THE HYMAN MARKS WARD
LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE. The hospital grounds looked at their very best yesterday afternoon, when the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new Hyman Marks Ward was performed. Members of the present Hospital Board were strongly in evidence, and the i well-known faces of members of past Boards could be recognised everywhere. The local contributing bodies were also strongly represented. There was also a large attendance of ladies, of the general public, and of hospital patients. The public proceedings were opened by Mr 1 R. D. Thomas, the chairman of the present Hospital Board. Mr Thomas said that his duty on this occasion as chairman was a simple one. He had merely to ask Messrs C. Louisson and A. Fergusson, the trustees under -the will of the late Mr Hyman Marks, to perform their' duties. Want : of accommodation and classification had : for years been severely felt in the hospital, . and his remarks were specially emphasised . by the periodical outbreaks of fever and diphtheria, which resulted in the overi. crowding, of the.wardswhich.were occupied by these cases. Though assistance had often been asked from successive Governments in such emergencies, no adequate assistance had been forthcoming. The late Mr Hyman Marks, having no children to whom to bequeath his wealth, had decided to richly endow the hospital, and for this purpose he had given .£SOOO. The Board, acting on his wishes, had called tenders for plans, and construction, but found that the lowest tender would cost .£I2OO more than the bequest. • Under these circumstances, the Board appointed a committee to interview the trustees to see if they could make this sum up out of other trust funds also bequeathed to charitable purposes by the late Mr Marks. The trustees. Isaw their way to appropriate .£SOO foi* this purpose, which carried with it the Government subsidy of .£6OO. This and Mr Gamniack's bequest stood pre-eminent among individual New Zealand legacies for charitable purposes. When these wards were completed they would be the finest in New Zealand, and Canterbury would owe their possession to the late Mr Hyman Marks. He would now call on Messrs Fergusson and Louisson to lay the stone. The foundation stone was then accurately lowered to its bearings.. It'bore the following inscription :—" Hyman Marks Ward, 1896. R. D. Thomas, Esqujre, Chairman Canterbury Hospital Board, Frederick Stfouts and R. M. Ballantyne architects, W. H. Bowen contractor." Mr C. Louisson, stepping forward, declared the stone well and truly laid. He said that Mr Fergusson and himself had been asked to perform a very interesting ceremony. They felt highly the honour that had been done' them in connection with this ceremony. Mr Thomas had fully explained the circumstances of the delay in connection with the erection of this ward. Lack of money had been the only cause, and the representations to the Government for assistance were, as they knew, unsuccessful. But for the charity and generosity of Mr Marks many years might have elapsed before the ward was erected.. That ward was practically an accomplished fact now. Considering the wealth and productiveness of the Canterbury province; and tlie number of people who. had acquired wealth in that province, the number of charitable bequests had been comparatively small. He could only hope that the example set by Mr Marks would be more widely 'followed in the future. The present accommodation of the hospital consisted of 11G beds, but to the difficulty caused by overcrowding Avas added that of want of classification of wards. The new building would not only provide for fifty extra patients, but would afford better classification. The operating theatre would be between the female and male departments, and would be easily accessible from either. The building would be erected in accordance with the latest modern ideas, and would embody all the newest improvements. When finished it would be unique in design.and construction, and would compare favourably with any similar building in any part of the world. The site for the hospital was admirably chosen, and whoever chose it — he thought the Provincial Council of Canterbury (A voice : "Dr Turnbull ") — had a wonderful idea of beauty and utility. At this time of year, with its neatly trimmed lawns and flower-beds, the hospital grounds were as pretty as anything near Christchurch. Such pleasant adjuncts as these would doubtless aid greatly in the recovery of • convalescent patients. The various Boards in office since the passing of the Charitable Aid Act were deserving of high praise. Their work was everlasting, their wages— abuse from everyone. Any body of men thus working deserved the praise of their fellows. The Chairman had told them about the funds. The Board had to start building without the necessary supply of money. They had now enough to complete the building itself, but fittings and furniture must still be provided. For these it was necessary to obtain funds from some other source. He (Mr Louisson) did nob know a more worthy cause, and here was a chance for some philanthropist to come forward. What circumstances could appeal more strongly to the healthy and well-to-do than the cause of the maimed and those unable to help themselves? For himself, as a member of old Boards, he never went through the wards without feel : ng himself improved. In that hospital the poorest in the land received attention and scientific advice equal in all respects to that commanded by the million-' I aire. Nothing was spared that money. I could buy. If a patient was not worth one
penny lie got the very bosV advice and the. very best .treatment. .If this did not appeal ; to their sympathies he did not know what would. Let those who had more than they . could use give of their superfluity to relieve suffering and pain. Who gave; twice gave thrice, because Government subsidised . these offerings to the extent of twentyfour shillings in the pound. Mr Louisson also said that there were plenty who could relieve' the tedium and monotony of the patients without money. Mr Marks, in addition to the bequest for building the ward, had also left .£SOOO to the destitute patients' relief fund. The good effects to be expected from this were obvious. For many years^ committee of ladies and gentlemen had kept this fund going, and it was probably a' knowledge of their diffi'culties and necessities that had led "Mr Marks thus to supplement his other donation. The investment of this sum would supply a fund which would provide for; a much-needed want. In conclusion, Mr Louisson hoped that the building would be as handsome and useful as they desired and would perpetuate the memory of its founder. Mr A. Fergusson said he had great pleasure in being there. In the mention of leading bequests, that of the late Mr Stark had been omitted, and if Mr Stark had not been struck down so suddenly, the amount might have been larger. Mr Marks had saved the sums presented to the hospital by his own energy, foresight and thrift. There was just one matter he (Mr Fergusson) would like to mention. The original suggestion for these bequests was made by Dr Ovenden, who was Mr Marks's medical adviser. The good suggestions of Dr Ovenden were further .urged by Mr P. Kippenberger— the,, solicitor— - whom' they all knewV ''Unless' Mr C. M. Gray'was dictator of New Zealand within the next, two or three years, he/(Mr Fergusson) hoped to drain a bumper to the health of the completed building. The medical profession were for once agreed that all details had been thought out in a thorough and masterly manner, and adapted with wonderful care. He thought that Mr Strouts must have served an apprenticeship in the medical line before taking up architecture as a study. This closed the proceedings, and an adjournment was made to the Board-room, where a handsome silver trowel bearing the following inscription was presented to Messrs C. Louisson and A. Fergusson : — "Presented to trustees of the late Hy man Marks, C. Louisson and A. Fergusson, Esqs., on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the Hyman Marks "Wards, Christclrurch Hospital, New Zealand. Sept. 3, 1896. R. D. Thomas, Esq. (chairman of Canterbury Hospital Board), Frederick Strouts and R. A. Ballantyne (architects), "W. H. Bowen, contractor."