QSM for Hastings woman
A Hastings woman today was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for her lifelong interest in the Girls’ Brigade movement.
Miss Melva Mildenhall (pictured), captain of the Hastings No. 2 company of the Hastings Baptist Church’s Girls Brigade, has spent 40 years with the brigade.
Miss Mildenhall joined the brigade at the age of 13 in Wellington.
She came to Hastings when she was 17 and helped establish a company as a lieutenant. A year later she was promoted to captain.
She has been a Hawke’s Bay district commissioner, secretary, treasurer and held other positions. Miss Mildenhall has advised at a national level.
She was the ﬁrst Hawke’s Bay woman to be awarded the brigade 30-year-service award in 1976.
As part of Miss Mildenhall’s interest in the brigade she travelled to England in 1961 for six months to the diamond jubilee of Girls’ Brigade international. In 1978, she attended the Girls’ Brigade International annual conference in the Cayman Islands, Caribbean for two weeks.
Miss Mildenhall said her interest in the movement stemmed from believing that, as a member of a church “you should be a working member.”
Looking after about 50 girls has been a team effort and without her group of helpers Miss Mildenhall said she would not have bee able to carry on.
She still intends maintaining her interest in the company because “I am well known for keeping on.”
Miss Mildenhall, an accountant at the Herald-Tribune, also teaches Sunday School at the church and helps with the boys’ brigade.
She is also a ceramic and handcraft hobbyist and skilled at sewing and has an interest in spinning and croquet.
Miss Mildenhall has travelled overseas four times and hopes to make further trips abroad.