Hospice trust thanks Hope

ROBIN RAYMOND
Last updated 12:28 03/12/2012

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After nine years working with the Hospice Marlborough, former hospice trust chairman Gerald Hope did not manage to slip out the door as he planned.

Mr Hope was thanked for his work with the trust at a cocktail evening attended by about 40 hospice supporters at the Auntsfield Winery on Friday night.

Trust chairwoman Ann Rutledge, who replaced Mr Hope at the end of September, said he had been involved from the very beginning of the hospice project and became chairman in 2005.

Everyone at the hospice was indebted to him for seeing the trust through some tough years financially and overseeing an expansion of it's six-bed site on the grounds at Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim.

Mr Hope said he had hoped to slip out the door, but was grateful for the recognition. The hospice was a great success story, thanks to community support, he said.

It was also an example of the determination and ambition of people in Marlborough.

"There has been a tradition here in the last few decades where some of the most controversial things we have wanted to do, we have done, which is fantastic," he said.

Mrs Rutledge also acknowledged the $50,000 given to the hospice by Mark Stevenson and his business Mark Stevenson First National Real Estate during the past decade.

Mr Stevenson said he first heard about the idea for the hospice after reading an article in the Marlborough Express and immediately got in touch with the organisers.

"I had an aunty in Timaru who was instrumental in setting up a hospice there so I saw the value of the hospice and when I read in the paper about the hospice being started here, it was an easy decision."

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- The Marlborough Express

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