New Zealand’s Dame Grace Hollander passes away.

July 4, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Dame Grace Hollander, a stalwart of the Christchurch Jewish Community, has passed away at the age of 94.

Dame Grace Hollander

Dame Grace Hollander

Dame Grace was an untiring worker for the Jewish and general Community.

Among her outstanding works were NZ President of the former Federation of Ethnic Counsels, National President of National Council of Women NZ of which she was also a life member and National President of the Council of Jewish Women NZ.
In her CJWNZ role,  she attended many  Australian National and International Conferences.
Dame Grace served as an VP to the International Council of Jewish Women and was for many years their Treasurer.
The New Zealand Government appointed Dame Grace to the NZ Standards Assoc Board and to the Christchurch Polytech Board on which she served for many years.
She was made a life member of Pacifica – this was a great honour as at that time was not conferred on many non-Pacific people.
Her personality was such that she took time to encourage young women to further their ambitions and tried to make sure that they also had the confidence to further those ambitions.  It was sad that 5 years ago her rest home was badly effected by the Christchurch earthquake and she had to shift from her home  town to Palmerston North where one of her sons lived.  Although not knowing many people she continued her work with Soroptomists and NCWNZ.   At 93 years old bad health over came her and she retired from almost everything  She will be sorely missed by the Jewish  and non Jewish communities alike.
President of the New Zealand Jewish Council Stephen Goodman told J-Wire: “Dame Grace Hollander made an immense contribution to the Jewish Community of New Zealand.  For many years she was both the face and the heart of Judaism in Canterbury doing much to enhance Jewishness in the region as well as ensuring continuity.  We are all saddened with her passing, she will be missed, and we wish a “long life” to all her family.”
Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said: “Dame Grace Hollander believed ‘we are all responsible for one another’ and dedicated most of her life to voluntary and community work, ‘retiring’ at 90.Extraordinary people like Dame Grace Hollander epitomise what human rights activism is all about: people who not only make a stand on behalf of others but who also work for their communities.”

She was the daughter of post WW1 Jewish migrants from the UK, during WWII she served with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, serving on the National Council of Women of New Zealand; the Christchurch Relief and Welfare Association, Canterbury Women’s Cricket, the UN Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Jewish Women. Dame Grace was also the first woman president of the New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils. She was made a Dame Companion in 2000 and was awarded a New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal in 1993

“A bold and dynamic force Dame Grace has been standing up for the rights of New Zealanders from migrant and refugee communities for the past 70+ years.”

Shirley Payes added: “I am sure that there are quite a few Australian women will remember her.”
Dame Grace Holland DCNZM, CBE, JP   born 25.3.1922 – died 27.6.2016 .

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