When Maree Smith agreed to speak at our May dinner meeting she said that she would talk about her ordinary life with a few highlights.
By the end of her talk we all knew that there was very little 'ordinary' in Maree's life!
She was born in in Blayney, grew up in Neville and went on to do a secretarial course, her first job being with a solicitor.
Her 'ordinary' ended soon after doing a public service exam, which saw her move into the Department of Trade and very soon after, she accepted a posting to Moscow.
There, she lived in a 30 storey apartment block, in a compound, with diplomats from many different countries.
Her time in Russia was exciting and offered opportunities for travel to other countries. The Russian staff were very friendly and she describes her time there as being a fun time with many adventures.
She described New Years Eve in Red Square, in a snow storm, as simply amazing.
After Russia she spent 18 months back in Canberra before being posted to Tokyo, which was also amazing - earth tremors on the scary side and the food and gardens on the beautiful side.
Apart from overseas postings Maree spent 18 months in Perth working for Sir Paul Hasluck. She loved Perth but felt that she was way too far from home and family.
Between and after her postings away she worked for a number of years at Government House in Canberra. She spoke with great warmth of her years there, citing the Bicentennial year as a stand out in terms of excitement, a buzz of activity and meeting a range of dignitaries and members of royalty.
For a number of years there she was Invitations Officer and she was also presented to the Queen and received the Royal Victorian Order!
This is an order of knighthood, which recognizes distinguished personal service to the Monarch or senior representative of the Monarch.
And now, Maree is happily living back in Blayney where it all began.
What an extraordinary life and such an honour to have her share it with us. It's quite amazing to think that we have people such as her living quietly among us!
The June dinner meeting on 15th June is the last before our two month winter break.
On that evening we will not have a guest speaker but rather a fun evening of games and quizzes.
During the winter break members might like to have a look through their wardrobes and drawers as at the September meeting we will hold an accessory swap.
So start your pile of unwanted scarves, handbags and jewellery.
If any lady in the wider community would like to join us for the June dinner, phone Virginia on 0457672748 before Friday 11th June.