Our newsletter

Members enjoyed lunch together, overlooking the Russley Golf course on a fine sunny September day, following the 2020 AGM’s of the Canterbury Royal Commonwealth Society Charitable Trust and The Royal Commonwealth Society Canterbury (NZ) Branch (Inc).

The occasion was made extra special with the attendance of long- time Council Member Dr Margaret (Peggy) Liddell (QSO) who is nearing her 100th birthday but very much up to enjoying the occasion when she was presented with Honorary membership of the Society by incoming President, Christine Hainstock. 

Andrew Liddell presents a bouquet of flowers to Peggy
with Dawn Wright QSM and Maevis Watson MNZM looking on

Dr Margaret Liddell, as a breast specialist wanting to improve Breast Cancer screening, saw her advocating making a priority of improving the detection of Breast Cancer through replacing the out-moded breast screen machines of the 1980’s, having more radiographers and radiologists staffing screening units and implementing a national breast screening programme making expensive private screenings a thing of the past.   What an amazing ongoing legacy and service Peggy has achieved for women throughout New Zealand no doubt saving many lives through her determination and vision.
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A select few from The Royal Commonwealth Society assisted the Department of Internal Affairs in the planning of the visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to Turanga in Christchurch.   A fascinating insight into “behind the scenes” was shared with other members at the Christmas lunch.

Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, engaging with participants in the Royal Commonwealth Society’s workshops on poetry, writing and journalism during the visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess to Christchurch 22nd November 2019.


Introducing Christine Hainstock (ONZM) – our President.

Christine was honoured in 2009 and was elected to the Council soon after, during that time standing in as Secretary and latterly as Vice President.

Christine is the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra South Island Representative, is on the NZSO Foundation, Southern Institute of Technology Music and Audio Advisory Board, Chairs the Arts Funding Committee for the Christchurch City Community Fund, and enjoys a full and happy life. 

Keeping it in the family, her husband, is our Webmaster and keeps RCS Canterbury members well informed by this means. 

John Latham, the Immediate Past President, can now focus on his areas of interest within the Society and Council.  Our thanks to John for all the time and effort he put into the RCS Canterbury as our President.

On October 18th we held our annual Recipients Reception for those who had been honoured by the Queen in 2019.  17 Recipients received a framed copy of their citation and each spoke briefly about what they had done which led to their citation.   40 friends and family and 18 RCS members enjoyed an interesting evening which included a presentation by Danielle Barnhill “Readiness for Tsunami” the subject of her Thesis.  She had received our post-graduate grant which helped finance her study.

The next Recipients Reception is to be held on the 30th October 2021.

During the year we made Youth Leadership grants to Hagley College and to Linwood College and subsidised 6 students to the annual Model CHOGM held in Wellington.

The celebration of Commonwealth Day was a successful occasion attended by about 50 people where we presented certificates and prizes to the 10 Canterbury young people who had gained gold, silver or bronze awards in the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition and heard a most interesting talk from Lee Kenny, education reporter and Young Writer Workshop facilitator.

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New Member enquiries welcome:  Phone Christine or Bill Hainstock: 03 352 8568

                                                                           [Compiled by Yvonne Loader MNZM]


RCS welcome, Christchurch, Canterbury NZ 8053