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LATHAM, ESME JOAN nee CORSBIE

 

Joan Corsbie was born on the 21 August 1913 at Timaru, the daughter of Lewis Reginald and Marion Elizabeth Corsbie nee Wray.  She grew up in Christchurch and married Victor Sydney Latham on the 16 April 1938, and shortly afterwards moved to Hawera.

 

Joan served as a member of various school committees for many years and was a member of the Hawera High School Parent-Teacher Association.  A memorial plaque in the High School library acknowledges her many years of contribution to the school.

 

She was engaged in Red Cross work and was a driver delivering meals-on-wheels scheme.  She was also a voluntary driver for the St John Ambulance for many years, taking people to Hawera Hospital for appointments and day care, and also drove patients to out of town hospitals.

 

Joan held office as president of the Hawera Mothers' Union  and was a foundation member of the League of Mothers.  As a keen member of the Hawera Plunket Society, she was made an honorary member.  She also took an active interest in youth work in South Taranaki and for many years organised Anglican youth dances and debutante balls in Hawera.  She also made the supper for regular Bible Class dances.

 

In August 1965, Miss Michiko (Mitzi) Fukushima (21) came from Japan to Hawera to further her knowledge of the English language, and Joan took her into the family home where she lived until Joan's death.

 

At Christmas she was known to bake numerous small Christmas cakes for people who lived alone, and entertained many of these same people at Christmas Eve parties.  Joan was also a Brownie badge tester, a member of the Hawera Women's Golf Club and of the Hawera Women's Club, in which she assisted with the organisation of the drama circle. 

 

Joan Latham died in Christchurch on the 8 May 1966 following a car accident while on holiday.  She was remembered as having a wonderful sense of humour, a caring and supportive person, who contributed much to the community of Hawera.

 

SOURCE

Mrs Lynsi Laird, Hawera (daughter)