Original trustee Julie Cunningham steps down

One of the original trustees of the Sumner-Ferrymead Foundation has stepped down. Well-known, 50-year resident of Sumner, Julie Cunningham was one of the original trustees when the Foundation was started in 1993.

Julie had a career in radio and television starting in the early 1960s and became especially well known on early television in New Zealand. She was one of New Zealand’s first woman announcers when television in New Zealand started. There will be plenty of people who still remember Julie Cunningham nightly on CHTV3 (although as a woman, she had to do battle with management to be allowed in front of a camera!)

After a career as a broadcaster, Julie Cunningham was in business and then became a prominent real estate agent in Sumner and surrounds.

In 1990, Julie Cunningham was living in Sumner when Dora Grut (nee Neville) came back to Christchurch for a visit. Dora loved Sumner but had lived most of her life in Vancouver. There she had seen first-hand the help that trusts could give communities and at the end of her Christchurch visit, she made a $10,000 donation to the people of Sumner. A few years later, Dora died and bequeathed a further $50,000 to the people of Sumner.

Clem Paterson was instrumental in establishing the trust and he was helped by many members of Sumner Lodge. Julie Cunningham was invited to become a trustee on establishment in 1993 and she has remained in that position up until a couple of months ago.

The Sumner Foundation extended its area to Redliffs, Mt Pleasant, Heathcote and Brookhaven. The name is now the Sumner-Ferrymead Foundation.

Over the nearly thirty years of its existence, the Foundation has helped local people in their sporting, artistic, and education pursuits. It has also helped fund environmental and other projects. Over the thirty years, the Foundation has helped a huge number of people.

Our recently developed Scholarship programme looks like it could become one of our more significant initiatives.

The Sumner Ferrymead Foundation is still in good financial health; we have nearly $300,000 in funds, and as some long-standing trustees have recently retired, we have been delighted to appoint some excellent replacement trustees.