In March 1988, after a meeting with the then “Geriatric Working Party” (formed in 1982 at the request of the Wairarapa Hospital Board) a challenge was accepted by a newly formed working party – The Wairarapa Council for Older People, that set the wheels in motion for a 9-day celebration in June 1989 – The Golden Years Expo. The goal of the expo was to prepare, inform, encourage and involve older persons in the improvement of the quality of their health and wellbeing.
The late Sister Monica Landy, a retired teacher, was appointed in 1988 by the Hospital Board to front the development of the Expo and it proved to be an extremely successful event with a momentum and commitment that would fuel the subsequent set up of a Senior Service Centre based in Masterton. Sister Monica took on the role of Coordinator for the first few years of the centre’s set up and was integral to the creation of its function and visibility throughout the Wairarapa region.
Following on from the success of The Golden Years Expo, it was agreed early on that a name change for the previous working committee was necessary and it was decided in July 1989 after the Expo that it would be renamed to Wairarapa Organisation for Older People (WOOPS). On 7 December 1989, WOOPS became an incorporated society with a legally drawn-up constitution.
The original office was at 10 Dixon Street and by 1990 all renovations on the property were completed and the service centre started to operate as WOOPS. As the years passed, WOOPS changed premises a few more times before settling at the Solway Showgrounds in 2009. WOOPS naturally had an affiliation with Age Concern NZ, who by the end of the 1960s had independent councils operating throughout the country and it was in 2012 that the organisation became a full member of Age Concern, which led to the name change “Age Concern Wairarapa (WOOPS)”. The role of the organisation continued to strengthen over the years and it was at the AGM in 2020 that the decision was made to drop “WOOPS” from the name and to operate under “Age Concern Wairarapa”, as we are known to this day.
Read old books fae folks lang awa | Respect the teachings of wise folk long since passed on