Medical history on show

Last updated 10:36 03/05/2012
Rose Secker
Petra Finer
Rose Secker in the Stratford Hospital Museum located at Stratford's Pioneer Village.

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It only feels like yesterday that Rose Secker was working in Stratford's now demolished Avon Medical Care Centre as a nurse-in-training.

All young nurses underwent training in all areas of medicine and spent at least some time in the maternity unit at Avon.

"It was very sad to see such a good hospital go down," she says.

She had initially hoped to see the Avon kept but says it was pretty clear it had to be demolished after last years' February 9 fire.

"When we looked into it we could see the fire was far more serious than we'd imagined and we knew that it would have to go."

Mrs Secker is also the president of the group that has taken on the task of preserving Stratford's medical history.

She says the group is made up of mostly nurses that shared a sense of loss when, in 1996, the main hospital and now maternity hospital, were demolished.

"We have our own committee with around 100 members," she says.

Most of the fixtures and furniture originated from one of the two hospitals, or other's in the area. There is even an original "iron lung" from Hawera Hospital.

"I think having a museum has kept the nurses together," she says.

"It hasn't been done anywhere else, no one's set up an actual hospital museum.

"It's wonderful that we've saved all this, because where would it go?"

The memorabilia is well worth a look and can be viewed at Stratford's Pioneer Village.


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