With a link spanning about seven decades, Ynys Fraser probably has longer ties with QE Health than anyone else.

So when the Friends of QE Health were looking for a patron, Mrs Fraser was the obvious choice.

Her association with the organisation goes back to its very beginning when her father, Dr Wilfred Stanley Wallis, was appointed medical superintendent of what was then the Services Convalescent Hospital providing rehabilitation to soldiers returning from World War II.

"The beginning of it was a very important part of my life. It was the beginning of war, my husband was away and I had just had a baby."


While the organisation has changed over the years, becoming Queen Elizabeth Hospital and now QE Health, Mrs Fraser said she believed the philosophy he had of working towards wellness, with an uplifting attitude, remained.

Mrs Fraser, who turns 99 in August, said it was an exciting time for QE Health, as it prepared to move to a new site that was part of a major redevelopment on the lakefront.

"It was built in a temporary fashion. It's time for something different. It's a good concept in a health spa place like Rotorua which has always offered relief for a long time.

"The concept of wellness goes back to my father's way of living."

Friends of QE Health chairwoman Judy O'Sullivan said Mrs Fraser was a natural choice for the patron role.

The group, which has been around for more than 65 years, has a wide role including working as ambassadors, helping support patients, visiting patients and helping fundraise for special amenities.