Ina Ignes Benbow

Ina Agnes Benbow b: at Temuka to parents Agnes and Reginald Benbow, was brought up to farm life and a life-long love of animals. She was educated first at Hilton, then Milford and after leaving Temuka High School worked as an office clerk for NZ Insulators (today's Temuka Pottery) Ina was competitive and participated in sports playing basketball and she led the Temuka Potteries Marching Team which were succcessful for several years winning competitions or were were runners-up. The factory manager energetically promoted social involvement by all staff eg dances became their war effort which raised funds weekly for UK food parcels.

Ina - Temuka Marching Team Leader

Her leadership qualities along with a commercial background through  her office experience led Ida to dedicate 37 years in the education field, teaching accounting and economics and secondary schools which stretched from Taieri, Christchurch (she completed her Bachelor of Commerce in 1967 at Canterbury University) Promotion saw her as head of department in Hutt Valley, at Whakatane, Rangiora, at Mairehau (Chch) High School, progression to  Deputy principal at Hastings and then principal at Gisborne, her first all-girls school. She was active in the Federation of University Women and still found time to support animal causes - eg Orana Park and the sponsering of Kaimanawa horses as her lifetime ambition to own a horse never was fullfilled....

Retirement in the late 1970's to Tairua brought new challenges - she became co-odinator of the Tairua Animal Welfare Society and studied to become a warranted SPCA Inspector and  up to 1987 over-saw animal health and care for all of Coromandel's  East Coast - her life accompanied by her faithfiul corgies.


Ina when 76yrs, sold up and bought a four-berth motorhome and embarked on a four-year journey around New Zealand - she also motorhomed around Australia and took trips to China, Russia and the rest of Europe.

Settling at Rotorua, she has her own home, a dog and cat for company, close to relations she maintains a good social life, an immaculate garden which makes her almost self-sufficient and which, she says "provides physical activity".

She continues to contribute her time to community volunteer work supporting her favourite charities, to try new activities and believes "setting life's goals keeps her young."

In her 80's, Ina became a participant in a BOP based study into awareness of what it takes to live long and well. She was a teenager in the Depression years and wanted to leave her hometown of Temuka,  to see the world - experience a better way of life. She will continue to challenge life and fullfill her belief "the world really is your oyster - it's up to each individual to make the most of what they have and what they can do."
Ina with her father at Wellington
Ina visits cousin Catherine Lincoln (nee Benbow) - her corgi
attention-seeking when confonted by a minute chihuahua
1927: Hilton farm
1928; Hilton farm
1930:  Ina with huge lily, Hilton
Hilton School. Agnes made Ina's winning Jubilee costume
1933; Ina & her Angora rabbit
1944: 1st evening frock - green!
1967: Bachelor of Commerce
New Principal appointed to Gisborne Girls High