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Grace Hurrell was born in Feilding in 23 February 1880, the daughter of  George and Fanny Hurrell.  Grace came to Eltham at the age of two years, and lived in a house which was on the site of the present Telephone Exchange, her father being involved in sawmilling.


Grace became a first day pupil of Eltham, Matapu and Mangatoki schools, and had the honour of cutting jubilee cakes at all three.  At Mangatoki, she cut the 1941 and 1966 cakes.


In 1885, the family took up land on the Upper Duthie Road, and George and ??? (married c1874/5 Wgtn) were the first married couple to live in the Mangatoki district. Before Mangatoki school opened, Grace rode her horse, with a sack or sheep-skin for a saddle, seven miles each day to attend Matapu School, leaving home at 7 am.  She recalled frost on muddy pools and also being wet through on her arrival at school.  Her mother had made and oiled a coat in an endeavour to protect her from the weather.  Although an excellent rider, her flighty horse often through her off in to the mud.  She told a reporter in 1966 that it was wonderful riding to school and that todays children missed out on so much fun.


Grace married William Thomas Seed in 1907, and moved to a farm cottage at Moeroa, Ararata, until 1917 when the couple shifted to Matapu buying a farm on the corner of Skeet and Hunter Roads (now Hughes).


A foundation member of the Women's Division of the Farmers Union (now WDFF), she was made a life member of the South Taranaki Provincial after more than 40 years service.  She joined the Hunter Road Branch with Florence Carter, meeting in the Hunter Road Hall on Startup's farm.  Later she became a member of the Matapu Branch, holding positions of Vice-President and committee member.


Grace was a foundation member of the South Taranaki Boys and Girls Agricultural Clubs Association and was honoured with Life Membership for her valued service.  She was also a foundation member of the Matapu Ladies Indoor Bowling Club in 1950 and enjoyed her bowls until shortly before her death.


Grace and William fostered many children through the Child Welfare Scheme.  The children attended Matapu School while with the Seed's, and many of them kept in touch with her into their adult lives.


After she left Matapu, Grace resided in Mills Street, Eltham next to the Anglican Church which she had attended almost all her life.  Grace Seed died on the 15 March 1969 at New Plymouth aged 89 years and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.



Myrtle Willis, Matapu (friend)