Ada Redwood, Councillor


Ada McDonald, 1867-1943,  was a widow in 1908 when she married Frederick Redwood, gentleman sheep farmer of Spring Creek. They were together until his death in 1919.

Ada Redwood

Ada Redwood. Image supplied by author

In April 1917 Ada was elected a member of the Wairau Hospital & Charitable Aid Board. She topped the poll with 716 votes; J.J. Corry was next with 581. The Marlborough Express informed its readers that it was, “the first time in the history of the Board that a lady is a member”, and noted that she had already done good work for the Beautifying Society, Red Cross, Marlborough Horticultural Society and other organisations.

Ada Redwood2

Wairau Hospital Board. Ada Redwood seated. Image supplied by author

Then, in October 1919 Councillor William (Billy) Carr lost his seat on the Blenheim Borough Council, because of non-attendance without leave, creating an extraordinary vacancy. Ada stood against him and William Joseph Humphreys and won.

Fifty years later she was still the first woman Councillor in the Blenheim Borough.

Ada held her own in the rough and tumble of local politics, standing down in 1927 when she was 60 years old. She died in Blenheim in 1943.

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