Longtime Raglan resident Myrle Robertson always supported the St John ambulance service – and it repaid her in kind, as it turned out.
Not only was the local ambulance called for when her husband Archie suffered a heart attack on the Raglan golf course one day, but Myrle herself had a fast trip to Waikato Hospital on another occasion when her replacement hip “popped out” after a fall in the garden of her Gilmour Street home.
Now her family have donated a first response kit to Raglan St John in memory of their mother, who died at Raglan Rest Home two years ago just shy of her 102nd birthday.
“Maybe it will save a life (this holiday season),” son Brian, who lives in Christchurch, told the Chronicle ahead of last Friday’s presentation.
He recalls how the local ambo number was always up on the wall by Myrle’s phone back in the day and how, like many people, she made a donation every year to the cause.
The $3500 emergency kit, which comes complete as a backpack, contains the meds and equipment needed for that all-important first response, says station manager Bush Barton. “It better equips us to save lives.”
St John NZ central region fundraisers Sarah Flower and Chansina Chin made the trip down from Auckland with the new kit.
Myrle was a well known figure about the Raglan community during nearly eight decades of life here, Brian says, bringing up four children and driving buses for the family-owned business Robertsons’ Motor Transport.
She also volunteered for all sorts of things over the years, he adds. “What else was there for a woman to do in Raglan back then?” he laughs.
Among other things Myrle was patron of the local golf club and an active member of Raglan Club into her 90s. Her marmalades and pickles were legendary at the then Community House, where she also volunteered, and she was appreciated too for her work at Care & Craft and at the local Senior Citizens club.
She was also a committee member of the local Caledonian Society at a time when there were two rows of drummers and four to five rows of pipers.
As it turns out much of her bus driving on local mail and school runs wasn’t paid work either. “Not when you’re the boss’s wife,” Brian quips.