Nurse a spe­cial trea­sure

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

Af­ter 41 years work­ing at Queen­stown’s hos­pi­tal as a nurse and care­giver, 84-year-old Judy Ste­wart is now older than many of her pa­tients.

In that time she has had no sick days but has re­tired four times – each time re­turn­ing af­ter a plea for help.

‘‘I think they just needed staff and all her mates are here any­way,’’ chuck­led proud son Grant Ste­wart as his mother was recog­nised with a may­oral ci­ta­tion this week.

Judy said she was happy to help when she could, adding: ‘‘I just live around the cor­ner and I’m on my own.’’

Af­ter train­ing as a nurse in Ti­maru she moved to Queen­stown with her hus- band and two sons in 1975.

For 27 years, she worked in the hos­pi­tal as front line staff.

‘‘I re­tired from that job three times. Then I came here [the Lake Wakatipu Home and Hos­pi­tal] for a week to help them out be­cause they were short of staff and I’ve been here 14 years.’’

She re­tired from that po­si­tion in Novem­ber but re­turned as a ca­sual staff mem­ber when she was called about three weeks later.

Queen­stown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said she had given about 16 may­oral ci­ta­tions in the last six years, recog­nis­ing the quiet achiev­ers in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘You are a very spe­cial trea­sure. We are lucky to have you liv­ing here.’’

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