Friday, 19 September 2008

Women's Suffrage

Today is the 115th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in New Zealand. The famous petition presented to Parliament in 1893 contained 32,000 signatures in support of women's right to vote. Forty-five women signed the petition from Otautau. It sounds like a small number but little towns like ours added up.

At the centennial, this day was honoured in Otautau by local women planting a white camellia in the town. White camellias are symbolic because at the time of the 1893 campaign, women activists sent white camellias to Members of Parliament who supported women's right to vote, and red camellias to those who didn't.

But our white camellia has since gone to suffrage heaven. I'm wondering if there is a desire among the community to plant another white camellia to honour this day.

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