Topic: Dr S.H. Hay ca 1885-1970

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Long medical ties with Rotorua c1910-1966

Excerpt from Daily Post, 9/12/1966

"Dr S. H. Hay, M.B.E, whose medical ties with Rotorua date back to 1910, is leaving Rotorua tomorrow.

The 81-year old doctor has been in private practice in Rotorua for 46 years.  Awarded Life Membership to five Rotorua organisations: The Rotorua Club, Rotorua Golf Club, Rotorua Racing Club, Rotorua Tennis Club and RSA.

Dr Hay recalls the city was a 'mere hamlet' in 1910 when the spa treatments from Rotorua's thermal waters was in full swing. "The spas were a bigger attraction than the geysers then", recalls Dr Hay. 

Dr Hay was in England at the outbreak of World War 1 and was a medical officer with a British regular battalion before joining the New Zealand division. Mentioned in dispatches, the doctor received the M.B.E. for his services during the war.  He returned to Rotorua in 1921 and took up a private medical practice. There were only two doctors in Rotorua. The general hospital, with only four beds, was attached to a rheumatic sanitorium, this building now called Gardenholm and used as a home for elderly men"

 "In the bad winters in the early 1920s it was impossible to get four miles from Rotorua in any direction" he said. Chains were common equipment with motorists in those days and the major obstacle was mud. Dr Hay was often forced to ride the final part of his rounds on horse back"

With thanks to Daily Post, 6 July 1970 for the following information:

Dr Hay died in Chelsea, England on 18 June 1970,  but his ashes were returned to Rotorua where he is buried in the Sala Street Cemetery with his wife Josephine.  Dr Hay was remembered to be a man of 'service', he thought for and about his patients, and an increasing number, it is more than suspected, were added to his free list.

Doctor Hay lived on the NE corner of Fenton and Pukaki Streets and had his surgery attached to the house. The house was demolished by 1987 when the current building was built.

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