‘State house kid from Kaiti’ to MNZM

“To all the Gizzy kids out there who love to sing or crack jokes, or make stuff or paint or write . . . keep doing it."

“To all the Gizzy kids out there who love to sing or crack jokes, or make stuff or paint or write . . . keep doing it."

FROM KAITI TO GOVERNMENT HOUSE: Entertainer and former Gisborne Girls’ High student Jackie Clarke will been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the entertainment industry. Picture supplied

Gisborne-raised singer and entertainer Jackie Clarke still cannot quite believe she has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

“I’m hugely surprised and thrilled by this, and yes, honoured, but until Patsy Reddy sticks a pin in me at Government House I won’t believe it.

“I’m a state house kid from Kaiti and these things don’t happen!”

Ms Clarke said Gisborne was a fantastic place to grow up.

“I had a great childhood in Gisborne, at great schools. When I left, I thought everyone in New Zealand had access to a bit of drop-dead gorgeous beach all to themselves without other pesky people putting their towels down on it.

“I started in my first band in Gisborne — Marching Orders. It was the golden age of op shopping for winklepickers and 50s and 60s frocks, so at least I always looked good, even if not many people came to the gigs.”

Ms Clarke left Gisborne at 18 to attend university in Wellington.

“I was in for a rude shock . . . I thought more than three cars outside a house was a party.”

Now residing in Auckland where most of her family lives, the opportunity to come back and visit Gisborne occurs infrequently.

“Occasionally I get asked to do a gig and I’ve done two amazing events for Hospice Tairawhiti at The Vines.

“I love the new theatre and I enjoyed doing a Kids For Kids Concert there recently.”

Ms Clarke says she is “so proud” to have been able to make music all her life.

“I love the fact that what I do brings joy to people’s lives whether it’s giving them a laugh, a tear in the eye, or getting them on the dance floor for a boogie. I love the fact I’m still learning my craft, too, and I still enjoy new and challenging experiences.”

Having had the opportunity to make a career out of the performing arts has been a privilege say Ms Clarke and she encourages other young people to consider it.

“To all the Gizzy kids out there who love to sing or crack jokes, or make stuff or paint or write . . . keep doing it.

“The arts and entertainment are a hugely important part of our culture so we need you to keep on doing what you’re doing.

“I feel (this award) is a wonderful recognition for living a life in the performing arts.”

Gisborne-raised singer and entertainer Jackie Clarke still cannot quite believe she has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

“I’m hugely surprised and thrilled by this, and yes, honoured, but until Patsy Reddy sticks a pin in me at Government House I won’t believe it.

“I’m a state house kid from Kaiti and these things don’t happen!”

Ms Clarke said Gisborne was a fantastic place to grow up.

“I had a great childhood in Gisborne, at great schools. When I left, I thought everyone in New Zealand had access to a bit of drop-dead gorgeous beach all to themselves without other pesky people putting their towels down on it.

“I started in my first band in Gisborne — Marching Orders. It was the golden age of op shopping for winklepickers and 50s and 60s frocks, so at least I always looked good, even if not many people came to the gigs.”

Ms Clarke left Gisborne at 18 to attend university in Wellington.

“I was in for a rude shock . . . I thought more than three cars outside a house was a party.”

Now residing in Auckland where most of her family lives, the opportunity to come back and visit Gisborne occurs infrequently.

“Occasionally I get asked to do a gig and I’ve done two amazing events for Hospice Tairawhiti at The Vines.

“I love the new theatre and I enjoyed doing a Kids For Kids Concert there recently.”

Ms Clarke says she is “so proud” to have been able to make music all her life.

“I love the fact that what I do brings joy to people’s lives whether it’s giving them a laugh, a tear in the eye, or getting them on the dance floor for a boogie. I love the fact I’m still learning my craft, too, and I still enjoy new and challenging experiences.”

Having had the opportunity to make a career out of the performing arts has been a privilege say Ms Clarke and she encourages other young people to consider it.

“To all the Gizzy kids out there who love to sing or crack jokes, or make stuff or paint or write . . . keep doing it.

“The arts and entertainment are a hugely important part of our culture so we need you to keep on doing what you’re doing.

“I feel (this award) is a wonderful recognition for living a life in the performing arts.”

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Mary McClutchie - 5 months ago
Well done Jackie, awesome and congratulations.
Now living in Kalgoorlie Western Australia, will be coming home to retire.

Barbara Biddle - 5 months ago
Awesome Jackie Clarke. I remember you

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