Our inspirational speaker for the evening was well known former broadcaster Sharon Crosbie who told us about the trials and tribulations on embarking on a City and Guilds Textile course through distance learning. She has attained her Certificate and is now working towards her Diploma. The course is made up of various modules and we were shown multiple samples of the sorts of examples she had to create for the tutors. This course is not for the faint-hearted and we heard all sorts of tales of things going wrong, light bulb moments of inspiration, and hard dogged work needed to work towards her goal. (Sadly, I’m sure I would have fallen at the first hurdle). Sharon shared her recipe for making clay beads with us, and related that this was just one of the new techniques she had to master as she progressed into her course. Her talk was delivered in her trade-mark beautifully modulated voice, which we had listened to on TV and Radio over the years, and she had us in stitches as she related one comical story after another of her efforts.
Sharon Crosbie had an outstanding career in broadcasting and she has been awarded an OBE and voted television personality of the year for three successive years in the 1970s. Then in 2004 she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to broadcasting and the community. But as well as these awards and many others, Sharon said that she can relate to our group of quilters, as we are all helping to keep the hand crafts alive for future generations. She truly believes that doing something you love with your hands is better than therapy. And she said, when she finally achieves her goal of her City and Guilds Diploma, that is the one she will be the most proud of and wants it engraved on her head stone! And so speaks a true lover of hand crafts.