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Clara Ward was born at Manutahi on the 4 April 1880, the second daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Ward nee Fairy. She was living with her parents on their farm at Whenuakura, when she married Frederick Ramsbottom in Patea in 1903.  The couple made their home in Patea where Fred was involved in business as a butcher.


Fred became Mayor of Patea from 1929 to 1938 and again from 1941 until 1948. Clara had a strong sense of public duty and community service and she was a most loyal supporter of her husband throughout her years as Mayoress. She was one of Patea's best known identities, both in the town itself as well as much further afield, and did much to promote the interests of Patea. During the break between the two mayoral terms, Fred and Clara visited England.


Clara had her first experience of patriotic work in World War One, and in the second war as leader of the Patea Women's War Service Auxiliary, she personally organised all the patriotic work in Patea, including farewells and welcome home's to servicemen, clothes drives and the packing and dispatching of parcels for overseas.  She sent each local soldier a parcel every month, besides Christmas cakes of her own baking.


Clara was first president of the Patea Women's Institute, and relinquished this in order to establish an institute at Kakaramea.  Besides being an active member of the Scout committee for 23 years, she was leader of the Guide committee from 1931 for a number of years, and local patroness up till her death.  The success of a great many social activities in connection with the Druid's Lodge was due to the organising ability of Clara.


Sport was another of Clara's community interests.  She was president of the Patea Ladies' Croquet Club, and president of the Patea Ladies' Bowling Club from its inception in 1946 until her death.  Fred and Clara donated the land for the Bowling Club.


She was a member of St George's Anglican Church, worshipping there regularly.  Clara was also a member of both the Mother's Union and the Ladies' Guild, at one time being president of the latter.


Clara Ramsbottom died on the 19 April 1952 at Wanganui aged 72 years and is buried at the Patea cemetery.



Obituary "Hawera Star" 21 Apr 1952