Over the past 18 years there have been a lot of ladies who have come and gone in the Australian red hat arena since the commencement of the first chapter in Queensland in 2001.
During that time there have been many women who have taken on the role of a red hat Queen and welcomed other ladies into their group and spent many, many hours enjoying friendships, adventures and at times dramas, but always with that sense of fellowship and involvement that is the ethos of red hatting.
For those Aust queens who have been responsible for
organising a multitude of activities for their own group, and for some,
multi-chapter events, they have seen many changes since the inception of the
Red Hat Society on 25 April, 1998. Most
long-term queens hardly recognise what they recall of the foundations of the
initial formation of the RHS. Perhaps only those that were involved in the period of
2004-2010 would understand, as since then red hatting has become quite formal and serious in its progression, whereas it was once more frivolous. This was, or course, to be
expected with the explosion of technology in more recent years and the fact our
lives have become so full and busy, even as we age. Sadly, more recent new queens appear to know
very little of the initial foundations of how the RHS was formed, of the Warning
poem around which it was formulated and those many serendipity occasions and
acknowledgement of celebrations which were once so relevant. But of course, society has changed, women now
age in a different way to that of our mothers and activities that we
participate in now have a solid purpose of helping us keep connected and
stimulated. Child like activities no longer seem to fit with the modern view of redhatting.
What some women have achieved in their many years of red hatting is hardly ever acknowledged, and most do not ever expect that recognition, but, in the capacity of an editor of a website that has functioned solely to help keep Aust red hatters connected there has been many past occasions where special mention has been made of particular red hatters on this site, and at this time it is to Queen OOPs, Jeanette of the Shangri Lars of Caboolture, QLD that accolades are being extended.
Since the inception of the Shangri Lars in March 2005,
Nettie has been a committed queen and a friend to many for the whole of those 14 years. She was
amongst those early queens that were part of the initial formation of
what was a very robust number of groups of red hatters in the early 2000's that
paved the way for what remains a consistent membership of Aust red hatters
She has welcomed many ladies into her chapter, kept them well informed about red hat matters, encouraged others to form their own groups, offered wise advise to many and supported other groups activities and been a familiar attendee at the Girlfriend Giggle weekends, always dressing the part (when the theme was more frivolous then formal). The Editor's most memorable photo of Nettie is when she was the Snow Queen at the Toowoomba Giggle. She has also hosted 10 annual red hat Biggest Morning Teas raising thousands of dollars for cancer research.
As well as managing her own groups activities, Nettie has often been acknowledged for her hard work and for the benefits appreciated by many with the smooth running of the Queens of the North, updating, informing, keeping records etc. She always shows enormous patience, kindness and willingness to help with any issues, re-directing any confusion and generally offering any assistance in her unassuming and kind way.
Recently Nettie sent her final e-mail as Communicator and Keeper of Records for Queens of the North, a group of queens and vice queens that have gathered for many years. Her message was received by many with an enormous sense of loss, gratitude and nostalgia. As Queen Marivi (The Round Table - Caboolture) has noted, Queen Mum Nettie has left big shoes to fill.
THANK YOU QM Nettie. Know you are
highly regarded in every way. May you continue to enjoy your red hat adventures
with your happy band of ladies and beyond.