To Mr and Mrs Athol Mason,

P.O. Box 298, Taupo.

7 Brookvale Road,
Havelock North

15 February 1976

Dear Athol and Eileen,

The British Women’s Overseas Club, which your Mother founded, went into recess just before Christmas and as I was its last Secretary, I write both officially and personally to extend sympathy to you and all Vera Mason’s family.

When she started the British Women’s Overseas Club almost 30 years ago, Vera Mason never expected that it would be in existence for so long and I am sure she could not have foreseen how many lasting friendships were to be forged while the Club fulfilled its original mission of welcoming the war brides and post-war settlers from Britain. The Club was disbanded only because of the difficulties these days of organising regular meetings, but the friendships for which Vera Mason laid the foundations will continue to flourish. 25 of us were at St Luke’s on Friday morning and when we have been in touch with all our members we shall be making a donation to the Foundation for the Blind in appreciation of the first President of the Club which has meant so much to so many.

Had she been well enough, your Mother would have been guest of honour at our farewell dinner, just as she was at our 25th anniversary celebration in April 1971. As the war bride most recently arrived in Hastings when the Club was formed, I had special reason for gratitude to Vera Mason. I could never forget the kindness and hospitality she showed me in those first difficult years and at the farewell dinner I was able to share some of my recollections of her with the almost 60 women who honoured the toast of ‘Our Founder’.

(Noël Sunley)

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