Framed photograph, Helen Hunt; Clayton of Gore; 1915-1930; RI.FW2021.401


Framed photograph, Helen Hunt

About this object

Helen Hunt was an incredibly busy woman who devoted herself to public service. The high esteem with which she was held is reflected in her obituary, which appeared in the Western Star, 1 December 1939:

It was with deep regret that her many friends heard of the death of Miss Hellen Lobb Hunt, which occurred on Sunday night at Riverton after an illness that has lasted for three months. As far as is known this has been her only illness.

Miss Hunt, who was 73 years old, was born in Milton street, Riverton, in October, 1866. She was the younger daughter of the late Mr and Mrs John Hunt, and with the exception of nine years in different parts of Australia, the whole of her life has been spent in Riverton.

Her father, John Hunt, was one of the first arrivals in the district, assisting Captain Howell in whaling and sailing with him on regular voyages between Sydney and the Jacob's River. Her mother, Mrs Margaret Hunt, was born in Scotland and arrived at Port Chalmers in 1860, and after a dreary voyage to the estuary at Invercargill, walked to Riverton, where she subsequently married.

Miss Hunt was closely identified with most of the movements associated not only with the development of Riverton but also of Southland. A very vigorous and markedly energetic woman all her life has been spent in constant activity. Originally crossing the Jacob's River in a punt to school, both Miss Hunt and her sister, Mrs Pearsev, remember the building and opening for traffic of all the bridges that are associated with Riverton.

For seventeen years Miss Hunt was a member of the Wallace and Fiord Hospital Board, and was elected to the present Southland Hospital Board by a very large majority. For two terms she was a member of the Riverton Borough Council, from 1921 to 1925. She was at the time of her death the senior yice-president of the Women's Division of the Farmers' Union for Southland.

She was the senior member of the Southland branch of the Rebekah Lodge, having been the Deputy District Grand Master, the highest provincial position. Miss Hunt was awarded the Past Grand Medal, and the Riverton Lodge having merged with the Lodge in Invercargill, when last in town Miss Hunt was presented with the Long Service Medal.

Miss, Hunt was a foundation member of the Riverton Horticultural Society as she was also of the Welfare League. She had served on the committee of the Riverton Athenaeum and was a present subscriber. Interested in educational affairs, Miss Hunt was associated with the Riverton School Committee for several years, and was again serving as a member of the present committee. Miss Hunt was a member of the Riverton Progress League, and took a very active part on the Riverton Centenary Committee. A staunch upholder for Prohibition, Miss Hunt was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and was recently awarded the Long Service Medal for her association with the movement. On May 12, 1937, as a recognition of her many and varied endeavours in civic activities and movements, Miss Hunt was presented with the Coronation Medal, which, naturally, she greatly prized. Miss Hunt for many years, in addition to having been a member of the Board, regularly visited the Hospital each Sunday, taking fruit for the patients, in addition to books and other periodicals.

She was an assiduous collector for the Christmas Cheer Fund. Her early years were spent in various departments of the women's clothing trade in Riverton, Dunedin and Australia, and ultimately she started business in Riverton with Miss G. McKellar, with whom the partnership lasted for many years. After a short period in retirement, Miss Hunt again started in business as an outlet for her constant desire to be active. Holding a very definite view on the different movements with which she was associated, Miss Hunt always had the courage of her opinions, and she had no hesitancy in giving expression to them. Of a generous, kindly and artistic temperament, she had pointed several interesting studies of Riverton and the neighbourhood, and her passing is deeply regretted by a wide circle of friends.

She is survived by her sister Mrs W. Pearsey and family, her brother and parents having predeceased her within the last few years. The funeral took place on Tuesday at the Riverton Cemetery.

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Gore


Clayton of Gore

Maker Role


Date Made


Inscription and Marks

Front, bottom right hand corner: 'CLAYTON GORE'
Verso, white sticker, upper left: '19'.
Verso, black vivid down right hand side centre: '95-362'.
Verso, pencil upper left: '025'.
Newspaper cutting glued to most of back.


h 280 mm x w 225 mm x d 20 mm



Object Type


Subject and Association Keywords

People and Families (including births, weddings, deaths)

Subject and Association Keywords

Government (National and Local Politics)

Medium and Materials

organic, processed material, paper
organic, processed material, paper, cardboard
organic, vegetal, wood
inorganic, processed material, glass

Object number



Attribution - Non-commercial (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial (cc)

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