Topic: Recollection of Nola Cochrane, Patient, 1953

Topic type:

Dr Sligo and Hutchenson At the age of 28, married with three young children, I’d recently returned from India to begin a new life at Mount Maunganui. Soon afterwards however, I became ill with rheumatic fever and needed to be admitted as a patient to Tauranga Hospital. 

When arrangements had been made for my family to be cared for, I gratefully packed a suitcase and caught the ferry to Tauranga – alighting near the town centre, a taxi took me to the hospital. 

From there, things went a little awry! To begin with, I’d arrived alone and carrying a suitcase (for a stay of several weeks). I was probably mistaken for a new live-in housekeeper as I found myself deposited in an unfamiliar part of the hospital.  

While considering what to do next and feeling embarrassed, a man nearby noticed me. He was middle-aged, stocky, casually dressed, and cheeky! He could have been the caretaker, gardener or similar. Nevertheless he approached me kindly and offered assistance.

 “I’m a patient to be admitted to the hospital,” I said, and as an afterthought, added, “with rheumatic fever!” 

“Then you shouldn’t be carrying that suitcase – give it to me,” he replied sternly. “I’ll carry it for you and take you to the Ward Sister’s office.”  Perhaps he was the porter and not the caretaker? I meekly followed this man until we’d reached the Ward Sister’s office. 

“Your patient has arrived,” he grandly announced loudly; winking at me and handing the suitcase to a nurse.  “Find her a bed,” he ordered and abruptly left – but not as either the caretaker, the porter, or similar….but as the superintendent of the hospital!

Dr Sligo pictured here left with Dr Huchenson at right.

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion


Recollection of Nola Cochrane, Patient, 1953

First Names:Nola
Last Name:Cochrane
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Recollection of Nola Cochrane, Patient, 1953 by Tauranga City Libraries Staff - HC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License