In 1970 - 1971, members of a welfare committee of the Huntly Lions Club investigated the feasibility of a Resthome for the elderly people of Huntly and Districts. Waikato Hospital’s Superintendent Chief, Dr Meade, and Geriatrician Mr Hogg suggested the need for a 20 bed Resthome, and offered their support in the project.
Other service clubs were approached to help, and in October 1972, the North Waikato Care of the Aged Trust Board, Inc. was formed comprising Guy King and Ron Collins from Lions; Father Bill Woods and Ted Priestly from Rotary; Barry Allen and Maurice Gerrand from Jaycees (the "Settlors"); as well as Rona Beadle, Mary Clarke, Venna Fry, Bert Latta, Jessie O’Sullivan and Alan Wilson. The newly formed Trust visited homes in the Waikato area, seeking ideas for building a Residential Home in Huntly
In November of 1973, a public meeting was held and a large crowd gathered to get a progress report from the Trust—in order to gain the subsidy of $12,000 per bed, the Trust had to raise $50,000 which was an enormous sum of money in those days.
The public gave the project its unanimous support, and so the journey began.
A Queen’s Carnival was held over a period of 6 weeks (take a wander down the Link Corridor and view the photos hanging on the wall!) By March of 1974, the Trust handed a cheque for $58,000 (earned through incredible hard work in the community) to the Hon. Bob Tizard, Minister of Health at a special carnival closing ceremony, and by November of 1977 the 40-bed, $504,000 tender was awarded to Burdett Construction of Ngaruawahia.
3rd March 1979 saw the building officially opened by the "Hon Sir Douglas Carter, High Commissioner to London" - debt-free!
By March of 1986, the land at the rear of the Home was purchased and filled for Cottage development.
In 1988, Mr. Peter Gregson became a part-time Administration Officer and Secretary to the Trust, putting us on business-like footing.
1989 saw the first double rental unit built, and then one new one every year thereafter for 5 years
During 1991/2, a need for a Geriatric Hospital was identified, and by 7th March 1993, Dame Thea Muldoon QSO opened the 22-bed Hospital which had cost the Trust almost $1 million (not "debt-free" this time!)
Since those early days, many people in the community have served faithfully on the Trust Board, and the evolved to its present-day situation with the challenges of under-funding, and limited resources whilst continuing to provide excellence in care.
Some of the people involved in Kimihia's history include:
Many of these family names will be recognisable to most Huntly residents.