The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
In Otago, and similarly throughout New Zealand, one of the most satisfactory features of the social condition of the community is the wide distribution of wealth. It is, unfortunately, true that a certain amount of poverty does exist, but there is no hereditary pauper class, and few if any children are born into the hopeless condition which characterises the lives of so many millions in Europe. The assistance afforded by the State to able-bodied men, who are out of work, is usually in the form of employment in the construction of public works. The chief care of the authorities, as regards charity, is directed to the rescue of the young from criminal companionship and temptation to crime, the support of the aged and infirm, the care of the imbecile or insane, and to subsidising private institutions for the care of the sick and injured, and the amedlioration of want. Even where the State grants aid for philanthropie purposes the institutions so assisted are managed by local bodies, and in addition to State-aided institutiens, there are charities maintained by private subseriptions. The leading charitable institutions of Otago are enumerated in this section.
United Districts of Central Otago, Tuapeka, and Otago Charitable aid Board . Members: Messrs Peter Miller (chairman), J. Barnes, George Law. rence, James Sim, W. Burnett, W. Robertson, J. Harrison, James Hazlett, T. Mackenzie, M.H. R., W. Hay, T. Aitken, W. Willis, J. M. Begg, W. Wardrop, and F. G. Cray, Mr. T. S. Graham is secretary. This body is charged with the duty of rasing by levy on the local bodies within its jurisdiction, sufficient funds to enable it, with the aid of the Government subsidy of pound for pound, to contribute what is required for the discharge of the functions of the various charitable institutions. The Otago Benvolent Institution and Caversham Industrial School are the most important establishments maintained by the Board, the former receiving about £7750 and the latter £2900 per annum. Contributions are also allocated to the South Dunedin Receiving Home, “To Oranga,” the Burnham Industrial School, Christchurch, and St. Mary's Industrial School, Nelson—where children from Otago are trained—and to the Dunedin Female Refuge. Meetings of the Board are held at 2 o'clock on the third Thursday in each month, at the office of the secretary, 99 Princes Street, Dunedin.
Otago District Hospital Board Members: Messrs Peter Miller (chairman) J. Barnes, J. Harrison, T. Aitken, George Lawrence, W. Robertson, W. Wardrop, F. G. Cray, T. Mackenzie, M.H.R., W. Hay, W. Wills, J. M. Begg. Mr. T. S. Graham is secretary. The duties of this Board are confined to raising funds to provide for the local hospital, which requires £6000 per annum for its adequate maintenance. Under its charter the Board levies contributions, payable on monthly or quarterly instalments, on all local bodies, save those that maintain their own hospital; the usual subsidy, pro rata, being recevied from the Government. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 2.15 p.m., at the office of the secretary, 99 Princes Street.
Mr. Peter Miller , who since the year 1889 has occupied the important postion of Chairman of the Dunedin Hospital Trustees, was born in 1850 at Ayr, Scotland and was educated at the Newton parish school. He was brought up to the saddlery business in Ayr, and came to Port Chalmers per ship “James Nicol Fleming” in 1872. After being a short time in business in Dunedin he went to Lawrence, where he was established for ten years. During his residence on the goldfields he was for several years a member of the borough council, and was also mayor of the borough council, and was also mayor of Lawrence. He removed to Dunedin in 1884 and succeeded Mr. George Dowse, one of the oldest establihsed saddlers in the city. Mr. Miller was elected in 1897 a member of the Dunedin city council, and has also occupied a seat on the charitable aid board since the coming into operation of the “Hospital and Charitable Aid Act.” He is a prominent member of the Dunedin Jockey Club, of which he has been a steward for many years, and has acted as judge for a number of years. He was married in 1879 to a daughter of Mr. George Hay, of South Molyneux, squatter, and has three sons and three daughters.
Dunedin Hospital . This fine institution was originally established in 1850, a sum of £250 out of the customs duties being granted for its erection by Sir George Grey, then Governor of New Zealand. It was the first institution which was in advance of the times, inasmuch as for two years there were no patients; the old building, erected on the site of the present Town Hall, was made a refuge for three insane persons, and thus became the first lunatic asylum before it was used for the physically sick. At the time of the gold “rush,” extensive additions were made to the original building first used for the purpose of a hospital, and the demands increased year by year for several years. Until 1866, the hospital consisted of several one, two, and three-storey buildings; but in that year the industrial exhibition building in Great King Street, which had served the page 146 purposes for which it had been put up, was granted for the use of the hospital, and was taken possession of the hospital, and was taken possession of by the authorities. Of course, the building has undergone great changes so as to adapt it to the purposes for which it is now used, and very large additions have from time to time been made. The land occupied by the hospital, which has frontages to Great King, Cumberland, Frederick, and Hanover Streets, consists of five acres, completely fenced, all the spare ground being tastefully laid out in lawns and flower-beds. On the ground floor of the main building, to the left of the entrance hall, is the dispensary, which has two sliding windows, one from which to hand out medicines for in-door patients, and the other for the supply of out-patients' waiting room is large and well-seated, with a separate entrance from the outside, apart from the ordinary hospital entrance. The honorary medical staff and the house surgeons attend at stated times to treat out-patients, who are supplied with free medicine on the house stewards being satisfied as to their inability to pay for it. The male surgical ward, on the opposite side of the main entrance, contains thirteen beds, special cases being treated in this ward. The stewards' room and other apartments are also on the ground floor, and also the hospital library, which contains fully 2000 volumes, and is used as a chapel by the chaplain, who conducts regular services on Sundays and on Thursday evenings. On the first floor, there are three wards; the medical ward containing twenty-eight beds, the special lock-ward, and a spare ward; the system being to have one spare ward, which can be thoroughly cleansed from floor to ceiling in order to effect regular changing of the various rooms and ensure a periodical process of disinfection of the entire establishment. A store room and the secretary's bedroom and sitting room are also on this floor, together with the sitting room and other apartmen's used by the resident medical staff. The operation theatre, erected about the end of 1887 to replace the operating-room which had done duty for many years, is a remarkably perfect building, the floor being laid in terrazo, consisting of marble chippings in cement, ground down to a smooth surface; the walls are of white tiles, and every modern appliance known to surgery has been supplied at very considerable expense. The theatre is heated by coils, and there is a gallery so that students attending the hospital operations may have every convenience for study. Opening out from the theatre is the instrument room, where a very large assorment of all the latest surgical instruments is taken care of. On the other side of the theatre is a consulting-room for the surgeons in attendance. The Campbell Pavilion is a two-storey brick structure erected on stone arches to allow a free ventilation of air under the entire building. It has received its name from Mrs Campbell who left a bequest of £5000, for the purpose of providing increased comforts for patients of the hospital. This fine new building is divided into two wards; that on the ground floor is known as the Houghton ward, appropriately named after a former chairman of the hospital board, and the one on the upper floor is called the Miller ward, after Mr. Peter Miller, the present chairman. The Campbell Pavilion is very complete in all respects; each floor has a small ward, kitchen, and dining room, with every convenience; and the large, cheerful looking wards, are provided with twenty-four beds. A very fine new kitchen has been built at the back of the main building. This latest addition is a very great improvement. It is built in concrete and brick, and is provided with a larder with tiled floor, vegetable room in concrete, baker's room and scullery, and is fitted with every modern accessory to the culinary requirements of a large establishment. In June, 1897, when Dunedin was celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria the proposal to build a Children's Ward was set on foot. On the 30th of May, 1897, a meeting was held in the Town Hall to consider what steps Dunedin should take to commemorate the sixtieth year of Queen Victoria's reign, and it was then that Dr. W. Brown first proposed a Children's Ward at the Hospital. On the 4th of June Dr. Brown convened a meeting in the Town Hall, and the proposal was carried with enthusiasm. The appeal for subscriptions was liberally responed to all over the province, and over £2000 was subscribed. This was subsidised by the Government to the extent of 24s to the £, and the ward was opened on the 30th of November, 1899, in the presence of subscribers to the fund. Within the hospital grounds there is a very fine nurses' home, a two storey brick building completely furnished and set apart for the use of the nurses on the staff. It has twelve bedrooms on the ground floor, and fifteen on the upper storey, most of the nurses have separate rooms. The matron of the hospital has her private apartments in the nurses' home. There is also [gap — reason: illegible] very comfortable dining-room, and a large well furnished general sitting-room. The hospital laundry is fitted up with every convenience and has ample water supply; it contains the wash-house, drying-room, ironing and folding rooms. The drying-room is constructed so as to enable the workers in wet weather to dry the whole of the house wash without any inconvenience or delay. The house staff includes thirty-five nurses and probationers, two warders, two porters, a fireman, gardener, three cooks, three laundresses, three ward maids, a doctor's maid and two housemaids at the nurses' home. The resident medical staff consists of Dr. A. J. Hall, senior house surgeon, and Dr. H. R. Hotop, junior house surgeon. The members of the honorary visiting medical staff are Drs. L. E. Barnett, F.R.C.S., J. O. Closs, M. B., C.M., R. G. Macdonald, M.D., W. M. Macdonald, M. B., C. M., W. S. Roberts, M.R.C.S., W. Evans, F.R.C.S., Edin., Specialists; Drs. H. L. Fergnsson, F.R.C.S.I. (ophthalmic surgeon); and W.S. Roberts, M.R.C.S., England (pathologist); Dr. J. W. Hunter, F.R.C.S., is assistant physician, and Dr. B. Batchelor, surgeon to the out-patient department. Mr. Burns is secretary and house steward, Miss Isabella Fraser, matron, Mr. T. C. Thwaites, dispenser, and Mr. J. A. Torrance, chaplain.
Dr. Arthur James Hall , M.B. B.Ch, (New Zealand University), M.R.C.S. (England), House Surgeon of the Dunedin Hospital, is the second son of Mr. W. J. Hall, of Roslyn He was born in Dunedin in 1875, and was educated, primarily at the Christian Brothers school, and subsequently at the Otago University, where he graduated M.B., B.Ch., in 1899. Dr. Hall was then appointed an assistant medical officer to the Porirua Asylum, Wellington, and in 1900 he became Assistant House Surgeon to the Christchurch Hospital. In the succeeding year he was appointed House Surgeon to the Dunedin Hospital, but resigned that post in Apirl, 1902, to visit the Old Country. He spent about thirteen months in England, during which he gained experience in the London Hospital, the Western General Dispensary at Marylebone, and the London Throat and Ear Hospital. In June, 1903, he sailed as surgeon on board the “Maori,” for New Zealand, and on his arrival in Dunedin was appointed to his present position. Dr Hall is a member of the New Zealand Branch of the British Medical Association.
Dr. Francis Rudolph Hotop , M.B., Ch.B., Assistant House Surgeon of the Dunedin Hospital, was born in December, 1877, and is the eldest son of Mr. Lewis Hotop, a chemist, of Queenstown, Otago. He was educated at the Queenstown public school, the Otago Boys' High School, and the Otago University, at which he gained his diplomas in the early part of 1903. Dr. Hotop is well known as an athlete. In 1901 he was one of the representatives of the Otago football team, which played against Wellington and Southland, and he has also taken an active part in running.
Mr. Thomas Colin Thwaites , who was appointed Dispenser to the Dunedin Hospital in June, 1902, is a native of Auckland. He was born in 1876, and is the youngest son of Mr. Thomas Colin Thwaites, an early colonist, who was for many years engaged in the sawmilling industry in Auckland town and district. Mr. Thwaites was primarily educated in the Aucklanl city schools, for the most part under his brother, who is at present (1904) headmaster of the Epsom public school, and in 1892 was apprenticed as a chemist and druggist under Messrs Henderson and Orr, of Queen Street. In 1896 he removed to Christchurch, where he managed the Sydenham Pharmacy, for Mr. Spencer Vincent. Mr. Thwaites gained his diploma as a duly qualified chemist in 1897, and in the following year he returned to Auckland, where, in the Upper Thames gold-mining districts, he practised his profession for about two years. In 1900 he gained an appointment under Mr. William Parker, of Manners Street, Wellington, and fifteen months later was engaged to manage a pharmacy at Feilding, whence, in 1902 he proceeded to his present position. Mr. Thwaites is a member of the Otago Pharmaceutical Associtaion.
Miss Isabella Fraser , Matron of the Dunedin Hospital, was born at Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland, and was educated at Greenock. Miss Fraser was trained as a nurse at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, page 147 where she remained for three years, securing a certificate of competency as a qualified nurse. Subsequently, Miss Fraser acted as sister-in-charge of Professor Coates' ward at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow. In 1890 she left for the colonies, and was for a few months in Hobart, Tasmania. She was appointed night superinetendent of the Melbourne hospital, where she remained for nearly two years, and in March, 1893, was appointed to the position she now holds. Miss Fraser was registered as a trained nurse in London, her certificate being dated the 2nd of February, 1895, and is signed by Her Royal Highness Princess Helena. She is also a member of the Royal British Nurses' Association.
Miss I. Fraser.
Mr. Andrew Burns , Secretary and House Steward of the Dunedin Hospital, was born in 1840 in County Down, Ireland, and was educated partly at national schools and partly at Queen's College, Belfast. Mr. Burns went through a course of instruction in agriculture, science, mineralogy, geology, and experimental physics, and in his second year at college took a scholarship. In 1860 he came to New Zealand by the ship “Mermaid,” and for about two years was engaged in agricultural pursuits in the north of Auckland. At the time of the Maori disturbances in the northern part of New Zealand he joined the volunteers and went to the front, was ensign in the Waikato Militia, and subsequently promoted to lieutenant, serving altogether three years. Mr. Burns was afterwards some years on the Thames goldfield, where he engaged in mining and earried on business as a legal manager. Subsequently, he was engaged in mercantile life in Auckland. He came to Dunedin about 1876, and was appointed to the position he now holds at the hospital on the 3rd of February, 1877. Under his special care and direction a very large number of improvements have been effected in connection with that institution, which owes a great deal of its present efficiency to his intelligence and zeal. As a volunteer, Mr. Burns has had considerable experience; in Auckland he was captain in the Hobson rifles, and in Dunedin captain became in the North Dunedin rifles; he retired from the first battalion of Otago volunteers with the rank of major.
Mr. John Ainslte Torrance , Chaplain of the Dunedin Hospital, and of the Gaol and Lunatic Asylum, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1832, and was educated in his native city. He arrived in Port Chalmers by the ship “Ben Lomond” in 1863. Mr. Torrance was first appointed chaplain by the provincial government of Otago in 1863. Nine years afterwards the government chaplaincy ceased, when the provinces were abolished. Thereupon (in 1877) the Dunedin Patients' and Prisoners Aid Society was established, and by it the chaplaincy was continued, with the addition of an aid branch, Mr. Torrance being retained as the Society's chaplain and agent. In 1901 Mr. Edward Andrew Axelson was engaged as assistant, and appointed junior chaplain and agent in 1902. He was born in Skusdesnes, Norway, in 1870, was educated in his native city, and arrived in the colony by the “Tainui” in 1889.
Dr. Frederick Truby King , M.B., C.M., B. Sc. in Public Health, Edinburgh, Superintendent of the Seacliff Asylum, is a native of New Plymouth, Taranaki. He was born in 1858, and completed his education in Edinburgh, where he graduated in 1886. He afterwards became Resident Physician of the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, and, later on, of the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow. In 1888 he returned to New Zealand. He was Surgeon-Superintendent of the Wellington Hospital for about a year, and in 1889 was appointed to his present position. Dr. Truby King is Lecturer on Mental Diseases, and Examiner in Public Health and Medical Jurisprudence, at the University of Otago.
The Caversham Industrial School is situated at Lookout Point, Caversham, Dunedin, and was proclaimed an Industrial School in the Otago Provincial “Gazette” during the year 1869. The establishment of the institution was due to the far-sightedness of Mr. James Macandrew, then Superintendent of the Province of Otago, and Mr. St. John Branigan, Superintendent of Police for Otago, both of whom recognised the advantages that would arise from the training of neglected and criminal children, though the numbers of these at that time were few. The school was placed under the management of Mr. Brittain, who resigned his office as sergeant of police to take up the work, and for six years he conducted the institution, which under the admirable supervision of Mr. Branigan and Dr. John Hislop, Secretary of Education for Otago, fully realised the hopes of its founders. In 1875 Mr. Brittain died, and was succeeded by Mr. Elijah Titchener, at the time of his appointment a sergeant of police in Otago. During the seventeen years that Mr. Titchener held office (he resigned in September, 1892) a number of additions were made to the buildings, which had been found all too small for their purpose. In 1876, on the abolition of the provinces, the management of the institution passed into the hands of the General Government. In the earlier days of Mr. Titchener's management, up to 1886, the barrack system prevailed, and there were over three hundred children at one time in the school, many of them infants; but in 1886 the boarding-out system was adopted by the Government. This reduced the numbers considerably, and improved matters very much. In 1889 the School Band took a prize at the Exhibition, which was held in that year in Dunedin. On the 13th of October, 1892, the Hon. W. P. Reeves, then Minister of Education, appointed the present Manager of the School, Mr. G. M. Burlinson, at that time headmaster of the Chapel Street School, in Auckland. Since 1892 considerable additions have been made to the building. These include the whole of the girls' part, which is a brick building, thoroughly fitted up with all the later sanitary and other improvements. A new dining hall and kitchen, also in brick, were subsequently added; and, but for the separation of the sexes, the boys' part—which is composed of old wooden buildings that did duty in Dunedin as a post office, etc.—would have been rebuilt in brick.
The system of boarding-out children has been extended. In place of the children returning to the school at the age of twelve they remain in their foster-homes till they are fourteen, and if the foster-parents find them situations, which are approved by the Manager, they are allowed to go to these, and some of them do not return to the school at all. Foster-parents are paid at the rate of 7s a week for the care of children, who are visited every month by a lady residing in the district, and acting as Local Visitor, and three times a year by Visiting Officers from the Department of Education, Wellington, the supreme controlling body. The teachers of the public schools are also asked to report every quarter on all boarded-out children attending schools, and in addition to this the Manager makes personal visits in any cases that require immediate attention. Miss Jessie Sievwright is the Official Correspondent to the Boarding-out Department, and acts in conjunction with the Manager of the School in these matters. She succeeded to this position in 1890, when her predecessor, Miss Janet, resigned.page 149
The day school attached to the institution is carried on exactly on the same lines as a public school, so far as regards the syllabus of instruction. Under the careful tuition of Mr. D. W. M. Burn, the schoolmaster, Miss J. Falconer, schoolmistress, and Miss Harrison, assistant, the children make good progress, and hold their own with the pupils of any other school. In addition to the teachers, the Manager has a staff comprising a clerk, assistant clerk, carpenter, gardener, attendant, matron, cook, laundress, dressmaker, machinist. The medical officer, who has a service experience of over twenty-five years, attends once every week, and at any other time that he may be required.
The object of the institution is the moral, physical, and mental training of children, who have been left in indigent circumstances, or who have committed offences not sufficiently gross to cause them to be sent to a reformatory. The school is governed under the Industrial Schools Act, 1882, and the Amendment Act of 1895, and is under the control of the Minister of Education.
The institution is situated at the top of Caversham Rise, in a picturesque position, with a splendid view of the ocean and part of the town. The buildings comprise girls' part, which is completely cut off from the boys', dining hall, kitchen, etc.; boys' dormitories, day school, carpenter's shop, recreation hall, bathroom, theatre, and two hospitals, one for each sex; these have been added quite recently. Probably about two thousand inmates have passed through the school, and many of them occupy responsible positions in New Zealand and the adjacent colonies. The present (January, 1904) number of inmates is 539; of these 141 reside in the school, 183 are boarded-out, 27 are licensed to friends, and the remainder are at service.
The amount standing to the credit of inmates at service is about £6000, in sums ranging from a few pounds to thirty or forty pounds. This money is handed over to inmates of good character, when the Minister is satisfied as to the purpose for which they require the money.
Mr. George Melville Burlinson , Manager of the Caversham Industrial School, was born in Kent, England, in 1854, and is a son of Dr N. Burlinson, sometime of Mauritius. He was educated at the Royal College, Mauritius, and afterwards came to New Zealand, where he entered the teaching profession as a member of the staff of the Newton East School, Auckland. In 1887 he was appointed headmaster of the Albert Street School, which was established for the education and training of children, who for various reasons did not attend the ordinary public schools. Five years later he was offered his present appointment, which he accepted. Mr. Burlinson has not only proved a capable manager of the institution over which he now presides, but has also done a great deal, by articles contributed to various daily papers, to stimulate public opinion with respect to the necessity for such institutions. He is Major of the No. 3 Battalion of the Otago Public School Cadets, is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society of England, and President of the Dunedin Horticultural Society.
Mr. David William Murray Burn , M.A., Headmaster of the day school connected with the Caversham Industrial School, was born in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, in 1862 and came to Dunedin in 1870. He was educated at the Otago Boys' High School, and the University of Otago, and gained distinction in Latin and French. In 1884 he entered the teaching profession as a member of the staff of the Wellington College, and since that date has held several important appointments in Canterbury and Otago. He was appointed to his present post in 1895. Mr. Burn is well known as a public lecturer, and as a writer whose work in verse and prose is marked by distinction.
Otago Benevolent Institution . This association grew out of a meeting held on the 24th of April, 1862, which was followed on the 22nd of May in the same year by a gathering of subscribers, who elected the first committee, namely, Major Richardson, Superintendent of the province (president), Mr. W. Day (treasurer), and Messrs A. C. Strode, J. Vogel, St. John Branigan, J. A. Douglas, C. H. Street, E. Caspar, and J. Rattray. The first meeting of the committee was held on the 29th of May, 1862. The institution, thus established, has been a power for good in the past; its inmates, who are lodged in comfortable wards, consist mostly of old people of both sexes, no longer fit for work. There is also a maternity ward containing six beds. A steam laundry—a very urgent necessity—was completed at a cost of about £1,100. From the years 1862 to 1885 the revenue of the instiution was derived from voluntary contributions, which were subsidised by the Government at the rate of pound for pound. The Charitable Aid Act came into operation in the year 1885, and provided for the raising of necessary funds by rates on boroughs, county councils, and road boards, these amounts being subsidised at the rate of pound for pound from the consolidated revenue. Voluntary contributions received a subsidy of twenty-four shillings in the pound, and bequests ten shillings in the pound to the extent of £500 of subsidy. Mr. Alfred Clulee is the secretary. The trustees meet every week at the office of the institution, Moray Place, Dunedin, for the purpose of considering applications for outdoor relief, and for general business.
Mr. Peter Treseder , Chairman of the Otago Benevolent Institution, was born at St. Gluvius, near Penryn, in Cornwall, England, in December, 1831, and is the second son of the late Mr. Stephen Treseder, a nurseryman. He was educated at Truro, and trained as a draughtsman, and in that capacity he spent some time on the Taff Vale railway in Wales. In 1853 he sailed for Melbourne, and afterwards spent about ten years on the Victorian goldfields. Mr. Treseder landed in Dunedin in 1863, and spent six months on the Molyneaux diggings. He was then appointed to a position in the survey department of the Government service, and was stationed at Dunedin. Mr. Treseder retained that appointment for about thirty-four years, and resigned when chief draughts-man in 1897, since which he has lived in retirement. He was for several years chairman of the Albany Street school committee. Mr. Treseder was married in Victoria, in 1855, and has, surviving, five sons and four daughters.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo
Mr. P. Treseder.
Mr. Alfred Clulee , Secretary of the Otago Benevolent Institution, was born in 1838 in Birmingham, where he was educated, and brought up in a merchant's warehouse. Mr. Clulee arrived in Lyttelton in 1861 per ship “Chrysolite,” and went on to Port Chalmers. He was first connected with the wholesale grocery business conducted by Mr. George Whittingham. Subsequently, he was a salesman at Messrs. Mackerras and Hazlett's, and was afterwards for four years with the firm of Messrs. Dalgety, Nichols and Co. Mr. Clulee was appointed secretary of the Benevolent Institution in 1884.
The Dunedin Benevolent Institution Home is erected on eight acres of land at the corner of the Main South Road and Alexandra Street, Caversham. The grounds are fully fenced and utilised as kitchen and flower gardens, the latter being tastefully laid out. The building is a three-storey brick structure with basement, and contains about fifty rooms. On the ground floor are the apartments of the manager, matron, women's day-room, family hospital ward, and a number of dormitories. The dining-rooms for the men and women are situated, respectively, at each end of the building, and the first and second floors are occupied almost entirely by sleeping apartments. The original building erected in 1865 contained but three rooms, but the present building has accommodation for about 300 inmates.
Mr. Edward John Mee , Manager of the Otago Benevolent Institution Home, was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1854, and there received his education. He arrived at Port Chalmers in 1865, per ship “E. P. Bouverie.” For some time Mr. Mee followed agricultural pursuits on his farm in the neighbourhood of Oamaru. He joined the mounted police force in 1873, and served in Dunedin, Palmerston, and Lawrence. On leaving the force he joined the staff of the Dunedin lunatic asylum, subsequently becoming chief warder. Mr. Mee was afterwards warder in the Timaru hospital, and became surgical warder in the Dunedin hospital, where he remained for two years. He was appointed to the position he now holds in 1886. Mr. Mee was married in 1884 to a daughter of Mr. William Madams, of Goodwood, near Palmerston, and has three sons and two daughters.
Mr. and Mrs E. J. Mee.
Mrs. Mee , Matron of the Otago Benevolent Institution Home, was born at Goodwood, and was educated at Waikouaiti. For some years Mrs Mee was head laundress of the Dunedin asylum, and was afterwards head nurse at Ashburn Hall, which she left, in 1884, on the occasion of her marriage.
The Dunedin Sailors' Rest , situated at 26 Lower Rattray Street, was established many years ago by the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and is still conducted by that body. Its object is to provide a place of comfort and convenience, with interests of an attractive and elevating character, and a welcome for sailors during their leisure hours in port. The Sailors' Rest is a wooden building of one storey, and contains five apartments, including a general hall and a reading room, which is well stocked with books, magazines, and papers, of a suitable nature. Religious services are conducted twice weekly in the general hall, and are well attended.
Mr. Alexander Robertson Falconer , Seamen's Missionary at the Sailors Rest, Dunedin, has been in charge of that institution since its inception. He is a native of Edinburgh, where he was born in 1843. In 1863 he came out to New Zealand, in the ship “Viola.” For some time he was on the West Coast goldfields, and then went to Port Chalmers, where he started in business. While residing there he took an active interest in establishing the Sailors' Rest, of which he was Seamen's Missionary. When the Rest was transferred to Dunedin, he removed to the city to take charge of it. At the time the New Zealand Contingents were preparing to leave for South Africa, Mr. Falconer did good work in connection with the Soldiers' Rests in each of the camps in the colony, where the men had reading matter and writing materials supplied to them through his efforts. He has been prominetly identified with evangelistic work, chiefly in Dunedin. After forty years' residence in the colony, Mr. Falconer took a trip to the Old Country to enjoy a well-deserved rest.
The Orokonui Home , Waitati, is a Government institution, and was established in April, 1902, as a reformatory for inebriates. It is situated well up the valley, in a quiet, healthy and picturesque spot, nearly two miles from the township, and is approached by a good metal road. The farm 900 acres in extent, is of a broken nature, and possesses some of the finest scenery in the district. Tree-ferns and favourite plants and shrubs grow in great variety on the lower levels, and thick ti-tree and other native bushes clothe the hillsides. An arm of the sea, making its way up the valley, reaches nearly as far as the institution. The main building, or male department, was originally erected as a private school. It is of wood, two stories in height, and possesses about twenty rooms, all well furnished and conveniently appointed. The female retreat, situated some distance off, is a single-storey building, and contains fourteen rooms, also well furnished and well kept. There is a third building, which provides room for further classification. The residence of the medical superintendent is situated a few chains from the men's quarters. A garden of considerable area provides vegetables for the inmates of the institution, and a young orchard, now (1904) making good progress, will soon furnish a supply of fruit. The grounds around the female retreat are particularly attractive, and are kept in good order. There are at present (January, 1904) eighteen patients in the institution; thirteen males and five females.
Dr David Gault , M.D., F.R.C.S.E., who was appointed Superintendent of the Orokonui Home in September, 1903, was born in Ireland in 1856. He was educated in England and on the Continent, and graduated M.D. in 1901, and F.R.C.S.E. in 1902.
Mr. George Chapman , Manager of the Orokonui Home, was born in Victoria, and was for some years engaged there in mercantile life. In 1880 he came to New Zealand, and shortly after was appointed an attendant at the Sunnyside Asylum, where he remained until he obtained his present position. Mr. Chapman is further referred to at pages 158–159 of the Canterbury volume of this work.page break