Commitment to town earns QSM

By Lin Ferguson

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Hunterville woman Maureen Fenton was shocked when she heard she'd been awarded the Queen's Service Medal for service to the Hunterville community.

"I think it's wonderful. I'm so pleased for Hunterville, because we're such a little place with so few people. It's time we got an honour in Hunterville. I think there have only been three people before me to get a Queen's Service Medal."

Mrs Fenton has lived for 40 years in the small Rangitikei town, where she was a councillor for nine years on the Rangitikei District Council for the Hunterville Ward.

Then she continued for many years afterwards on the Hunterville Community Committee, she said.

"I've always been a community-minded person. I like to be busy and help my community. I think staying busy is very good for you, and it keeps you young."

She is the president and a welfare officer of the Hunterville RSA, and a a life member of both the Hunterville Bowling Club and Hunterville Swimming Club.

Mrs Fenton served as a police officer from 1957 in Auckland, when there were only 40 policewomen serving throughout New Zealand.

"When I joined the police force, there were only 12 women in my intake, and in those days you never went out alone - you always had a driver with you. Things have changed so much since then."

Working as a police officer had appealed to her because, again, it was about community service, she said.

With just 500 people in Hunterville and 1500 in the wider Hunterville region, Mrs Fenton said it was a community where you knew everyone.

"And I really enjoy that. I like to know most people in town and have a chat."

Going to Government House in Wellington to be presented with her medal is an occasion she is looking forward to immensely: "I'm very excited. It will be such a wonderful thing to do. I will love seeing Government House."

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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