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Meyer remembered for dedication to the arts

Enid Meyer. PHOTO/FILE


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Enid Cecilia Meyer [nee Scadden] known as “Nene” to many is being remembered for her love of children and dedication to arts in the Wairarapa community.

She died on Tuesday, aged 87.

Enid was the youngest daughter of William Leslie and Winifred Olive Scadden born November 22, 1932.

She grew up on the family farm at Pahautea, where she attended Kahutara School

She went on to attend Featherston High School until she was 14 when there was the polio epidemic and the schools were closed.

Her father said, “you don’t want to go back to school, do you?”, and so she went and worked on the family farm.

After a short time in Nelson to pursue floristry, Enid moved back to Wairarapa, married Bill Meyer, and built a house at Ahikouka.

The next 35 years were spent at the Berryfruit Gardens in Greytown.

Daughter Gillian Meyer said, “everyone worked at mum and dad’s”.

During picking season, seven buses filled with children would turn up each day to work.

Daughter Shirley Mangin said they used to joke, “we should have weighed people when they came in and when they went out”.

Gillian said her mother’s passion for the children and generosity started at the berry picking.

Enid and Bill also lived in East St in Greytown where Enid turned her backyard into a mini berry farm.

Daughter Pamela Attrill said Enid was a great jam and relish making coach – “sadly, I still can’t match mum’s stuffing it’s the best ever”.

Enid’s passion for children grew and blossomed with the Greytown Little Theatre, which she joined in the late 1980s.

Enid, along with Noeline Ball, was vital in the fundraising and purchasing of the theatre building, known as Ball Meyer Theatre.

“What stands out for me was she was all about the kids,” Shirley said.

“She always got really involved in whatever she was doing.”

She wrote a couple of plays and enjoyed giving each child “their moment”.

Enid always wanted to be a teacher so when she was 60, she got her School Certificate and started writing.

Her first novel, A Better Place, was published in November 2011 and was followed by another book, Changing Fortunes in 2016.

Shirley said in her later years the writing gave her mum purpose in life when she was physically challenged.

A story of the love for Enid’s book came from her niece Lesley.

She was at the Fell Locomotive Museum in Featherston when she spoke to a woman about the book.

The woman was a teacher from Wellington who loved the book and had just finished having her class do an assignment on it.

She was blown away when Lesley said who she was, and organised to meet Enid.

Enid was also a member of the Masterton Arts Society where she was, at times, the president and patron of the club.

Gillian said Enid was always there to help if anyone needed anything – “she would never say no”.

Pamela said she was the kind of woman that, “if someone said you can’t, she would question it and say you could”.

  • A service for Enid will be held in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Greytown, today at 1.30pm.


  1. It was mentioned at the funeral service that Enid had written a song that was sung by the Greytown little Theatre Entertainment Group on various occasions. Here are the lyrics to New Zealand:

    Where the mountains are high, and the valleys are low
    And the glaciers reach to the sea
    It’s the best little country in all of the world
    New Zealand’s where I want to be

    New Zealand, New Zealand, New Zealand’s where I want to be.
    Though I travel to countries all over the world
    New Zealand’s where I want to be.

    Where the rivers are clean, and the fish fill the streams
    And the hills are all covered with sheep
    Where ever I roam I am still coming home
    I dream every night in my sleep.

    Of New Zealand, New Zealand New Zealand’s the land that I love
    And while I’m away, every night I will pray
    May God watch over her from above.

    And when I come home, no more will I roam
    I’ll buy me a bach by the sea
    I’ll wander the shore, and go roaming no more
    New Zealand’s where I want to be.

    New Zealand, New Zealand, New Zealand’s where I want to be.
    You can lay me to rest in the land I love best
    New Zealand’s the country for me.

  2. To the Meyer girls and your family,
    Thanks to your mum. She brought up 3 great women, who have in turn brought up great families.
    Mums are so special, good memories, good advice and lessons learnt. Hugs to you all.

  3. My sisters Janette and Bronwyn and I also spent many hours picking fruit at the Meyer fruit farm in Greytown. Mrs Meyer was such a lovely lady and would spend the day working alongside us. She was so kind and loved chatting to all her little workers. She had a beautiful personality. We went to St Brides with her daughters. Sending condolences to Shirley, Pam and Gill.
    Janine Johnstone née Smith (Sydney Australia)

  4. Enid was a lovely lady. She and her late husband Bill employed me during the school holidays to pick fruit at their fruit farm. I was so grateful to have my own money. They were very kind to their workers. Recently I purchased one of Enid’s books she had written and the second one I was loaned. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories. Sending condolences to Shirley, Pam and Gill and their families. You have been in my thoughts, you have lost a lovely mother.

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