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Mrs Vaughan was surprised when the award was presented at the Mid Canterbury Federation of WI’s annual general meeting after a secret nomination by her peers at Lowcliffe WI.
"It just blows you away, it’s not for me, it’s for the organisation. The acknowledgement from your peers, that means so much," she said.
Lowcliffe members say she is a proactive and inspirational colleague that they are lucky to have.
Mrs Vaughan has been a member of Lowcliffe WI for 10 years but before immigrating to New Zealand she had been a member of the United Kingdom WI for 32 years.
In New Zealand, she has served on the National Executive Committee and, in the past two years, has been vice-president, remits convener and handcraft and communications committees.
And for the past seven years has been on the Mid Canterbury Federation holding positions of president, minute secretary and federation secretary.
She was also on the Canterbury Belles organising committee for the 2017 National AGM.
As the final speaker at that AGM, her insights and aspirations for the organisation touched so many WI members attending, she got a standing ovation.
Her badge was presented by friend and fellow national executive committee member Kathryn Hopkinson, of North Canterbury WI; it brought a few tears.
"The recognition by your peers is the biggest honour," she said.
A woman with many interests, including arts and crafts, quilting and textiles, Mrs Vaughan’s handcraft is described as outstanding and earned her national recognition.
Mrs Vaughan is on the Lowcliffe WI committee and helps with Meals on Wheels, catering, organising annual Bay and Tray competition entries and enters federation competitions.
She has also represented WI at Civil Defence and Rural Support Trust meetings.