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by Chris Tobin

Timaru women were honoured with Zonta awards on Saturday evening.

Zonta International is celebrating its centennial and to mark it 100 women around New Zealand have been recognised with special Women of Achievement Awards, one of which went to Bev Ward.

A member of the Zonta Club of Timaru since it started in 1989, Mrs Ward instigated what became the South Canterbury Women’s Loan Fund in which women were granted small interest-free loans to help in times of financial difficulty, retrain or set up a small business.

She also established a creative fibre course at the then Aoraki Polytech.

Zonta of Timaru president Kate Flynn was full of praise for Mrs Ward.

“It was a big achievement to receive this award among so many prominent women,” Mrs Flynn said.

Other recipients included golfer Lydia Ko and Olympic champion boardsailer Barbara Kendall.

Former Timaru Girls’ High School principal Sarah Davis, now principal of Rotorua Girls’ High School, received a national award, not presented in Timaru.

It was for her work for Timaru Girls’ which included establishing a teen parent study unit at the school.

Other awards went to Alison Jordan (Zonta Club of Timaru Champion Award) and Liz Nolan (on behalf of Family Works) for outstanding work empowering women in the community.

“Alison was a founder member and was in charge of clubs from Ashburton south to Invercargill,” Mrs Flynn said.

” The award to Family Works speaks for itself because of their great work.”

Zonta Club of Timaru provides funding to Women’s Refuge and grandparents raising grandchildren, and assists others in the community.