Remembering 'God's laundry maid'

Mona Walden was, in the eyes of the world, no person of note. Some may not even think she merited an obituary.

But to us who knew her, she was a person who had experienced great sadness — her young daughter sustained terrible car injuries going to school and lay dying for a long time.

Mona had known what it was like to struggle bringing up a family with very little, and few knew of the multitude of good things she did in the community.


Countless people called on her when in trouble at times of bereavement, and were faced with numerous problems. She helped those to move and dispose of their belongings.

She was called on day and night by those who knew she would help, taking them to doctors appointments etc.

You could say that Mona was God's laundry maid. She was concerned about Father's laundry — that all the altar linen looked fresh and starched. She loved her church and wanted everything spick and span.

Mona had no equal, and I wonder where we will find another like her. She certainly had her faults, like us all, but we won't see again her little car answering a caller in distress.

May you rest in peace Mona and be met by all the countless people you helped in life when they needed it most.

TED DOWNS, Whanganui
Masters magic

I would like to give a great shout-out to the organisers, officials, helpers, competitors and spectators who attended and competed in the Masters Games swimming at the Splash Centre over February 5 and 6.

I am an 81-year-old lady who competed in the swimming on both nights. I have a disability and have to use a walker, which slows you down a little.


The officials were very good in allowing me to change lanes to make it easier. People were there to help me to get out of the pool, while others made sure my walker was at the right end when I finished.

I was last to finish and was given a great round of applause.

As I walked from the pool, many people said: "Good on you" or "Well done". This acknowledgement was really appreciated and I thank all of you — it made the hard work worthwhile.

Even the ladies who handed out the medals were genuinely pleased for you. Everyone was very friendly, and I spoke to many lovely people which made for two very enjoyable evenings.

Thank you Neil and your team, and well done to the whole Masters Games team. Hope all your other competitions were as successful.

We may see you again next time; have safe journeys home.

Vulnerable in the property market

What's real? It is not only journalists asking that question, it is renters who are departing from their housing as the rents keep increasing at alarming rates.

Consider how seniors in New Zealand are not only becoming homeless but physically and mentally disabled by the constant struggle with property management companies who resist negotiations to stabilise rent increases.

Property managers still seduce investors into the false belief that there will be financial growth for their investments.

Along with limited senior housing is the lack of reliable, trained staff in so-called affordable senior housing.

Older properties hide their defects since the owners or landlords cry that their budgets cannot provide for replacements like broken and decaying pipes and other maintenance.

There is need for an investigative review, but the reality is that the real estate markets are economic, benefiting from the money they receive from the most vulnerable.

I write this letter on request of those who don't have their voice heard.