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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Charitable Institutions

Charitable Institutions.

The Hawera District Hospital and Charitable Aid Board became a separate body in December, 1902, when the district was separated from that of Taranaki, which with it had formerly been connected. The Hawera district includes the counties of Hawera and Egmont, and the boroughs of Hawera and Eltham, and the Board makes an annual requisition for funds. The annual expenditure, including charitable aid, is about £3000 per annum, and on an average 150 patients pass through the hospital each year. The secretary of the Board acts as relieving officer for the district; and a sum of about £400 a year, out of the total expenses, is paid for the support of residents in the New Plymouth Old. People's Home. Members of the Board for the year 1906; Messrs B. C. Robbins (chairman), T. A. Bridge, J. Marx, W. Duirs, M. J. Brennan, J. Boddie, and G. W. Tayler. Mr. C. E. Parrington is secretary.

The Hawera Hospital consists of a block of wood and iron building, the largest of which contains two main wards, devoted respectively to men and women, with twenty beds in the former, and fourteen in the latter ward. There are also two private wards, a doctor's room, a matron's bedroom and sitting room, a nurses' dining room, a kitchen, a good laundry, and rooms for the local staff. The hospital has a fine verandah in the front, and there is a nurses' home on the ground, and an isolation ward, with three and five beds respectively, and a room for nurses. The hospital grounds are prettily laid out in flower gardens, and there is also a large vegetable garden. Dr. F. G. Westen-ra is medical superintendent, and the matron is assisted by three nurses and three probationers; the Board also employs a cook, a laundress, a housemaid, and a gardener.

Dr. Fitzgerald George Westenra was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Hawera Hospital in the year 1896. He was born in Canterbury, and is a son of the late Mr. Richard Westenra, an old Canterbury settler, who came to New Zealand by one of the first four ships. He was educated at Christ's College, Canterbury, and subsequently went to the Old Country to study for his profession. In the year 1885 he took his diploma as L.R.C.P. and L.R.C.S. at Edinburgh, and also holds degrees as M.B. and C.M., of that University. After his return to New Zealand he was for some time house surgeon at Christchurch Hospital, and settled in Hawera about the year 1892. Dr. Westenra is further referred to as a medical practitioner.

Miss Edith Dunsford was appointed Matron of the Hawera Hospital in the year 1904. Miss Dunsford had acted as a hospital matron for six years before her appointment to the Hawera Hospital.