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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Charitable Institutions

page 59

Charitable Institutions.

Actual want is not common in New Zealand, where there are not such extremes of wealth and poverty as there are in European countries. Still the thing is at least elementally present, and Old Age Pensions have been instituted to aid those who, through no personal fault, fail to accumulate sufficient wealth to tide them over in their declining years. But the State pensions are not looked upon as a charity, nor the pensioners as persons who have suffered any loss of human dignity. In the province of Nelson, Hospital and Charitable Aid Boards sit at Nelson, Westport and Reefton. In the city there is a home for aged settlers in destitute circumstances; and many pioneers, of both sexes, have in their old age accepted the relief offered by this institution, where they may spend their remaining years without suffering any loss of self-respect. There are also private orphanages; such as the Girls' Orphanage, in connection with the Convent, and the St. Andrew's Anglican Orphanage. At Stoke there is the St. Mary's Orphanage and Industrial School, which is referred to in another section of this vol-
Nelson Hospital.

Nelson Hospital.

page 60 ume. Nelson also has a Public Hospital, and a mental hospital for persons whose minds need special treatment.

The Nelson Hospital is sitnated on a site of seven acres on the Waimea Road; it includes the surgeon's residence and grounds, and commands an excellent view. The building, which is constructed of wood, contains two large wards for males and females respectively, a supplementary or overflow ward, two isolation rooms, two dining rooms, an operating room, a smoking room for convalescents, and a sitting-room for female convalescents, a kitchen and laundry, and rooms for the nurses and the dispenser; also a waiting-room and a consulting-room for outdoor patients. The hospital can accommodate forty-five patients, as the men's ward contains twenty-three beds, and the women's twenty-two. The staff consists of the resident surgeon (Dr. W. J. Mackay), a matron, dispenser, two charge nurses, an assistant nurse, and seven probationers.

Dr. William James Mackay , Resident Surgeon at the Nelson Hospital, was appointed to the position in 1900. Formerly, Dr. Mackay was in practice as a medical practitioner in Nelson. He graduated M.D. with distinction in first doctorate (Brussels, 1885), L.R.C.P. and L.M. (Ireland 1878), and L.R.C.S. (1878). Dr. Mackay is a prizeman in anatomy and practical chemistry, and in surgery, and the practice of medicine. He is a member of the British Medical Association (Medical Directory, 1887). He practised for several years in the Old Country, and is a member of the Junior Conservative Club, London.

Nelson Mental Hospital.

Nelson Mental Hospital.

Miss Davis , Matron of the Nelson Hospital, was born in Clifton, Gloucestershire, England. She received her training as a nurse in London, and afterwards followed her profession in Belfast, and in Sheffield. In 1902 she came out to New Zealand, and for a few months practised as a private nurse in Auckland, after which she received an appointment at the Government Sanatorium, Cambridge. Miss Davis accepted her present appointment in November, 1904.

The Nelson Mental Hospital is situated at the back of the Boys' College, on a splendid site of sixty-nine acres. It faces the Waimea Road, and commands a capital view of the neighbourhood. Originally the hospital was domiciled in the Taranaki Buildings, which were constructed for refugees during the Taranaki war of 1864. As time went on the building became too small and dilapi- page 61 dated, and the present one was constructed under the Nelson Provincial Government. At first, it accommodated only a very small number of patients, and additions have been made from time to time. The latest was erected during 1898, and consists of a detached brick building, with accommodation for fifty-four male patients. In the centre of the block there is a two-storey wooden building, which has two wings. That on the right, facing Waimea Road, is set apart for males, and contains four associated dormitories, and sixteen bedrooms, with a reading room well stocked with suitable literature, and a billiard room, which affords excellent pastime for the patients. The female wing on the left is divided somewhat in the same manner, with four associated dormitories and sixteen bedrooms, and the sitting room and conveniences are similar to those in the male department. The main building affords accommodation for one hundred patients. The annual admissions average twenty-two, and the recoveries have been fifty per cent. on admissions. The well-kept grounds of the hospital are a credit to the establishment, and the ground is at all times taxed to its utmost with the kitchen garden, orchard, flower gardens, etc. All the vegetables used in the institution are grown on the premises. The orchard is well stocked with choice fruit trees, and there a few hours are daily whiled away by some of the patients. The flower garden is very beautiful, and is kept in a state of artistic perfection. In the management of the hospital the principle of keeping patients, male and female, suitably employed is acted upon, and little if anything in the nature of gloom is apparent in the life of the place. Dances and other entertainments are held frequently, and are attended by the townsfolk, and occasionally boys from the College do all in their power to make the patients enjoy themselves. Theatrical companies who visit Nelson usually invite the patients to witness a performance, and the hospital staff arranges picnics in summer and parties in winter. In 1898 a tennis lawn was laid down, and patients take a keen interest in the game.

Mr. George Chapman , Superintendent of the Nelson Mental Hospital, received his present appointment in 1904. He was for several years on the staff of the Sunnyside Asylum, and is referred to in that connection at pages 158–159 of the Canterbury volume of this work.

St. Mary's Orphanage And Industrial School , Stoke, Nelson. This institution is charmingly situated amongst hills, with gigantic blue gums and fir trees in the background, and an unsurpassed view of the harbour and Mount Arthur in the distance. The building, which is one of the handsomest of its kind in New Zealand, is an admirable monament to the taste and talent of the architect, Mr. John S, Swan, of Wellington, and to the skill and workmanship of the Buildér, Mr. William Grant, of Nelson. The style is slightly Romanesque; and the building, which is throughout of brick, on concrete foundations, has plaster facings, with five gables showing to the front, and is roofed with Marseilles tiles. The length of the building is 240 feet, depth 157 feet, and the average height of the rooms, of which there are thirty-five, is fifteen feet. Special attention has been paid to lighting, two wells having been placed in the centre for that purpose, and each room contains far more than the number of windows generally found in such institutions. To ensure perfect ventilation, Boyle's fan ventilators have been installed, and huge fireplaces have been built in the principal rooms to ensure the comfort of the inmates. There are three class rooms, each 22 feet 6 inches by 22 feet; a dining hall 43 feet 6 inches by 25 feet; two dormitories, 82 feet by 36 feet and 75 feet by 35 feet 9 inches, each containing 50 beds. Off these rooms there are dressing rooms, and a lavatory measuring 48 feet by 12 feet 6 inches, with a three-inch table running nearly the length of the room, with a pipe earrying running water, and a tap for each of the numerous bowls on either side of the table, A channel down the centre of the table carries away the water, and there are six large bath tubs with a supply of hot and cold water. The dressing room is fitted with lockers, wardrobes, and hanging presses. Over 257 feet of corridors with a width of 8 feet, run through the building, and in all the rooms and halls there is a five-feet dado. A little to the left of the centre of the building there is a chapel and sacristy, over which there is a bell tower, which rises to a height of about 60 feet from the ground. A beautiful memorial window has been placed in the chapel to perpetuate the name of the late Very Rev. Dean Mahoney. Thirteen concrete steps lead up to the main entrance, with a reception room on the right and an office on the left; and a beautiful arch spans the vestibule. To the rear and detached from the main building, there is further accommodation, which includes a hospital containing a ward 36 feet by 18 feet, the nurse's rooms, a Kitchen a bathroom, and a lavatory. All the bricks used in the crection of the Home were made in the kilns on the property, on which brickmaking has become an important industry. The hop fields connected with the Home have averaged as high as half-a-ton to the acre. The property is nearly 700 acres in extent, and has its own private reservoir. There are ninety-two boys at the school. The Rev. George Mahony is at the head of the institution, and is ably assisted by Mr. and Mrs. William Fitzgerald, and a staff of secular teachers.

Tyree, photo.

Mr. W. Grant, Builder of St. Mary's Orphanage.

Mr. W. Grant, Builder of St. Mary's Orphanage.

The Rev. George Mahony , Principal of St. Mary's Orphanage and Industrial School, Stoke, Nelson, is further referred to in the ecclesiastical section of this volume.

Mr. William Fitzgerald , Resident Master of St. Mary's Orphanage and Industrial School, Stoke, was born in Hokitika, in 1870. He was appointed to his present position in 1901.

The Old People's Home , in Waimea Street, Nelson, is centrally situated. It was built many years ago, and was originally intended for an immigration barracks. The buildings have two stories, and contain fiftyfour rooms, of which forty are bedrooms. Services are held at the Home during the week and on Sundays by ministers of different denominations. The Old People's Home is in charge of a matron and one assistant.