After our AGM last night Dame Dorothy Fraser spoke at length to the gathered women. She'd been asked to talk about why she was in the Labour Party, and she chose to share with us her very early history of an impoverished childhood, of growing up in a poor rural settlement during the great Depression, and of how she imbibed Labour values from her parents, who held the local Labour Party meetings in their own home.
It was moving to hear of the jubilation she remembered when the first Labour Government was elected in 1935. Even as a child she had the sense of a new world era arriving, as the new social policies were rolled out by Micky Joseph Savage's government.
She told us a remarkable and enlightening story of her growth into the legendary figure she is today. We didn't want her to stop. Dorothy tells a great anecdote, and because all her life she has been right at the centre of the Labour Party, and for so many years was deeply involved in local body and hospital board politics, it is worth listening to what she has to say.
In thanking Dorothy after her talk, unionist Glenda Alexander recalled from her own childhood, that her Mum - a hospital laundry worker - had held up the example of Dorothy Fraser to her own daughters as an inspiring role model of what a woman could achieve if she had a battling spirit and high ideals.
Dunedin South Women's Branch held our AGM last night. Some new officers were elected and former officers were thanked warmly for their tremendous effort which has led to such a successful year for our branch in terms of fundraising, networking, adding new members, planning activities, encouraging activism, and supporting our MP.