ROSS, HEDWIG (1900-1971), teacher and socialist, was born on 17 September 1900, at Palmerston North, New Zealand, daughter of German-born settlers Friedrich Gustav Weitzel (d.1917), a brass-founder later farmer, and his wife Maria, née Benninghoven; three children had been born in Sydney in 1888-91. By 1912 the family had moved to Wellington. Hettie attended Wellington Girls' College from 1914 and then Victoria University College (B.A., N.Z., 1920), where she 'was a wonderfully brilliant student' according to the future prime minister Peter Fraser. She majored in Latin, English and philosophy.
Weitzel enrolled at Wellington Training College in 1921. That year she joined the Socialist Party and subsequently was a founding member of the Communist Party of New Zealand. In these circles she met Fintan Patrick Walsh (born Patrick Tuohy), a handsome seaman and firebrand atheist influenced by the Industrial Workers of the World, who probably became her lover ...Read more at the source website