Topic: Doris Blyth (1899-1991)

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In 1993 the Local History Staff of Tauranga District Libraries (as it was called then) compiled a booklet Mana Wahine highlighting the prominent women in the Tauranga Moana area. This is one of the mini biographies from the booklet. Note that some comments in the text relate to the time of the original publication (1993).

Photographs of Doris Blyth

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Doris Blyth, born in Temuka in 1899, arrived in Tauranga in 1924 to teach at Tauranga District High School with an impressive education background: after being dux of Temuka Primary School, Doris went on to the District High School matriculating first in mathematics in New Zealand and to Canterbury University where she won prizes in economics and history.

After two years in Tauranga, Doris married Arnold Grey (Laddie) Nell and, with the birth of her first child, gave up her teaching career.  It is for her work in the community that Doris Nell is remembered in Tauranga.

Doris Nell was a foundation member of the Hairini and Welcome Bay Women's Institutes.  From 1933 to 1945, when the Nell family were farming at Onepu, Doris was a member of the Te Teko branch of the Women’s Division of Federated Farmers.  After the Nells’ return to Tauranga in 1945, her children now old enough to give her some free time, Doris became really active in public life.

Doris was a member of the Lyceum Club and represented this club to the National Council of Women in the 1950s.  Right up to her death, Doris was an active bridge player at the club and, at the age of 90, was disappointed to be only second in the number of slams for a year!

In 1957, Doris was the first President of the Tauranga Housewives' Association and began to make regular radio broadcasts through Rotorua’s 1YZ under the banner of the Housewives' Association, the Tauranga branch of the National Council of Women and the Consumer Association.  Doris was well-known as a strong advocate of consumer affairs. In 1959 she made a submission to the meat enquiry commission and in 1961 represented the Tauranga Consumers’ Association at an Auckland bakers’ case to the Arbitration Court.

A vigorous person, Doris kept herself busy taking part in the activities of the organisations to which she belonged, writing to the newspapers, painting, gardening and tramping until her death at the end of 1991.

This page was archived at perma cc February 2017

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Doris Blyth (1899-1991)

First Names:Doris
Last Name:Blyth
Date of Birth:27 July 1899
Place of Birth:Temuka
Date of death:1991
Spouses name:Arnold Grey (Laddie) Nell
Date of marriage:1926

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