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March 10, 2021 March 2021 No Comments

Early settlers , Jessie Hibberd

Jessie Elizabeth Hibberd was born at Pirinoa in January 1892, the fourth child of Mr and Mrs Cornelius Hibberd. The Hibberds moved to Martinborough while Jessie quite young and she attended Waihinga School.

At the age of fourteen she  began work at the Featherston County Council office. Six years later she joined the staff of the solicitors  Gawith and Logan – later Gawith and Neild. She remained there for the next forty five years.

During the 1918/19 Flu Epidemmic she worked endlessly assisting the chemist Mr Poulter  dispense and deliver  medication to stricken families, and had been known to also milk the family house cow for them to have fresh milk.

Her first experience of local government was when elected to  the Martinborough Town Board  in the early 1920s. She was later elected to the newly formed Borough Council. She topped the poll in the 1944 election and held the position of Treasurer for many years. Jessie worked very hard  towards getting a new water supply fro the town, this bore fruition with the opening of the new supply in 1956.  The year she retired after twenty one years service to the community.

In 1951 she was also elected onto the  Wairarapa Hospital Board as the Martinborough – Featherston representative.  Her greatest achievement was the establishment of the Martinborough Maternity Home – now Wharekaka Rest Home.

Jessie was made a Justice of Peace in 1939 and frequently took her place on the Bench. She was a member of St. Andrew’s Church giving sterling service as the Sunday School teacher for thirty years. 

She was a Life Member of the Women’s Guild, a member of the British & Foreign Bible Society, a Long Service medal holder in the Red Cross, a member of the Women’s Division of Federated Farmers, the Patron of the Women’s Bowling Club and a very good tennis player

Jessie was a great believer in the Waihinga- Martinborough District. We of a later generation owe so much to Jessie E Hibberd , We thank You

        Mate Higginson      



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