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WILLIAMS, LOUISA ELLEN nee REEVE

 

Louie Reeve was born on the 6 May 1894 at Ashurst, the eldest daughter of John and Lucy Etta Reeve nee Ludlam who later farmed at Kakaramea.  Lucy’s parents, George and Ellen Ludlam nee Wadson, moved to Kakaramea from Wanganui in the mid 1870’s where Lucy was born.

 

Louie attended Kakaramea School from 1906 and later Patea High School for two years.  She won a scholarship which sent her to Wanganui Girls College as a boarder, and later she graduated as a teacher and taught at Normanby School before her marriage.

 

On the 14 April 1915, Louie married Griffith William Arthur Williams who she had met while climbing Fanthams Peak and the couple lived at Allen Road, Meremere for 20 years.  She worked in the community in local church groups, one of which was a sewing guild involving local women sewing clothes to distribute to poorer families.  She also taught Sunday School, and in 1932, became the first president of the Meremere-Ohangai WDFU Branch, a position she held for 16 years.

 

The family moved to Ohangai in 1936 into a new home where a beautiful garden was created, and which was opened up to the public for the benefit of many organizations.  In 1951, with her husband and others, Louie contributed financially and practically to the establishment of Pukeiti, in Carrington Road, New Plymouth.  In recognition of her outstanding services to the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust, Louie was made an honorary member in 1963.  She was also a member of the Hawera Horticulture Society, the South Taranaki District Council Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, the New Zealand Rhododendron Society and the Camellia Society.  Dr Yeates of Massey College honoured her by naming an Azalea Louie Williams.

 

Louie did not restrict her interests to horticulture.  She was chairwoman of the ladies committee of the Egmont Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and president of the Hawera Women’s Club from 1955 until 1959.  Louie was patroness at the time of her death.

 

Louie reared and educated her family, and carried out the tasks of feeding the many extra hands that were there for the farm.  There was no power in the district until the road was sealed.  Gas lights were used in all the main rooms, and a coal range was there for cooking.  The Williams retired to Hawera, building a house at Burnside Avenue.  Louisa Ellen Williams died on the 6 August 1967 at Auckland on her way to a camellia conference at Waitangi and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.

 

SOURCE

Audrey Cox, Meremere (daughter)


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