Three Bay of Plenty women are being recognised by Zonta New Zealand today for their selfless work for women in the Tauranga community and around the world.

The recognition ties in with International Women's Day, which is celebrated across the globe.

Tauranga Women's Refuge manager Angela Warren-Clarke was being recognised for her work and the role she played at the refuge being "an enthusiastic woman who went above and beyond to help others in the Tauranga community".

Ms Warren-Clarke had been manager at the refuge about three years and said she could not do all the work she did without the support of her team who worked alongside her.


"They are the backbone of making the refuge work, they are here behind the scenes every day answering the crisis line and working with our clients and their children. Without the support of each of them the refuge would not be what it is today."

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Shakti Ethnic Women's Support Group manager and co-ordinator Sonia Pathak was also being recognised. Mrs Pathak helped rescue women from domestic violence around the Bay but was involved with helping women to lead fulfilling and independent lives.

She had been in the role about eight years.

Mrs Pathak said she felt privileged to receive the award.

Sonia Pathak, Shakti Ethnic Women's Support Group manager and co-ordinator
Sonia Pathak, Shakti Ethnic Women's Support Group manager and co-ordinator

"I'm just doing what is needed in the community for women," she said.

Mrs Pathak worked with women and children from Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries. Last year the organisation worked with more than 70 families in the Bay of Plenty area, which reached Coromandel to Rotorua.

The late Catherine Hollister-Jones was being posthumously recognised after changing the lives of thousands of children in India. After moving to Punjab in 1953 she worked with women, children, and opened a Christian-based curriculum school which started with only six students. Within 10 years she had more than 8000 students. She also received the Queen's Service Medal in 1991 for her commitment to public service.

Miss Hollister-Jones died in 2014, aged 94.

Her nephew, Greg Hollister-Jones, said his aunt travelled to Wellington to attend prayer events held at Parliament well into her 90s. "What most people remember Catherine for is the way she connected, heard their story and loved them," he said.