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Official Guide to the Government Court: N.Z. Centennial Exhibition

Health Department

Health Department

The Health Department's display is based on modern exhibition technique in that it represents a theme worked out in stages.

The subject taken up is the healthy family and it is worked out along two lines:—(1) Good health—how to develop it, and (2) good health—how to protect it. The subject is advanced progressively in 12 successive bays which are arranged in the form of an irregular ellipse.

One feature of the display which it is thought is entirely new to the public and undoubtedly creates unusual interest is the introduction of a robot as a walking and talking doctor.

The display is designated "The Highway to Health and Happiness."

Visitors assemble at the doctor's consulting room, which is behind the large globe in the Education exhibit. Every 30 minutes the door of the consulting room opens automatically, and the doctor, 5ft. 10in. tall and looking the part in every way, walks out of the door and invites the public to join him in a tour of the exhibit.

The doctor not only walks and talks, but also uses his arms and turns his head.

His first stop is .at the first bay, where he displays a model of the human trunk from the diaphragm upwards, demonstrating how complex is the human system. In this same bay a small motion picture operates, showing the human heart actually at work. Other subjects relating to the circulation of the blood are also shown. After a short talk the doctor passes on to the next bay, which represents the healthy start in life. In this bay there is a very attractive illuminated model of the proposed four-story St. Helen's Hospital, Christchurch. The model sits on the top deck of a revolving turn-table, on the lower deck of which appears, in larger scale, models of interesting sections of the hospital.

After completing his talk here the doctor moves on to the next bay, which deals with health during the school life. Here is seen a model school dental clinic, swimming bath and playing grounds with a landscape background. A health camp is visible in the distance and a lorry appears from a pasteurising factory, bringing milk to the school.

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Two short motion pictures illustrate the School Medical and School Dental services at work.

When his appropriate chat at this bay is finished, the doctor passes on to the next bay demonstrating health at home. This bay is completed as a model dining-room, with a family of five seated at the table. Recommended foods for breakfast, midday and evening meals appear in rotation on the table. The doctor, in his chat, stresses the importance of nutrition in the development of life.

In the next section, which is devoted to health at play, is depicted a series of outdoor games and pastimes. Children are seen at a paddling pool, sand pit and cave. Tennis and basketball games are in progress. A cycle race is going on, encompassing an area where field sports are in progress. A model swimming bath and gymnasium are also included. Along the back are brilliantly-lighted transparencies in which various games are graphically displayed. Needless to say, the doctor's chat at this bay deals with the importance of physical recreation in the development of physical fitness.

The doctor's next visit is to the Health at Work section. Here is a large model factory with offices, and woodwork and paint shops. Animation indicates industrial safety and hygiene in an interesting and graphic manner.

The climax of the developmental side is reached at the end of the ellipse which is devoted to "The Health Family in the Happy Home" display. Here is seen a charming home in beautifully laid-out grounds and a garden with fountain playing on the lawn, etc. Two of the children are riding about on tricycles, and while "father" is occupied with the cutting of the lawn, "mother" appears on the veranda with afternoon tea. This scene is used by the doctor as the basis for a talk on life with a capital "L"

Having rounded the end of the ellipse, visitors find that the bays down the other side are devoted to the protection of good health.

The first one illustrates the Port Health Service at work. A steamer approaching from overseas flashes out its health report. A small moving picture illustrates the receipt of the message by the Port Health doctor and his subsequent visit to the vessel when she arrives. Cases of infectious disease on board are removed by ambulance to hospital. In the same bay is a miniature aerodrome with a model aeroplane circling overhead, to emphasise that a similar procedure will be followed in connection with the inauguration of air services from overseas.

The second bay in the programme of protection deals with immunisation. The scene is occupied by a healthy girl. Four coloured imps representing various diseases are shooting darts, in the form of Neon lights, at the girl, but the lights fade out, indicating that the girl is free from attack because she is immunised.

The next display deals with protection against tuberculosis, and has a lesson for everyone, both in the display and in the doctor's talk.

In the succeeding bay, personal hygiene is featured as a means of protection to the individual, the points illustrated being cleanliness, food, rest, periodical overhaul by doctor, dentist and optician, and physical exercise.

The final display is in the form of a summary of different phases of life.

(1)mother and baby in a perambulator.
(2)Toddlers playing.
(3)Boy and girl en route to school in the rain, suitably clothed for inclement weather.page 13
(4)Workman digging in a trench.
(5)Woman working over kitchen stove.

After completing his chats the doctor invites the public to go to the Department's literature stall, where a wide range of booklets is on display and for sale.

The doctor then re-enters his consulting room to await the next tour.

The whole display works automatically, the bays are arranged artistically and every feature is synchronised so as to awaken and sustain the interest of the public throughout their visit.