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Tribute to a Woman Doctor

A unique honour was paid to a lady doctor on January 25th of this year, when a statue, erected to the memory of the late Dr. Margaret Cruickshank, was unveiled at Waimate. As far as we are aware, this is the first occasion on which a statue has been erected to a doctor in New Zealand, and it speaks volumes Tor the love and esteem in which she was held by her fellow-townsmen, that they should have so honoured her. Dr. Cruickshank was endowed with attributes of both intellect and character beyond those of most women. Born at Palmerston, and educated at the Palmerston School, she won a Board School Scholarship, and then went on to the Girls ' High School, Dunedin. She became dux of this school, and later won a University Scholarship. She was a avonian of strong character, great-hearted, generous, loving and sympathetic; in. all her work she upheld the highest ideals of the medical profession, and when the great epidemic swe/pt over New Zealand, she never spared herself. She remained at her post for several days after she had herself contracted the disease in a fatal form, and only igave in finally when she was completely spent. The inscription on her statue Avas chosen with full appreciation of the manner of her death : The Beloved Physician Faithful unto Death. She has set a high standard for future female medical practitioners to live up to. The statue is an imposing one, sculptured from the best Italian marble from Carrara, and is situated in Seddon Park. It stands about 17 feet high, the figure itself being 9 feet, and the sculptors have been fortunate in getting a remarkably true expression of the features. The speakers at the unveiling ceremony were Mv. Hart, Chairman of the County Council (in the chair), Mr. Bitchener, M.P., representing Government and Minister of Health; Dr. Emily Siedeberg, represent-

ing N.Z. Medical Women's Association; .Miss Allen, representing Otago University Women's Association; the Hon. E. H. Clark, representing Palmerston friends; and Mr. C. E. Bremner, representing old friends. Wreaths were presented by the X.Z. Medical Women's Association, and by the O.U.W.A.

The unveiling was performed by Mrs. Barclay, in whose home Dr. Cruickshank Had lived for twenty-three years. A large number of people had come to the ceremony from surrounding districts, and the committee very cordially invited these and the speakers to afternoon tea, when Mr. Bitchener and Mr. Bremner took the opportunity to congratulate the sculptor, Mr. Tretheway, on the excellence of- his work, and to express thanks

to those friends who had come long distances to be present. The Hon. E. H. Clark thanked the committee on behalf oi the visitors for their hospitality and expressed his gratitude at having been invited to be present. Mr. Cruiekshank returned the thanks of the family for what had taken place that day; he realised that the loss of his

sister was not only the family's loss, but also a loss to Waimate. The committee's arrangements were excellent, and the visitors from Christchurch and Dunedin were enabled to return to their respective cities the same day. (Contributed by a friend and fellowpractitioner) .

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/periodicals/KT19230401.2.23

Bibliographic details

Tribute to a Woman Doctor, Kai Tiaki : the journal of the nurses of New Zealand, Volume XVI, Issue 2, 1 April 1923

Word Count
530

Tribute to a Woman Doctor Kai Tiaki : the journal of the nurses of New Zealand, Volume XVI, Issue 2, 1 April 1923

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