Com­mu­nity mourns the loss of a men­tor

OBIT­U­ARY

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

One of the long­est serv­ing nurses at Toko­roa Hospi­tal passed away sud­denly in Jan­uary this year.

Ann Machen, a nurse at Toko­roa Hospi­tal for 40 years, died aged 61.

As a se­nior staff nurse in the Emer­gency De­part­ment she was a well known fig­ure at the hospi­tal and was the first con­tact many lo­cal peo­ple had with hospi­tal staff when they at­tended for emer­gency treat­ment or clin­ics.

Her funeral com­mem­o­ra­tion was at­tended by a large num­ber of peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing the hospi­tal, St John’s, and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions; as well as many lo­cal fam­ily and friends from around New Zealand and overseas.

Mrs Machen was born Anne Joan Louise Wal­worth at Na­tional Women’s Hospi­tal in Auck­land on Novem­ber 30, 1951. Her mother died of com­pli­ca­tions from Per­ni­cious Anaemia when lit­tle Anne was 16 days old.

Mrs Machen lived on her fa­ther’s farm be­tween Whakatane and Opotiki where she was looked af­ter by her fa­ther and aunt.

In 1956, at the age of five, she went to live with her ma­ter­nal grand­par­ents in One­hunga, Auck­land. Un­for­tu­nately this ar­range­ment did not work out and she sub­se­quently lived with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent rel­a­tives, chang­ing schools reg­u­larly.

In 1959 she came to live on a farm in Toko­roa for a year.

She lived on Paraonui Road with her Un­cle Bree­wood and Aunt Kath Wal­worth. Dur­ing this time she at­tended Toko­roa East School.

In 1960 she re­turned to Opotiki to live with her fa­ther, older sis­ter and her brother un­til her fa­ther’s death in 1962. From that point Mrs Machen and her brother were taken care of by her sis­ter and brother-in­law.

At age 11 she joined St John’s Am­bu­lance Bri­gade youth di­vi­sion, which be­came the main fo­cus of her teenage years. As a mem­ber of St John she worked for a time as a hospi­tal aide in Opotiki Hospi­tal and it was here that she dis­cov­ered her vo­ca­tion.

In 1969 she be­gan train­ing at Waikato Hospi­tal as a reg­is­tered gen­eral/ma­ter­nity nurse. Af­ter com­plet­ing her train­ing there in 1972, she trans­ferred to Toko­roa as a staff nurse.

Ini­tially work­ing as a the­atre nurse — as the hospi­tal at that time had full med­i­cal, sur­gi­cal and the­atre fa­cil­i­ties — she later worked as a staff nurse in the wards, then later trans­ferred to the Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency de­part­ment, where she served for more than 20 years.

Mrs Machen was highly re­garded and re­spected in her role as se­nior staff nurse and as a men­tor to new and younger staff mem­bers.

She was also ac­tive in the so­cial side of hospi­tal life be­ing co-or­gan­iser of many hospi­tal func­tions and re­unions over the years.

Her life out­side the hospi­tal re­volved around her fam­ily and their sport­ing in­ter­ests.

Mrs Machen’s pas­sion was net­ball, which she both played and ad­min­is­tered in Toko­roa for a num­ber of years.

When her play­ing days were over she be­came an ac­com­plished um­pire up to pro­vin­cial level, coached um­pires and be­came the draw stew­ard for Toko­roa Net­ball um­pires.

Dur­ing this time she also took up ath­let­ics and com­pleted three marathons.

In later years she and hus­band Bill, whom she mar­ried in 1971, spent hol­i­days trav­el­ling to var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions around the world, usu­ally end­ing up in the Repub­lic of Ire­land at the home in Mul­li­na­vat County Kilkenny of their daugh­ter Wendy, son-in-law Liam O’Ke­effe and their three chil­dren.

Mrs Machen is sur­vived by her hus­band Bill, son Ni­cholas, daugh­ter Wendy and her three grand­chil­dren.

ANNE LOUISE MACHEN: Novem­ber 30, 1951Jan­uary 10, 2013.

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