A champion of rural women

Rural Women New Zealand board member Sharon Davie-Martin, from left, award recipient Sandra Curd, provincial president Marg Verrall and national finance chair Jenny McDonald at the provincial meeting surprising Mrs Curd with her national award.

Sandra Curd has been a champion for rural women for the past 40 years and has been awarded the national Rural Women New Zealand’s Olive Craig Trophy Member of Excellence Award.

It was a surprise acknowledgement of her many years of service at branch, provincial and national level.

Mid Canterbury provincial president Marg Verrall, provincial members and invited guests including national board member Sharon Davie-Martin, national finance chair Jenny McDonald and South Canterbury’s Queen’s Honours recipient Margaret Chapman, surprised Mrs Curd with her award at last week’s provincial meeting.

“A more passionate advocate for Rural Women New Zealand would be hard to find,” Mrs Verrall said.

“She works tirelessly to raise awareness of everything the organisation stands for.

“Her role as the conduit between the national board and the region means Canterbury always has up to date information to help the region implement the strategic goals of the organisation.

“Sandra epitomises the words of the RWNZ Women’s Creed in every way and is one of the gems every organisation wishes they had.

“We are forever indebted to her and count ourselves so very fortunate to have someone with such skill, passion and drive, in the Rural Women NZ organisation.

“Congratulations Sandra for Simply Given.”

Mrs Curd joined the Winchmore Branch of Rural Women New Zealand in 1981 at the persistence of her late-mother-in-law Marie Curd.

Since then she has been heavily involved at the Winchmore branch, Mid Canterbury provincial and Region 2 Canterbury Area levels holding various positions including secretary/treasurer for the Region 2 Canterbury Area Committee since 2015.

She was branch president (2005 – 2007), secretary (1996 -1999) and treasurer (1990). And has been a Mid Canterbury Provincial Life Member since 2013.

Mrs Verrall said Mrs Curd had given her time very generously over the years since 1986, involving herself in many branch projects including social events, school kids farm safety days, Relay for Life, Meals on Wheels and quiz nights.

“Sandra was president when the idea was ratified for the Calendar Girls project. This raised $26,201.36, from the sale of 1850 Calendars, which was donated to Breast Cancer Research.

“Because of this great effort Winchmore Branch RWNZ won a Trustpower Award, in the Health and Wellbeing Section of the Mid Canterbury Community Awards, receiving $500 which was donated to the local Cancer Society.”

At provincial level she has been president (2014 – 2016), vice-president (2008 -2010), and secretary (1999- 2002) and for 12 years convened the Mid Canterbury RWNZ Scholarship Committee and was RWNZ representative on Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers (2016-2017) and Ashburton Newcomers Group (2016) and is Mid Canterbury RWNZ Provincial secretary.

She has been involved with the provincial initiative – Cook and Eat programme and also the Safe Houses promotion for Women’s Refuge, Project Warmth knitting project and co-ordinated the distribution of the book ‘How to keep kids safe with dogs’ to local schools and preschools.

She has been on organising committees, and represented RWNZ on many occasions including at the Age Concern 50+ Expo in 2019 and on the and also co-ordinated food parcels for flood-affected farmers in the Mid Canterbury district.

“Sandra has worked tirelessly for the organisation, her organisational skills, attention to detail and work behind the scenes in a very professional and confidential manner, cannot be underestimated,” Mrs Verrall said.