Jude Blades is about to resume the monthly Women's Gatherings at Kohukohu, starting on Wednesday February 20, at the fire station (10am-2pm), with guest Marilyn Garson, on the subject of 'Weaving in War Zones.'

Marilyn arrived in the Hokianga from Canada in 1987, from Canada.

"She worked as a weaver, and did her share of days in the old Waipoua Co-op shop," Jude said.

"From 1998 to 2015 she worked with communities affected by war, including former child combatants in Cambodia (1998-2001), homeward bound Afghani women (2005-2010), and Gazan Palestinians (2011-2015). She left a trail of locally-owned social enterprises to create jobs, and picked through any number of fabric traders' shops.


"Through a dozen or so fabrics, Marilyn will tell the story of Eighteen Years, Several Wars (That She Could Not End), and Serial Social Enterprise."

All women would be welcome at the gathering, with their crafts, art, hearts and voices to share their stories, ideas, dreams and chit chat. All they would need was a contribution to a shared lunch and a gold coin donation.

"Last year we had a speaker at every monthly event, and women came from both sides of the Hokianga for them, even catching the early morning ferry to attend and share the day," Jude added.

"We had speakers from mental health (Hokianga Health), a practitioner in the use of cannabis in the treatment of severe chronic pain, a woman who lived on a boat and travelled the Pacific for three years, and a guest who uses traditional Māori and holistic methods to deal with her cancer after being failed by traditional methods."