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Pioneering is part of who we are

Pioneering is part of who we are. That’s why each Ryman village is named after a Kiwi or Aussie trailblazer. Anthony Wilding, Lady Diana Isaac, Evelyn Page to name a few. They lived with passion and purpose, they pushed further, they went beyond the ordinary. That’s exactly what we strive to do every day at Ryman. To pioneer a new way of living, for a new retirement generation.

Lady Diana Isaac (1921 – 2012)

Lady Diana Isaac is the epitome of a force of nature. As a New Zealand conservationist, businesswoman, philanthropist, and arts patron, Diana had a profound impact on the development of Christchurch.

Born in England, Diana met a Timaru man named Neil Isaac on an Indian-bound troopship during World War II. They settled in Christchurch in 1950 where she carried out the bulk of her visionary work.

While Diana is well known for establishing Isaac Construction with her husband, she was also dedicated to the people and development of Christchurch. This included creating scholarships at the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University, sponsoring the Isaac Theatre Royal, supporting the Christchurch Art Gallery, and setting up the Isaac Centre for Nature Conservation.

The Isaac’s 1000-hectare quarry was transformed into a wildlife conservation park, Peacock Springs. The park houses endangered native wildlife and plants creating a pivotal haven for the study and breeding of indigenous fauna and flora.

In honour of her extraordinary service to the Christchurch community, received the Queen’s Service Medal in 1990 and was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009. Diana was also commemorated with a bronze bust sculpture as one of the ‘Twelve Local Heroes’ for her positive impact on Christchurch.