Do you recognise the launch in this photo?

That's what the team at QE Health Wellness Centre are asking as they count down to the 75th anniversary of their building on the lake front.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital opened in 1942 as a convalescent hospital for servicemen returning from World War II, in partnership with Ngati Whakaue who supplied Iwi land and access to the unique healing waters of the Whangapipiro Spring.

Recreation, including arts and crafts, was an important part of the treatment.


"Like days out on the lake on the El Alamein," said Stewart Edward, his father Bob was one of the original doctors at the hospital.

"I saw this photo at QE Health and thought how wonderful it would be if we could find the launch. Maybe we could reproduce the photo, though there's a lot more lake front now. We're hoping there's someone out there in Rotorua who can help."

After the war, renamed Queen Elizabeth Hospital (after the Queen Mother) and open to the public, there was the same holistic approach to healthcare focusing on chronic illnesses like arthritis, rheumatism and similar illnesses.

A new bespoke building is planned and is at concept design stage.

"The current building was only meant to be last 10 to 15 years," said QE Health CEO, Andrina Romano.

"It's served all the thousands of locals, New Zealanders and visitors from overseas who've visited for over 70 years and wears its battle scars proudly."

"In 2018 it's time for a change, but not until we've celebrated our 75th, next year."

Ms Romano said help tracking down the El Alamein wouldn't go unrewarded.

"Email us at if you have any information and be in the draw for an Aix massage under warm thermal water."