Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 378
Auckland region

Biographical information provided for the He Tohu exhibition:

Ella Norma Vipond (nee Rayner) was born on 7 November 1867; her parents were Eleanor and George Rayner. Where in New Zealand she was born is not known, but by her mid-teens she was living in Matakana, a small town in the Rodney District north of Auckland. In 1885, aged 17, she married into the well-known Vipond family by taking the hand of Joseph Vipond, a 32 year-old farmer. Joseph had immigrated from Alston, Cumberland (England) with his brother Alon and settled in the Rodney District. The wedding of Ella and Joseph was held at the Registrar’s Office in Matakana; according to her Notice of Intention to Marry she had been in the district for three years.

As the Women’s Suffrage Petition swept through the north, Ella most likely signed the document at Warkworth. She was around 26 years of age at the time. Three years later she was proudly listed on the 1896 Electoral Roll for Waitemata – her occupation was listed as ‘household duties, residential.’

It appears she played a role in many local events of the day, from country fairs to gifting money to the Volunteer Sisterhood during the First World War. This was an organisation formed during the Gallipoli campaign by Ettie Rout in order to provide catering and hospital services for New Zealand soldiers stationed in Egypt. Ella is possibly the same Mrs E. Vipond who was secretary of the North Albertland Women’s Institute during the late 1930s.

Ella was the mother of at least three children, Joseph ‘Joey’ Alon Vipond (August 1888) Joy Winifred Vipond (February 1899, also known as Ivy Smith) and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Eleanor. In 1916 Joseph travelled to Trentham, Upper Hutt to join the New Zealand Training Unit (17th Reinforcements). However before leaving for Europe he died on 10 July 1916 of acute measles complicated by pneumonia. Despite stormy seas his body was returned to Ella aboard the SS Kawau and was buried at Matakana Cemetery.

In her later years Ella moved to Ōpotiki in the Bay of Plenty, where she died on Christmas Day 1959 aged 93. Her funeral was held at St Leonards Anglican Church in Matakana and she is buried in Matakana Cemetery.


Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

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harry vipond uk

Posted: 05 Nov 2019

wow what a fantastic women