Lorraine Harrison-Lee


Lorraine & Ted Harrison- Lee 2002


BPW Auckland

Lorraine gave outstanding service to the Business & Professional Women at club, national and international levels since she joined BPW.

Lorraine joined BPW Auckland in 1948, attended her first New Zealand Conference in Wellington in 1949 and attended nearly every subsequent Conference.

Between 1951 and 1963 she was three times President of BPW Auckland. In 1967 she was elected President of the NZ Federation. During her term Lorraine led the 25th year Silver Jubilee celebrations and at that Conference in Gisborne a decision was made to sponsor a scholarship at the University of the South Pacific.  This was the first time an education scholarship was introduced and other contributions were extended to support a student in Jordon.

Eight new clubs were formed during her term as President and she visited all but four of all the New Zealand clubs.

Active participation at national meetings of CORSO, UNESCO National Commission, PPSEWA and the United Nations Association strengthened the relationship with those organisations.  A Joint Committee on Women and Employment, set up by BPW NZ, the New Zealand Federation of University Women, the YWCA of New Zealand and the National Council of Women, was busily engaged in working towards the establishment of a National Commission on the Status of Women, while the Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity continued its endeavours towards the passage of the Equal Pay Legislation.

Lorraine was the leader of the New Zealand delegation to Congress in London and guest of Honour and speaker at the Annual Convention of the USA Federation.  Lorraine also attended Congresses in America, in Australia and the Golden Jubilee in Zurich in 1980. She held various positions at International level including being a member of the IFBPW Membership, and of the Publications and Publicity Standing Committees.

All Lorraine’s travel throughout New Zealand and internationally was done without financial assistance from the Federation and with her husband Ted accompanying her.

The award she instigated for increased club membership, the Harrison-Lee Candlestick, is keenly sought after at each BPW New Zealand Conference and Lorraine was able to present it and congratulate the winning club until she became ill.

Lorraine was also responsible for bringing the Collect to New Zealand clubs in the Federation and to the National Council of Women (NCWNZ) at the time of her presidency of the Auckland Branch.  As a result many women’s’ organisations have adopted the Collect.

Lorraine seldom missed a monthly meeting of the BPW Auckland and was made a Life Member in 1992.  It was with great pleasure that in 2002 we recognised Lorraine’s lifetime contribution to BPW with Honorary Life Membership of the New Zealand Federation.

This quote from Lorraine reflects her wisdom and the spirit of BPW.

Quote:  “Our Federation has not made flamboyant gestures so beloved of some groups, nor has it indulged in loud words to make its opinions known, but both at home and abroad there has been no doubt that our words have been more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing”.

Sadly, Lorraine died on 16 December 2008.