BPW Hibiscus Coast
Life Member, BPW New Zealand (NZ).
Pauline’s passion for BPW started in the 1950’s (over 50 years ago) and now aged 89 and battling cancer, she continues to support her BPW Club, work for the women in her community and take line dancing classes.
Pauline’s greatest passion within BPW has been Nepal. It all started in 1988 when on a tramping trip to Nepal. Pauline contacted the BPW Central Club in Kathmandu and met with their committee. Once back in New Zealand, she shared information on Club activities and the work Nepal members were doing to help women, particularly the disadvantaged.
In 1990 Pauline took a group of BPW members from NZ to visit clubs in Kathmandu and Pokhara. BPW NZ started paying the International Dues for Nepal in 1984, and after Pauline’s visit in 1990, was asked if they could assist financially so that clubs in Nepal could run literacy classes for illiterate women and also provide warm clothing for children in the organised Day Care Centres in Industrial Estates. Since then BPWNZ has been doing just that, calling it the Nepal Literacy Fund. Until recently, Pauline has taken trekking and tour groups to Nepal and at the same time delivering the donated clothing and money raised in NZ. Pauline drives the project each year at the BPW NZ conference with her report which includes how the money was raised and the current needs of the programme. In the past, Pauline has toured New Zealand with speaking engagements at clubs raising awareness about BPW Nepal’s work as well as producing articles in various BPW publications.
In 2004 I became one of the lucky BPW NZ members who have travelled to Nepal with Pauline over a period of many years. We were to attend the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Kathmandu and combined this with a tour of the country. Pauline has led many groups over the years, from memory this was her 20th visit. Everywhere we went Pauline was greeted with respect and affection by BPW Nepal members and staff at the hotels where we stayed. In Pokhara a strike had been called by the Maoists/Mao Rebels because of the King’s visit to that city and travel around the city had been banned by them. The Government put armed soldiers on to the buses so people could travel around. Pauline’s friend from BPW Pokhara came to the motel to collect us and took us by bus, guarded by two armed soldiers, to a wonderful lunch at her house and a meeting with the Club. Not even the threats of the Mao Rebels could stop the women of BPW Pokhara meeting with their dear friend Pauline.
Diana O’Brien, BPW NZ
Pauline continues to encourage clubs to support the Nepal Literacy Programme, which has expanded to teach life skills as well as literacy and numeracy; including introducing the Nepal Lamp that is presented to the Club who has raised the most funds each year,
Pauline was awarded was awarded Life Membership of BPWNZ in 1996 and the IFBPW Badge of Honour for her work with the women of Nepal at the Melbourne Congress 2003.
Other notable achievements for Pauline include representing BPW NZ on the Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity, formed in 1957, from 1959 to 1965. The Council consisted of representatives at National level from BPW NZ, the Federation of University Women, the Public Service, Trade Unions and NCW. This coalition was vital in the successful introduction of Equal Pay legislation in New Zealand.
In her term as President, BPW NZ in conjunction with the Federation of University Women, NCW and the YWCA, set up a Joint Committee on Women and Employment and Pauline became the second Chair. Two years later, further submissions to Government resulted in the new National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, which still exists today.
Pauline has been to many Congresses and whilst Vice President of BPWNZ, she led the NZ delegation to the International Board Meeting (which was held between Congresses) in Canberra, Australia and as President led the first full NZ delegation to Congress when it was held in Washington, D.C.
Pauline has also achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Diploma in Teaching and an FTCL in singing. She has been a teacher all her working life which might explain her great interest in literacy.
Pauline L. Gapper
B.A, Dip Tchg, F.T.C.L
Past President, BPW NZ
BPW Palmerston North:
Membership: Feb 1956 to May 1958
Membership: May 1958 to Feb 1979
Vice President: 1958 to 1959
President: 1959 to 1961
1975 to 1976
Membership: Feb 1979 to Sept 1991
BPW Hibiscus Coast:
Membership: Oct 1991 to present
BPW International Awards:
IFBPW Badge of Honour: Melbourne Congress
BPW NZ Federation:
Vice President: 1963 to 1965
President: 1965 to 1967
Professional & Personal Insight:
Pauline had achieved a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Teaching
Extremely busy during her time at home, maintaining an active lifestyle and her involvement within her club.
Pauline Gapper – Her Story:
As a BPW member, Pauline has continued to be actively involved and over the years has maintained a close association with BPW through joining a club wherever she has lived within the country.
Continues to take trekking or tour groups to Nepal and to deliver the clothing and money raised in NZ.
Continues working to encourage clubs to support the Literacy Programme which has expanded to teach life skills as well as literacy and numeracy.
The National Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity
1957: the council was formed, consisted of representatives at National level from BPW NZ, the Federation of University Women, the Public Service, Trade Unions and NCW.
Pauline represented BPW NZ on the Council from 1959 to 1965.
1960: After much lobbying, submissions and discussions with the Minister of Labour, the Government Services Equal Pay Act was passed to bring equal pay into the state services sector.
1964: BPW NZ, the Federation of University Women and the YWCA of New Zealand set up a Joint Committee on Women and Employment and invited NCWNZ to send representatives. Pauline became the second Chairman for the Joint Committee on Women and Employment 1966: further submissions to Government resulted in a new Government National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women
Submissions were sent to the Commission of Inquiry in Vocational Training, including apprenticeships for women
1988: the story of Nepal began: contacted BPW Central Club in Kathmandu and met with their committee Shared information on Club activities and the work Nepal members were doing to help women, particularly the disadvantaged
1990: took a group of BPW members from NZ to visit Clubs in Kathmandu and Pokhara BPW NZ were asked if they could assist financially so Clubs in Nepal could run literacy classes for illiterate women and also provide warm clothing for children in the BPW organised Day Care Centres in Industrial Estates
Since 1990 BPW NZ members have provided funding towards the Literacy Programme each year and supplied knitted and sewn garments for the 0 to 5 year old children.
Pauline was awarded the IFBPW Badge of Honour for the work towards this programme.
As BPW NZ Vice President led the NZ delegation to the International Board Meeting (which is held between Congresses) in Canberra, Australia
As BPW NZ President led the first full NZ delegation at Congress, Washington, D.C.
BPW NZ CELEBRATES THIS WOMAN FOR HER SIGNIFICANT
CONTRIBUTION THROUGH CLUB, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATION
Eulogy form BPW NZ President Carolyn Savage
Looking at leaders this is dedicate to a very special leader Past President / Life Member Miss Pauline Gapper, who passed away on Wednesday 27th June, quietly at Newhaven Hospital. This woman was an inspiration and her work on behalf of BPW NZ over 56 years has been enormous. The following is a tribute to a woman that had incredible courage; a compassionate spirit; a zest for life and the strength to take control of her life resulting in extending her quality of life by 38 years plus. At conference Pauline was suffering from severe illness, but her stalwart demeanor meant she participated and spoke on issues during the two days.
As Federation President (June 1965 to 1967), two new clubs were formed and the membership increased by 120 women, resulting in 1,297 members and 25 clubs. During her two year term Pauline visited every club throughout the country. At the biennial Conference in 1967 “…the Federation Policies of the day were revised to form a Federation Manual for the guidance of the Federation Executive Officers and Standing Committee Chairmen.….. this was adopted on a trial basis for two years”…. and 45 years later it has grown.
As President Pauline was on the Joint Committee on Public Affairs and Legislation with NZ Federation of University Women (NZFUW) and YWCA NZ. It’s role was to answer questionnaires at international level and to keep watch on NZ’s ratification of UN Conventions.
P auline’s legacy to the women of NZ can be seen through the work she undertook over a period of 13 years for the fight for equal pay:
* 1959 Pauline assisted with the establishment of the National Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity, which included the Public Service, trade unions, Federation of University Women (NZFUW), the National Council of Women (NCW) and BPW NZ,
* Over 7 years Pauline was one of two BPW representatives on the Council who actively lobbied, attended meetings and made submissions to the Ministry of Labour on behalf of working women,
* 1960 was instrumental in the Government Services Equal Pay Act, so most women in governmental positions received the same pay as their male counterparts,
* Pauline continued to work on the Council to bring about the Equal Pay Act 1972, for equal pay of women in all non-governmental employment
Pauline will be remembered for her international legacy, the work with BPW Nepal and the Literacy Programme that she began after her first visit in May 1988 (at 67 years) and “…met the then President Mrs Ambica Shrestha and the Executive of Central Club in Kathmandu.” Over 17 years Pauline took both financial donations and garments to Nepal, along with tour groups to tramp or hike through its various scenic environments. Her last tour was when she was in her 80’s and the younger members from NZ felt the hikes as “torturous challenges or extremely hard work” and they were the easier walks! In NZ, at each conference the club that has donated the most towards the Nepal Literacy Programme is presented with the Nepal Lantern, this year Pauline was proud of the generosity of BPW Auckland and was delighted to be present at conference to see it awarded. Pauline’s profile has been included further in this newsletter.
The above has made me reflect personally on what I want to achieve during my term and that is to hopefully be a little like Pauline, to be able to laugh when I hurt, to smile when there are challenges and be there to make a difference for other women. We are all leaders of today and teachers of those for tomorrow.
A salute to a Leader
BPW NZ President
BPW NZ President’s Message — Carolyn Savage
A quote selected by Pauline Gapper (1939-93 history of BPW NZ):
“Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.”
Eulogy from BPW International President Freda Miriklis
Not long after my return I was saddened to hear the passing of Pauline Gapper, Life Member of BPW New Zealand; a special woman who early on in her BPW career, fought for Equal Pay and latterly was a huge supporter and advocate for the women of Nepal. Pauline empowered women.
So let’s build on the success of our collaborations, honour the spirit of our past leaders and continue to empower women to lead business, in the community, at all levels and from the top.
We can do it, together!
BPW International President