Maynie Thompson (centre above in the pink scarf), a staunch activist and proponent of the peace movement, passed away over the weekend, aged 98. In June 2007 it was the 20th anniversary of the passing of legislation to make New Zealand nuclear free. Maynie Thompson was interviewed on Island Life discussing her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement in the 1980s.
Maynie was an amazing woman, on first name terms with both Davis Lange and Helen Clark. In this interview she discussed the inspiration for her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement and some of her adventures as a front line activist.
Waiheke became a hotbed of activism in the eighties and Maynie and other local women found they had plenty of support as they took their message of peace to the world. In 1983 she participated in a march to Wellington calling for the New Zealand government to take a stand on the nuclear issue. Enthused by that experience, a year later Maynie visited Britain to join the womenâs camp at Greenham Common protesting the deployment of American nuclear missiles on British soil. She wasn't merely a passive participant in this protest, she was involved in cutting the fence and raiding the Greenham Common military complex.
Two years later Maynie again ventured overseas to participate in the Great Peace March across the United States walking much of the way from Los Angeles to Washington DC again calling for peace and an end to the nuclear threat.
Maynie's activism continued into the 1990s with her participation in the 1995 Peace Flight to Tahiti. This action was to protest French Nuclear testing on the Pacific atoll Mururoa and to lend support to the indigenous people of Tahiti and other Pacific nations who were in the region were the French chose to carry out their nuclear dirty work.
Mayni dedicated many years to the campaign for peace and in this interview she emphasised the overwhelming support she had received from the Waiheke community over this time. She could justifiably look back on her involvement in the peace movement with pride.
Image credit: Stuff