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Hawke’s Bay Hospital Anzac Day celebrations...

15 April 2004

Hawke’s Bay Hospital Anzac Day celebrations …

Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital at Hastings was officially opened by the Minister of Health, the Hon. JA Young on Anzac Day April 25th 1928. Since then, as the official war memorial for Hastings, the hospital has hosted a public ceremony each Anzac Day.

Since the early 1900s visionary and generous Hawke’s Bay communities have supported the continual development of a health facility with history recording that as early as 1906 citizens of the Hastings District (population 4,594) began fundraising to establish a community hospital.

By 1923 the funds had reached ten thousand pounds and property was purchased along Omahu Road for two thousand, seven hundred and ninety six pounds. Over the next five years planning and building progressed steadily culminating in the opening on Anzac Day 1928 of The Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital. Wards accommodated 20 patients, including seven maternity cases. A further 10 patients could be accommodated on sun porches and verandahs.

Today Hawke’s Bay Hospital Soldiers Memorial (renamed in 1998) is a 400 bed accredited facility which includes an operating suite with six theatres (plus endoscopy suite), a coronary care unit, 38 bed assessment and rehabilitation unit including a six bed head injury unit, paediatric services include the child development unit and special care baby unit, obstetric and maternity services, intensive care unit (plus four high dependency beds), isolation rooms for burns and infectious diseases, and a 22 bed mental health inpatient unit.

This Anzac Day a number of events are planned to mark over seventy five years of service delivery from the Hastings campus including: a memorabilia display in the main entrance foyer, a 1920s theme throughout the hospital. On Saturday members of the public are invited to book a place on tours through the radiology and operating theatres.

The same afternoon the new AT&R gardens will be officially opened at 2.00pm. Re-developed with the support of TransFusion Foundation and community organisations the gardens provide a restful and therapeutic spot for patients, family and visitors.

The Anzac Day service is on Sunday 25th April at 10.00am with the weekend’s activities concluding with an evensong service at the Hospital Chapel at 7.00pm.

Tours of the radiology and operating theatre areas begin at 10.00am, numbers are limited and participants must be over 10 years of age (proof of age may be requested). Members of the public are invited to book their tour time with Judie on 878 8109 extn. 4659 before April 22nd.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chief executive officer, Chris Clarke says “This is a very special occasion for us, one to reflect on how far we have come and on the service and sacrifice of many. The journey has been an eventful one for Hawke’s Bay people – and as it continues it is the pride and passion of our staff that makes me excited in the future for health in Hawke’s Bay.”


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