Kate Sheppard Celebration Tours successfully launched last year, as part of the Suffrage 125 Celebrations. Project Manager Diane McCarthy is excited that the core group are taking the tour to the next level.
'YWCA, which runs transitional and emergency housing for women, and women with children, will get a donation from our annual takings. Kate Sheppard was on the board of the YWCA, so it's our way of continuing her work.
'Our Slogan is "Living History. Living Heritage." Our first tour this year takes place between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 9 March, in association with International Women’s Day. We dress in Victorian style, and event participants can too.'
'We are adding conflict between Rt Hon Richard Seddon and Sir John Hall at mystery location on the tour route. We are encouraging young women poets, including with Cashmere High's Jessica Tater, to perform in the CWEA Hall at 59 Gloucester St. Piano suite ‘Votes for Women’, by Rosemary Stott, is also very popular.
‘Our next step as an organisation is to become an incorporated society. Members will get a 20% discount on the price of their first tour, including anyone who books the same tour with them.’
‘Membership is open to any individual or organisation that wants to support this educational tour. We are keeping cost of membership low, and free for unwaged, beneficiaries and people on the minimum wage.
Christchurch citizens now have another way to celebrate Kate Sheppard’s world leading contribution to women’s suffrage every year, not just significant milestones. We see ourselves sitting alongside the National Council of Women, who celebrate Suffrage Day each September.
Women getting the vote in New Zealand was a hard-won struggle. Kate’s story gives us courage and energy for our 21st century issues.’
‘We use Kate’s actual speeches. We are reliving history, bringing it alive. We rely on our local historian Margaret Lovell Smith and our commentator, Erin McGifford. Erin helped women who fund raised and commissioned the Kate Sheppard National Memorial Mural, in 1993.
The management team works collaboratively and makes decisions by consensus. Wendy Rockhouse has valuable experience in Zonta, Refuge work and is President of YWCA. From the banking industry and with voluntary agencies, Wendy has many business connections through now managing the EPIC Centre.
Nancy McShane is a PSA union activist and negotiator for equal pay within the public service. Playing Kate Sheppard is inspiring for her. Nancy spoke at other suffrage 125 events. Suffrage 125 co-ordinator Judi Smitheram has joined us to lend an experienced event management hand.
Bookings can be made online through Eventfinda. Pamphlets are available at Council service centres and Public Libraries.