, by the then Governor-General, Lord Freyberg, and his wife Lady Freyberg, who personally thanked them for their work.


Muriel Kerrisk's great love of handcrafts and reading were her main interests up until the time of her death on the 12 November 1967 at Auckland aged 77 years.  She is buried in the Hawera cemetery.



Kerrisk Family