30 July 2011

Introducing our Sponsors - The George Mason Charitable Trust

In recent years members of the NZSWWS have benefited from generous donations from the Mason Charitable Trust. It has paid many of the expenses associated with bringing overseas tutors to New Zealand, ensuring that the lectures, demonstrations and workshops they hold are made available to the membership at a very reasonable cost. As well the Trust has funded the ‘Mason Charitable Trust Scholarship in Design’ which provides a member with funds to study and research a chosen aspect of her craft. Behind this Trust stands Dr George Mason.

George on the balcony of his home in Oakura, Taranaki.

George was born and educated in Auckland and while at university became passionately interested in the natural sciences, particularly botany and its environmental associations. The control of problems in these areas became his life’s work. This background is reflected in his wide-ranging interests from skiing, climbing and tramping to his involvement in growing flowers and exotic fruits as well as his interest in many forms of creative art and music.

George with the 2010 Plant Protection Society medal presented to him in recognition of the immense contribution he has made in a career of more than 56 years in the agrichemical business.

The Trust’s contributions to Creative Fibre Society stemmed from discussions George had with then President Anthea Davidson, regarding an award for studies into the use of a blend of possum fibre and fine wool. At this time the NZ Wool Board sponsorship was ending so the Trust agreed to fill the gap in the meantime. This was followed by support for visiting overseas tutors.

Some of the international textile art pieces in George’s collection

Textiles are a significant part of George’s private art collection and Creative Fibre National Exhibitions have been a source of several additions. George says, ‘A passionate appreciation of my home country, its world class natural features and its independent endeavours in the natural sciences and the arts and the creative ability of its people have been the guiding principles behind the funding support the Mason Trust offers New Zealanders.’

For the 2012 Festival The Mason Charitable Trust is sponsoring the visit of keynote speaker and post-festival workshop tutor Kim Thittichai from England. Watch this space for further details!

Thanks George!

Win & Rose

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