Westland Hospital war memorial wing

Westland Hospital war memorial wing

Peace celebrations in Hokitika on 19 July 1919 included the unveiling of the foundation stone of a proposed war memorial wing at Westland Hospital. This was inscribed: ERECTED AS A / MEMORIAL / TO WESTLAND’S FALLEN / IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919 / PEACE DAY JULY 19TH 1919.

Fundrasing continued for several years. However, when a new ward was completed as part of the new wing in late 1923, it was named the Mandl Wing in honour of the late Joseph Mandl, a major donor. The new administration block was completed the following year.

Westland Hospital fared badly during the health reforms of the 1980s. In 1985, despite fierce public protests, the Mandl Ward was closed. The remainder of the hospital was closed in 1989. The buildings were still largely intact when Hokitika residents laid a wreath on 30 April 1992 commemorating the closure, but were subsequently demolished.

After the influenza epidemic of 1919, a memorial plaque was erected at the hospital in honour of three nurses who had died (‘In memory of / nurses / Ethel V. Spring / Minnie B/ Dixon / Wilhelmina Davis / who died Nov. 1918 / of influenza contracted while on duty’). The whereabouts today of the memorial foundation stone and the influenza memorial plaque are unknown.

See; ‘The Celebrations’, Grey River Argus, 19/7/1919, p. 3; ‘To Builders’ [advertisement], Press, 1/3/1922, p. 12; ‘Westland Hospital: Extensive Alterations’, Press, 10/11/1923, p. 11; Peter Neame, Save Our Hospital: Hokitika Fights Back, Greymouth, 1987; Paul Jamieson, A brief look at the history of Westland hospital, videorecording, 1992.

Site Style Ornamentation Unveiling Date No of Dead
Beside road Hospital Cross 19-Jul-1919  

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Posted: 30 Jul 2022

The foundation stone has been found and is now by the water feature next to the old Admin Block at Seaview Hospital.