Laura Hayward

Laura Hayward was an active member of the Dunedin community and took on the role of vice-president of the Otago and Southland Women’s Patriotic Association during the First World War. She helped to organise many fundraising events in support of Belgium and worked with Belgian refugees in the city. For her dedication to the Belgian cause she was awarded the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal).

Family information: Laura Maria Hayward

Parents: John Charles and Rebecca Eyre (née Richards)
Born: 1870
Died: 29 April 1966, aged 95 years
Buried: Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin (cremated)
Married: Charles Henry Hayward, 1890

Children:

  • Ruth Agnes, b. 1892
  • Charles John, b. 1894; served in the FIrst World War as a trooper in the Otago Mounted Rifles
  • Rowland Eyre, b. 1895
  • Laurie Lees, b. 1911

Active in: Dunedin

Obituary / death notice

A Well-known Dunedin woman who was associated with the Otago Early Settlers Association almost since its inception, died in the city yesterday.

She was Mrs Lora [sic] Maria Hayward, who was born in 1870, the daughter of two of Otago’s early pioneers.

Mrs Hayward spent almost all of her life in Dunedin, and during World War I she was the vice-president of the Patriotic Association. She was awarded a Belgian Legion of Honour medal in 1916 by Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. This was for her work with refugees in Dunedin during World War I.

Mrs Hayward was the wife of the late Mr C. H. Hayward, a former Dunedin councillor. One of her sons, Mr C. J. Hayward is a serving city councillor. Mrs Hayward was one of the first women bowlers in New Zealand, and was in the first women’s rink to play the game in the country – at the Caledonian green shortly after the end of World War I. She went on to take a leading part in women’s bowling administration in Otago. Mrs Hayward, who had 13 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren, is survived by four of her children. They are Dunedin city councillor Mr C. J. Hayward, Mr L. L. Hayward of Auckland; Mr R. E. Hayward of Karitane; and Mrs A. L. Canter of Auckland.

Unknown

Selected sources

'Dunedin Women's Association', Evening Star, 23 October 1914, p. 6

'Women's Patriotic Association', Otago Daily Times, 26 August 1916, p. 11 

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