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Joan Bielby- 90 Years Young!

Updated: May 17




TO: BPW NZ LIFE Member and Past President Joan Bielby


Firstly, on behalf of BPW NZ Executive, Life Members and Past Presidents, Members both present and past – we wish you a very happy 90th birthday.

We note that you beat BPW NZ by 5 years – since we are 85 years old, being established in New Zealand in 1939. We can imagine at 5 years old you were somehow involved in the very birth of the New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women. The amount of work and commitment you have shown us in New Zealand and overseas, over the many years, is astounding. In my composing this acknowledgement I found a comment by you as President of BPW NZ from 1975 to 1977 – it reads:

“Our problems seem to be those of looking towards the future and

wondering which way to go, what we should do, how to attract new

members (and keep them), what appeal to the new woman and, in fact,

where to go now that equality in law has been achieved. Some, indeed, have

questioned whether there is anything left to do. Let us look forward and act,

not look forward and stand still wondering what to do next.”

Nearly 50 years after you were President, I took on the role – and the same statement applies, just in a different political landscape. We are still facing the challenges and we will not stand wondering what to do next!

Joan, you are an inspiration, and we thank you for all the time and energy you have put toward making BPW NZ a success. We know you are still watching us, and maybe shaking your head from time to time, but we hope we do you proud.


Pictured here with PP Faye Gardiner and PP Angela McLeod

Have a great birthday.

With love and best wishes – Arohanui.

President Janet Gibb on behalf of all BPW members both in New Zealand and Internationally.

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