At the recent Rural Women New Zealand Summit held in Wellington, Waipā King Country Provincial RWNZ treasurer Raewyn Marwood was presented with a Member of Excellence Award and received the Olive Craig Trophy for her many years of service to the organisation and her community.
The award was presented by Minister for Women Jan Tinetti and Rural Women NZ president Fiona Gower.
To complement those achievements, on Friday at the meeting of the Waipā King Country Provincial RWNZ, Raewyn was presented with life membership.
In putting Raewyn forward as a candidate for the Olive Craig Tray, the Provincial team said she was a true member of excellence - intelligent, competent, dignified and intuitive.
They said: "Raewyn exudes a calming influence, which when coupled with her unassuming demeanour and complete lack of ego, means her huge contribution is at risk of going unnoticed.
"The Provincial has confidence in her ability and appreciates her considerate and thoughtful approach to her role, her gentle and kind spirit, and her willingness to place service to the community above all else.
"A recognised figure in the Waipa area, Raewyn's contribution to the welfare of the community is truly 'Service Simply Given'."
Raewyn's involvement with Rural Women NZ began at an early age.
As a little girl she would accompany her mother to branch meetings of WDFF in the Te Rore Hall, just across the road from the family farm.
Her mum, Olwyn Verhoef, joined the branch in 1947 and the two youngest girls of the Verhoef family were introduced to the workings of WDFF. They were expected to play quietly with whatever had been taken along to entertain them.
As a young woman Raewyn joined the Te Rore branch in 1975, and in 1976 she took charge of the competition tables, suggesting what sewing and knitting articles to make and organising the judging.
She continued attending as a young bride after her marriage in 1981.
As her family became older Raewyn took on some official roles in the Te Rore branch, serving both as treasurer and president.
In 1985 she was one of the branch delegates to Provincial.
Three years later, after a lengthy overseas trip, she returned to be elected to vice president, an office she held until 1992 before being elected president, a position she held from 1993-2000.
From 2008-09 she was treasurer then had another three years as president.
As well as her commitment to RWNZ, Raewyn is secretary/treasurer of the Te Rore Hall Association, playing her part in the local community by helping with various events organised by the local hall committee.
At the 90th reunion of the Te Rore school in 1970 she called everyone to assembly by ringing the old school bell, and this was repeated at the 125th reunion in 2005.
She also played a part in getting the gate of the Te Rore Memorial to WWII veterans restored.
As an accomplished horsewoman Raewyn was instrumental in encouraging youngsters to ride and would often be seen coaching or judging at local pony clubs.
Raewyn has been involved with Waipā King Country Provincial since at least 1995, when she was one of three vice presidents.
With a strong interest in finance she attended a Money Management Seminar in 1996 to further her training.
The increase in her technical knowledge saw Raewyn become an assistant to the existing treasurer from 1996-99 then treasurer to the present day.
In 2002 she attended the Wellington Experience to augment her understanding of the workings of RWNZ.
She was also on the Finance and Grants Committee from 1997 until it was disbanded in 2006, and assisted and advised with writing policies for investing the Provincial's finances and also for their distribution.
Raewyn was involved with the Linking Committee (connecting the three Provincials from the north of Region 6) for many years, attending meetings, acting as treasurer in 2007-09 and also again in 2013-14.
With her strong interest in craftwork Raewyn was a pivotal member of the Countrywomen's Co-ordinating Committee from 1995.
This group drew together craftswomen from RWNZ and WI. Annual craft weekends were organised where the participants went to a venue for the entire weekend to enjoy craft-making.
Raewyn was always involved with the logistics of ensuring the weekends ran smoothly.
She now organises an annual craft day, as well as trips, lunches, craft days and regularly attends the Lillian Pristin competition days.
Whenever something is being planned, Raewyn is at the forefront to make sure it runs smoothly, and is always helping with practical tasks as well, such as co-ordinating numbers, receiving money, keeping lists, organising ticket sales, preparing gift baskets, baking and thank you gifts for speakers, acting as chauffeur to ensure less confident older members can get to events and conferences, helping with fundraising, assisting with catering and representing the branch at other events.
Raewyn assisted with the organisation and financial management of two regional conferences, Ōtorohangā in 2008 and Cambridge in 2014.
Over the last two decades she attended and represented the Provincial at national conferences throughout the country.
On a lighter side, she is well known for her amazing outfits when dressing to a theme is called for.
In her time with Waipa King Country Provincial Raewyn has supported seven presidents and in 2007 received a Provincial Bar of Honour.
Her forte is in the financial field: keeping meticulous records; preparing the books for the reviewers; preparing annual investment reports; receiving receipts from branches of money donated; preparing concise quarterly reports for Provincial meetings; ensuring spending aligns with the distribution policy; and leading and advising on tertiary grants.