Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Thames (NZ): Nursing & Rest homes on the Thames Coast in the 1930s

We have previously looked at private healthcare at the Thames, Private hospitals such as Braemar and Sperry Maternity Home supplemented public health services during the early 1900s to the 1940s.

What about health services along the Coast?
The Thames Coast became popular for holiday breaks as roading improved. Also during the 1930s Depression and the 1940s War Years, the coast became a popular holiday destination. Not too far to travel, either by personal or service car.

While checking the details for the death of Ruth Pocock, the newspaper mentioned a private nursing home to the north of Thames at Te Puru. Where was it?

The Greenstone Door Rest Home was run during the late 1930s by Sister Ruth Pocock nee Ford. Ruth had trained at Christchurch Hospital and graduated in 1912. She advertised that her home offered rest and recuperation (no children allowed), and was under the supervision of a registered nurse.

New Zealand Herald 14 February 1938,
 In the book Coromandel Coast by Eugene and Valerie Grayland (published 1965), the Rest Home is mentioned. They note that there is a house named "The Greenstone Door" and that it was believed that a book by that name was written from that site. (Book cover right)

This myth was proven to be incorrect. Instead, "Mr A H Reed points out, the house was so named by a former occupant who was an admirer of [author William] Satchell's work. Satchell, however, did once live in the locality while employed as a clerk in Gibbon's sawmill at Kopu."

Boomerang Motor Camp, Te Puru 1965.
Maybe someone knows where the Greenstone Door House was located? Was it near the camping ground? Maybe it still bears the name  "The Greenstone Door"? Drop me a line if you know more.

I suspect there were more of these nursing homes aka rest homes down the coast. Was there one at Thornton's Bay? or was that just a boardinghouse. Thinking caps on everyone, lets see what we can remember.