Sunday, April 26, 2009

More about the Y in Fiji

from w
I found (via the net) these photos of the two women who started the YWCA in Fiji in 1962 - Ruth Lechte and Anne Walker. They are still feisty women I am sure and caring about the world.


nzm said...

Haven't changed much, have they? Except Anne now wears her hair much shorter than she did back in Fiji!

I saw Anne in New York in September 2001 for the first time since last seeing her walk with Ruth across Sukuna Park in 1975.

I was celebrating my 40th with about 5 friends who had flown in from around the world to be with me in NYC - the weekend before 9/11!

We arranged to meet for brunch in a restaurant in the east village, and it wasn't hard to recognise Anne as she walked through the door.

We were captivated by her stories of her work in Africa. By the end of it, we were all begging to go and work for her!

Truly inspiring women. As my kindergarten teacher, Anne was, and still is, a huge influence in my life.

nzm said...

I just thought of a story that my mother told me of how the Y came to be in Fiji in the early 60s - I hope that it's all true!

A foundation committee was formed to start the YWCA, and someone knew Ruth and Anne and decided that they should be the ones to run it.

They were passing through Fiji on a ship on their way back to Australia, and were recruited there and then to run the Y. Amelia joined them soon after that.

When I started going to kindergarten, it was in a church hall on Desvouex Rd before moving further down into a dedicated building. Even though a few decades have gone by since then, I have more memories of my kindergarten years than I do of a lot of the times in my life!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello NZM,
I didn't know that story of how it started. The twists and turns of fate. Two women on a ship. At about that time I went to Fiji on a 3 week workcamp (Dilkusha, etc.)instead of going to Europe on the Orontes boat. I decided to work in Fiji as a teacher and never got to Paris!

nzm said...

Paris will always be there!

As you say, it's amazing how the twists and turns of fate can have you arrive at a destination far different from the one that you envisioned getting to!