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Shirley MacDonald was born on the 17 October 1944 at Hawera, the daughter of Ernest Owen and Alma Bell MacDonald nee Barr.  She was educated at Okaiawa Primary School and Hawera High School, before making her career in agricultural administration.  She worked for 14 years with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Hawera, before training as an officer inspector with the ministry. 


Shirley took a keen interest in the young farmers movement, being secretary of the Taranaki Young Farmers Club, before moving to Palmerston North in 1975, where she was employed with the ministry as its inspector and training officer in administration.  Shirley was also involved with the Young Farmers in the Manawatu.


Her interests included rugby, horses and tennis which she played both for the High School and Okaiawa Club's. She was also a member of Toastmistresses and travelled extensively overseas, including trips to Russia, Europe, England, Africa and Australia.


Shirley MacDonald died on the 28 November 1979, aged 36 years,  in the Erebus disaster in Antartica when an Air New Zealand DC10 crashed killing all 257 passengers.



Obituary "The Hawera Star" 30 Nov 1979

MacDonald family