Hospital stories sought for its 100th birthday

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Phil Cammish, Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief executive.
Phil Cammish, Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief executive.

Memories, anecdotes, family stories and photographs are being sought to help tell the story of Tauranga Hospital's first 100 years.

On March 6, 2014, the hospital will celebrate its centenary and Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief executive Phil Cammish is looking for stories from patients and staff covering those first 100 years.

These will be gathered and published during the centenary celebrations.

Tauranga Hospital was officially opened just under five months before the outbreak of World War I, by the Inspector-General of Hospitals Dr THA Valentine.

The first two patients admitted on March 6, 1914, were Herbert Wood, 20, and his brother, Reginald, 16 who were both diagnosed as having typhoid fever.

Forty years later, in 1950, Tauranga Hospital was considered a cottage hospital and was located a distance from town. Greerton was a Town Board and there was little housing beyond what is now 23rd Avenue.

Mr Cammish said the hospital had come a long way in 100 years.

"Today we have a modern hospital that in no way could any longer be considered a cottage hospital; and a wonderfully dedicated staff practising innovative and sometimes world-leading medicine for the people of the Bay of Plenty," he said.

"I am often told by people how proud they are of Tauranga Hospital, and especially so when they drive past and compare the buildings to the 1950's cottage hospital."

Mr Cammish said reflecting on the last 100 years presented a timely opportunity to reconnect with the past and discover stories about people who have worked at the hospital during that time.

Those stories and pictures can be emailed to or shared on our @BoP - DHB twitter feed using the hashtag #TgaHosp100.

"Information gathered will also be published on our website and on story boards which will be on display during the centennial celebrations," said Mr Cammish.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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