After 16 years as the Teviot Valley Rest Home’s first nurse manager, Marian Hamilton retired last week, leaving the facility as she intended it to be, “a nice, friendly and happy place”.
“That is what I always wanted it to be and those are the comments I get most of,” Mrs Hamilton said.
She accepted the role in January 2004, and the first resident, Don Robb, moved in to the new home in April.
“I had never worked in aged care before, and my first job was to put the policies and procedures in place and make sure everything was ready.
“The new rest-home was set up with no preconceived ideas about how it should go.
“It was interesting [then] as there was a lot of controversy about whether a rest-home was needed in Roxburgh or not.
“A lot of people didn’t think we did.”
She said 16 years on it had become a necessary part of the community.
“The governing committee has been supportive and good to work with. I have had free rein to run it my way and it has been a great journey.”
She was now looking forward to spending more time with partner Chis Lunn, and working on their small 48ha sheep and beef farm in Ettrick.
Mrs Hamilton, who is also a grandmother and president of the Central Otago Hunt, was brought up in Omarama, and trained as a nurse in Dunedin.
She moved to Roxburgh in 1975, where she married and raised a family on a farm in The Knobbies for 25 years.
Her nursing career has included working in the Oamaru hospital, district nursing, relief practice nursing and working as a Prime (Primary Response in Medical Emergencies) nurse in Roxburgh.
The Teviot Valley Rest Home Incorporated Society committee, which runs the facility, and the Roxburgh Medical Services Trust, which runs the general medical practice, joined together to farewell Mrs Hamilton at a dinner last week.
The new manager is Robyn Niederer, who moved from Invercargill a month ago take on the position.