A Princess By Any Other Name

NZ Today - - LETTERS -

Hello Sarah, My hus­band and I have just spent two nights in Han­mer Springs and whilst there I opened the lat­est edi­tion of NZTODAY which had ar­rived ear­lier in the week. I was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in read­ing Al­lan Dick’s ar­ti­cle “A Camp­ing Ex­trav­a­ganza – The Grande Tour” as we too have toured the South Is­land with our car­a­van but al­ways look­ing out for places we may have missed or need to re­visit.

Many of the places Al­lan Dick stopped at we are fa­mil­iar with, es­pe­cially Han­mer Springs where we stay fre­quently. I was sur­prised how­ever on read­ing about Han­mer, that Al­lan re­ferred to the Hospi­tal there as Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal (see pg. 86) when in fact it is the Queen Mary Hospi­tal.

It was built by the Depart­ment of De­fence in 1916 on the site of a pre­vi­ous 1897 sana­to­rium and was used for con­va­les­cent soldiers re­turned from World War I. Later, the hospi­tal was used for hy­drother­apy and treat­ment of func­tional ner­vous dis­or­ders un­til 1971, and then as an al­co­holic re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre.

In 1968, my mother suf­fered from a men­tal break­down (prob­a­bly now de­ter­mined as suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion) and was sent to Queen Mary Hospi­tal for treat­ment for three months. She didn’t speak very of­ten about her stay there, as some of the treat­ment she re­ceived was very harsh and she didn’t want to keep the mem­o­ries.

I am a fairly re­cent sub­scriber to NZTODAY, hav­ing seen a copy at a friend’s home, but just think it’s great. I of­ten don’t open it to read un­til I know that I will have some “me” time to read it in peace and quiet. Re­gards Inga Cot­ton P.S. I was sur­prised that Al­lan Dick whilst at Okar­ito on the West Coast, did not men­tion An­dris (Andy) Apse who lives there with his part­ner Lynne Bond. An­dris is one of New Zealand’s most distin­guished land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers. Per­haps, a story of its own for the fu­ture? E ED. Hi Inga and thank you for your l let­ter. Han­mer is a fab­u­lous spot, n not the least be­cause of its hot p pools. Thank you for clar­i­fy­ing t the name of the hospi­tal. I also m men­tioned a bit about the his­tory of the Queen Mary Hospi­tal in my re­cent Molesworth Sta­tion story… let’s hope I got the name right. Per­haps Al­lan was con­fus­ing it with the Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal in Christchurch, or per­haps he has a soft spot for the Queen’s late younger sis­ter?

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