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Awardees celebrate with high tea

Gareth Winter with Dame Patsy Reddy at Government House. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

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Georgina Beyer.

Four Wairarapa recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours were treated to a high tea at Government House after receiving their investitures at government house on Monday.

After a welcome by the Government House kuia [elderly Maori woman] Ranui Ngarimu, Georgina Beyer received her order of merit and was invited to a private conversation with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

Beyer said she was surprised Dame Patsy remembered her in the 1980s film ‘Jewels Darl’ directed by Peter Wells and Stewart Main and said she found her to be lovely to chat with.

“She complimented my acting and said I was a good actress and that was a career I did well in so that was lovely,” Beyer said.

Beyer invited a few of her close friends to the investiture ceremony and event.

“It was a wonderful occasion, and the high tea was lovely for me and my guests,” Beyer said.

“I had a few of my friends with me, including my dear friend and kidney donor, Grant Pittans.”

Alistair Spierling.

The food included cut sandwiches, salmon, cream cheese and caviar on rye bread.

“There were beautiful roast beef canapes and mini creme brulees, but my guests at my table had finished those off before I had a chance, but it was lovely to have them with me,” Beyer said.

The event included “gorgeous” champagne.

Archivist for Wairarapa Archives Gareth Winter received his Queen’s Service Medal but, not being one for pomp and circumstance, he said the event was formal and well run as expected but what he most enjoyed was chatting to people that had interesting memories and events to share.

“I met a man holding an exhibition in Whanganui of Jim Greig’s pottery and Greig, being from Carterton, was of course of interest to me,” Winter said.

Winter said he enjoyed viewing the art on display from New Zealand artists such as Don Binney, Brent Wong, and Gordon Walters.

“What I loved most was wandering freely around the garden and taking photos of it,” he said.

“Most importantly, I got a chance to look at the garden, which is a wonderful mix of exotics and natives, with lots of nikau palms and rhododendrons, and even an iris at the front door.”

Lisa McLaren.

Winter was straight back to the archives on Tuesday – a place he feels most comfortable.

Greytown resident Alistair Spierling received his Order of New Zealand Merit for services to the state and community and said the event was brilliantly run.

“The governor-general was absolutely charming and welcoming”.

He said he really enjoyed the camaraderie of recipients that are a “great bunch of people”.

Climate change advocate Lisa McLaren who worked as a volunteer as national convener of the Zero Carbon Act received her Queen Service Medal.

Three more Wairarapa awardees have been invited to Government House this week.

They are Bruce McKenzie, Rona Fraser, and Scilla Askew.

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