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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Charitable Institutions

Charitable Institutions.

The Palmerston North District Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, which was constituted in 1892, administers charitable aid and manages the local hospital, which is more fully described below. The members of the Board—ten in number—are representative men from the various parts of a wide district, their names (1896) being: Messrs. W. Park (chairman), G. W. Ravenhill, and D. B. Harris, of Palmerston North; F. Y. Lethbridge and E. Goodbehere, of Feilding; V. C. Ransom, Rongotea; H. Hammond, of Sanson; T. R. Taylor, of Kiwitea; H. J. Booth, of Makino; and G. Kendall, of Fitz-herbert. The offices of the Board are situated in Rangitikei Street, Palmerston North, Mr. W. Rutherford being the secretary.

Mr. William Park, Chairman of the Palmerston North District Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, is a New Zealander, having been born in Otago. His mercantile life in his native land has demonstrated his abilities, and the large success which has followed upon the thoroughness of his work is the best evidence of his fitness to occupy the high position to which he has attained. Some idea of the energy which Mr. Park possesses may be page 1155 Mr. William Park formed by a consideration of the athletic feats which he has performed, and the general activity displayed in all the recreations and pastimes for which the British race are so noted. He has won two silver cups as a sculler in New Zealand, and about the year 1890, in company with his brother George, crossed Cook's Strait from Mana Island to Picton wharf in a Rob Roy canoe. As president of the Palmerston North Swimming Club, and trustee of the Manawatu Racing Club, he has shown his practical sympathy and love for exercise. Mr. Park holds the following offices in addition to those already named: Chairman of the Holiday Association, president of the Palmerston North Cricket Club, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, vice-president of the Palmerston North Caledonian Society, honorary treasurer of the Palmerston North Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. Mr. Park also attained some distinction as a taxidermist, having already made a considerable collection of New Zealand birds. Further reference to this gentleman will be found elsewhere in these pages as an ex-mayor of the borough of Palmerston North, and as a prominent bookseller, stationer, and news agent in The Square.

Mr. Walter Rutherfurd, Secretary of the Palmerston North District Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and Secretary to the Manawatu Road Board and the Manawatu Drainage Board, hails from Scotland, where he was born in 1861. Educated in the Glasgow High School, Mr. Rutherfurd was brought up to banking, and came to the Colony in 1881, settling in Palmerston North in the following year. For some time he was managing clerk to Mr. J. H. Hankins, solicitor, but in 1890 he established himself in business as a commission agent, being subsequently appointed to the three secretaryships which he now holds. In local affairs Mr. Rutherfurd takes a keen interest, having served as chairman of the Palmerston North School Committee for three years, and he now Mr. Walter Rutherfurd acts as hon. treasurer of the Caledonian Society. A member of the craft, he is attached to the Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge, No. 47, of which he is a Past Master, and as an Oddfellow in the American constitution, he is a P.G. of Lodge Orient, No. 42.

The Palmerston North Hospital, which is situated in Terrace Street, occupying a fine site of ten acres of land, was opened in November, 1893. The buildings are of wood, with iron roofs, and contain one large ward, two small wards, and two isolated wards for fever patients, besides most complete and comfortable accommodation for the matron, nurses, and servants. The whole of the walls are plastered and finished in first-rate style, the various wards, rooms, and corridors being lofty, well lighted, and fully ventilated. The large ward, which contains seventeen beds, is a really fine apartment: the smaller wards, one of which is named after the late Mr. J. L. Wiltshire, who bequeathed £1200 to the institution, have three and five beds respectively, while the fever wards have six beds altogether. The hospital is fitted with first-class baths in each department, hot and cold water being laid on out of the legacy left by Mr. Wiltshire for the isolated ward in 1896. A very complete laundry—which is provided with drying-room—has been constructed, besides several improvements on the original designs. The matron's rooms are situated on the ground floor, the nurses' quarters—five bedrooms and bath-room—are upstairs, and the servants' apartments adjoin the kitchen, provision having been made for the warder and gardener in a building at the back. The grounds are being tastefully laid out and adorned with well grassed lawns and ornamental shrubs, most of the vegetables required in the establishment being grown on the estate. The cost of the main building was £3450, and of the fever ward £450. Drs. McIntyre and Wilson are the medical officers, Miss E. Dougherty being the matron.

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Miss Ellen Dougherty, Matron of the Palmerston North Hospital, was born at Port Underwood, and was educated in Wellington. She began her hospital career as a nurse at the Wellington Hospital in 1885, and two years later received her certificate from the committee for physiology and nursing. Miss Dougherty soon secured promotion, becoming head nurse of the accident ward, which position she retained for about five years. In October, 1893, she was appointed to the responsible position which she now holds. Miss Dougherty gained her senior anatomy and physiology certificates, which are signed by Dr. Ewart, of the Wellington Hospital, in 1895. She is also a member of the Royal Nurses' Institute of Britain.

Miss E. Dougherty.

Miss E. Dougherty.