Mavis Singh, the lonely Indian on the Honours List

Venkat Raman

When Mavis Lata Singh established her now famous ‘New Zealand Sanatan Naari Sabha’ in 2001, we were the first to report and say that it had all the hallmarks of success.

A year later, the then Governor General Dame Sylvia Cartwright visited their stall at Auckland Diwali 2002 held at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Eden Terrace.

“Please report this visit; it is very important for us,” Ms Singh said. We complied.

And when we called her to congratulate her on her inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on June 4, 2018 for a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), she said, “I wanted to call you first and inform.”

Humbled and Honoured

“I am truly humbled and honoured to receive it. In a larger sense, the New Zealand Sanatan Naari Sabha Members, volunteers, migrants and members of my family who have worked hand-in hand in achieving our goals deserve this Medal. My special thanks are due to various organisations who have generously supported our efforts with their wisdom, wealth and work,” she said.

Ms Singh believes that cultural values, attitudes and belief influence one’s personality and creates better people thus providing good citizens.

Addressing social problems

She has been President of the Organisation for the past 17 years and has organised conventions on cultural-based social issues faced by migrants. These annual events provide education on how to approach issues such as family violence, child and elder abuse, youth problems, and nutritional related diseases.

A teacher at a Secondary School in Auckland, she organises Indian culture and dance groups and Hindi Language Week at the School.

Diverse efforts

Ms Singh has been Chairperson of Aotearoa Tertiary Institute Advisory Board, Member of Auckland Diwali Committee and Advisory Board, Member of Hindi Language and Culture Trust and Coordinator of various voluntary projects conducted by the City Mission and New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

Ms Singh also provides ministerial duties at the Friendship House in Manukau as a Justice of Peace and supports the Auckland Helicopter Rescue Trust.

To Bill English. we say, that was Right and Honourable Sir!



Photo of Mavis Singh Supplied.

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