Te Karaka Foundation’s ninth Named Endowment Fund was set up in memory of Valerie Webber.
Valerie was a life-long resident of Taranaki and a dedicated participant and supporter of local voluntary organisations and sporting associations. She was especially involved in her later years in local groups and organisations that provided social care and occupational therapies for the aged in New Plymouth.
Val was born in New Plymouth in 1928 and attended Central School and New Plymouth Girls” High School. Her father, George Bertrand, was a teacher at New Plymouth Boys’ High School and a well-known military officer – serving in both wars, including as second-in-command of the Maori Battalion from 1941. Valerie trained as a school teacher and, as a young woman, was an active and successful participant in many local sporting codes, including netball, table tennis, tennis and especially swimming. She frequently served in the running of these sports organisations and later was a committee member of the Westown and Kaitake Golf Clubs.
Later in life, Val was widely involved in the activities of small voluntary organisations associated especially with care of the aged in New Plymouth. She had a dedication to helping others remain active and involved in social groups and community activities. She well understood the financial constraints facing these small, often shoestring, organisations and the importance of ever-widening their sources of financial and voluntary support.
Val died in 2015 and this Endowment Fund was established by her son David to help others continue the work that she and others undertook, forever on a voluntary basis, for the good of the Taranaki community.