Leona Trimble’s life is going in ever-increasing circles.
The new North Otago president of Rural Women New Zealand loves that her role feeds directly into another she is devoted to. Both connect to a third volunteer endeavour, and all encompass her commitment to education.
Mrs Trimble grew up on a farm at Four Peaks, Geraldine. Having trained as a teacher, she was a nanny overseas then secured her dream job – correspondence school tutor at Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Basin. She was there for six years, with “the time and freedom to teach those kids life skills”.
She also met her future husband, Shane Trimble. They now have four children – Shannon, James, Angus, and Kate.
After Mrs Trimble’s father died, she and her two sisters turned the family farm into a pig and deer operation. When it was sold, the Trimbles bought a 171ha sheep farm on the outskirts of Hampden 10 years ago and turned it into a deer farm. Nearly three years ago, they decided to sell their livestock
and lease out the farm. That freed them up to spend more time with their children.
She joined Rural Women New Zealand upon arriving in Hampden and used her “passion and drive” to boost its membership with contacts she had made at the local school.
She became the Hampden president and attended the Growing Dynamic Leaders course in Wellington in 2014.
“I loved meeting like-minded people.”
They motivated her to move up to the organisation’s next level, taking on the North Otago presidency. Further advances were possible in the future, without losing the “hands-on” aspect of helping others. Mrs Trimble was looking forward to planning courses like the one that gave her so many benefits.
Her teaching and rural women experience led her to the Life Education Trust, where she has been a Coastal Otago trustee for nearly two years. The charity uses the character Harold the giraffe to guide children on health and tolerance, reaching 10,400 children in the area last year.
When rural women elected to make Life Education their national project for 2016, everything fell into place for Mrs Trimble.
“I was really chuffed. It lit the fire again. I keep throwing kindling on!”
Mrs Trimble has also been co-opted to serve a third term on the Hampden School board of trustees.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Leona has a passion for her family, rural life and the community, each of which she has successfully intertwined into everyday life. I don’t think busy even starts to cover it!” – Melanie Tavendale