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Betty Bungard was presented with a gold honour badge at the national conference of the Women's Institute, in Wellington last Wednesday, in recognition of her long contribution to the organisation.
The former justice of the peace attended her first institute meeting with her mother in July 1953, as a teenager.
Keen to take on responsibility, she joined the institute's local committee within a year.
She was president for six years, vice-president for five years, secretary for 10 years, treasurer for four years, and handcraft officer for three years.
Mrs Bungard may have done it all at the Waihola Women's Institute but she played down her 61-year contribution to the organisation.
It was just a good, caring group to be part of, she said.
''We meet for lunch once a month at different people's houses, listen to a guest speaker, and really just catch up on local gossip,'' she said.
Mrs Bungard said there was no pressure at the institute meetings.
''Because we all know each other, you don't have to do a frantic spring clean.''
- Robert Steven