Published date12 April 2023
Publication titleWest Coast Farming Times, The
"I'd sailed the world through the Suez and Panama, been on the Northern Star's maiden voyage and travelled the Continent with friends in a bright red Mini Clubman

That set me up for life." After a brief visit home to Temuka, and needing to escape the unwanted attention of a persistent local bloke, she decamped to Fox.

"That was 58 years ago," she confided. "I'm an import, brought in to improve the breed," she joked.

"And now I'm the oldest person in town.

"I was a bit of an oddity. For years I continued to travel overseas regularly with my sister in law, Monica. I tell you what, I'm pretty good on these quiz shows, I've been to so many places. But not anymore." Arriving at Fox, Noeleen went to work as receptionist at Mick's hotel.

"I could talk to anybody and on my very first night I met a shy young man - Kevin Williams." They married when farming allowed. "After calving and before shearing!" And for 52 years the couple lived in the Williams Homestead, very close to the site of that first bark hut. Even their golden wedding celebrations were delayed by a bull sale.

Upon leaving the Fox Glacier Hotel, Noeleen worked with Fox photographer, Neville Hatwell, and appeared on calendars and biscuit tin lids They had two sons - Paul and Grant.

Since Kevin's death in 2020, Grant and Noleen have stayed put while farm manager Paul lives nearby with his wife Abyee. As well as being a JP. for the past 38 years Noeleen has been immersed in...

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