National | Damehood

Governor-General dubs tennis great Ruia Morrison as a dame

Dame Ruia Morrison has been officially knighted as a dame companion of the NZ Order of Merit at one of the investiture ceremonies being held this week after long Covid-19 lockdowns prevented the ceremonies from continuing as planned.

Morrison, 85,  (Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), who lives in Rotorua, was honoured for her services to tennis. Her honour was announced last year but due to pandemic restrictions, the ceremony was postponed.

In 1957, Dame Ruia Morrison became the first New Zealand wahine to play at Wimbledon. When she made the quarter-finals at the competition, she was told her competitors were intimidated by her, she recalled.

Back in Aotearoa, the sportswoman was a 13-time national champion and her fellow competitors wanted her to go easy on them.