2 Minutes with ...


Many a local who bumps into Margaret McLeod in the supermarket or on the street would instantly recognise her as Tawa's "Lotto lady". The photo & lotto store she and husband Wain run in central Tawa has been Tawa's primary source of Lotto tickets for many years. She has also been actively involved in the Tawa Business Association over time, and used to play a major part in the organising of the community's annual "Spring into Tawa Market Day".

You may have known the above facts already. What you might not have known - until now - is that she played an important role in the local scouting movement for many years. Details of that and other interesting information about Margaret McLeod are contained below.

Where were you born, Margaret?
Raetihi, just a few miles from Ohakune.

Where did you grow up?
In Ohakune.

Where were you educated?
Ruapehu College in Ohakune.

What is your line of work?
Been owner/operator of Mac's Photo & Lotto for about 16 years. "Photographic work is our big thing."
When I left school I travelled between Ohakune and Invercargill doing retail work, hotel work, tobacco picking and grading. I worked in a packing house in Roxburgh when I was first married, packing apples. When we moved to Tawa I worked at PostBank, then ANZ when it took us over.

What about family?
Married to Wain with two sons, born in Roxburgh, but now both are living in Australia.

What are your interests/hobbies?
Quilting, reading, walking. "I try to fit those into my spare time." I go swimming as well. I was a cub leader in Linden for about 15 years, then also a district cub leader looking after cub packs from Tawa to Pukerua Bay, keeping training up-to-date. Went to two Scout jamborees and helped with the programming for one of them.

How long have you lived in Tawa?
We were living in Invercargill "which I enjoyed very much", then moved here in 1985 when Wain, who was with the BNZ, got transferred to Wellington.

What do you think is great about Tawa?
It's a small town with great community spirit. The weather's good [it was a lovely sunny day at the time - Ed.] "We seem to miss much of the rough weather - it seems to go around us. Well, I think it does." And growing up in a small town, I've always preferred small towns to cities.

What, if anything, would improve Tawa?
What we need is more for the youth but I don't know what. "There seem to be too many wandering around aimlessly." Maybe more outdoor activities for them.

What is your favourite dessert?
Probably fresh fruit salad.

Favourite sports team and/or sportsperson?
The Hurricanes would be first, mainly because my boys played rugby.

Favourite musical group or style of music?
I like most music, but "rap does nothing for me. Any other music I like." [Even heavy metal? asked the Ed.] Margaret's response: "I went to night clubs when I lived in Palmerston North. They played heavy metal there!"

Favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?
I've always liked going back to Ohakune. There just seems to be so much there. In winter there's the mountain to ski on, but there's also walking, cycling and tramping.

Favourite quote(s) or saying(s)?
"If you don't have dreams life would be very dull."
"Tomorrow is another day."

If you could meet any two or three people (alive or dead), who would they be?
Billy T James; Sean Connery; Freddie Mercury.

What three things would you take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
A good book.
MacGyver [for those who missed a great TV series around 20 years ago, MacGyver's main asset was his practical application of scientific knowledge and inventive use of common items to solve seemingly unsolvable problems (as per Wikipedia) - Ed.]
Genie in a bottle (just in case).

What is one talent you would like that you do not have?
Yeah, I'd like to play a musical instrument. "My father played the piano and the piano accordion."

What is one talent you have that you could not do without?
My sense of humour.

What accomplishments/achievements in your life give you much satisfaction/pride?
Bringing up my two boys and watching them become fine young men.
And watching the boys I had at cubs grow into young men. Sometimes when I see them I'm sure I helped them get to where they are today. To see how they've turned out, it gives me a sense of accomplishment ... "until I hear that one of them has landed up in prison." [She suggested that perhaps that last comment shouldn't be included. Suggestion ignored - Ed.]

What are two or three things you would like to do before you die?
I would like to walk the Milford Track. "If I have to do anything, that's what I'd like to do."
Go to Stewart Island and the top of the North Island - "the only two places I haven't been in New Zealand".
And I'd like to do a trip to Europe.

Compiled January 2011.

Other Tawa people