There were plenty of happy memories being recalled on Friday evening when former staff of Marire Home met up at the TET Stadium Bar and Bistro to mark the closure of the Marire building.
Chairman of Marire Home, Michael Walsh, thanked those present for their service to the facility over the years.
"There are plenty of mixed emotions as we consider why we are here tonight," he said, recognising the Page St site had served the Stratford community for over eight decades, firstly as a private hospital, then used for maternity care before becoming a rest home.
Marire opened as a rest home in April 1969 and had always lived up to the name home, he said.
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"The chatter and banter I hear tonight represents exactly what Marire was always like, it was a home, it always had a homely feel to it."
Michael thanked all the former staff present at the event for their years of service to the facility.
He said the Marire name and spirit would live on, with the name to be used in some way at the new facility being developed at the MaryAnn Home site on Brecon Rd.
Stratford Mayor Neil Volzke, who was also CEO of Age Care Central for some years, said most people in Stratford had a connection of some kind with Marire.
"We all grew up with it. It is certainly a sad day in many ways, but I am encouraged to hear Michael say the Marire name will still be present in the community in some way in the future. The Marire legacy will live on."
Also present was Robyn Hooper, the former director of clinical services at Marire Home, who said she had many fond memories of her time at Marire.
"Since leaving I have spent some years travelling across New Zealand auditing aged care facilities and I always say Marire Home was the best one."