Australia’s First Lady a “good Catholic girl” from Wainuiomata

It is widely known that the newly elected Prime Minster of Australia is a Catholic who spent some time in a seminary and is some times called the “Mad Monk” – at least by those who wish to denigrate him.

It is less well-known that his wife, Margaret is also a Catholic who was born and raised in Wainuiomata, a dormitory suburb nestled in a valley over the hill from Hutt City, just north of Wellington.

A former teacher who runs a community childcare centre in Sydney, Abbott’s wife of 25 years – who once belonged to the Labour Party in New Zealand – remained in the background during the campaign, appearing with Tony only occasionally.Her parents Max and Gail Aitken, both Labour supporters, spent 25 years in Wainuiomata and now live in Hamilton.

Margaret Aitken took part in a pioneering Maori-language course as a schoolgirl. John Clarke, later to become Race Relations Conciliator and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, set up the course at Wainuiomata College in 1971.

He says Margaret was ”an excellent student and a lovely young lady”. Margaret was one of a group of pakeha girls who took the course from third form through to sixth form.”She was a very able student and she came from a very supportive, well-rounded family,”


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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