Minister of Health Hon. Dr David Clark with 
Marj White and her award.

Local Volunteer Receives National Award


On Monday, June 18th, during National Volunteer Week, local health volunteer Marjorie (Marj) White, was invited to Parliament by the Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. David Clark’s office, to receive the 2018 Long Service Award for outstanding voluntary service to the health sector.

Marj and husband Bob were flown to Wellington for the presentation ceremony which included a tour of Parliament Buildings. The ceremony itself was held in the Grand Hall.

Among the other recipients were volunteers representing Youth, Pacific and Maori Health, Health Care Providers and Community Health Services. Marj commented on how very much she and Bob had enjoyed meeting so many other dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers.

Marj only learned that she had won her award a few days prior to the awards’ ceremony, and was most surprised that her contribution even warranted consideration!

Friends of Darfield Hospital Chairperson Brian Davidson nominated her for the length and comprehensive nature of her contribution over 34 years. She was one of a group of locals, who under the leadership of the late Mollie Townshend established ‘The Friends of the Hospital’ in 1984.

Over the years, Marj has held every office in The Friends, including Patron from 2011 on, President 1996 to 2006, two terms as Secretary-Treasurer mid-1984 to end of 1988 and 2006 to 2008, a committee member from 1984 to 2006 and then again from 2008 to the present time.

Over the years Marj has also undertaken the task of collecting and arranging a vast record of hospital memorabilia, and she has been a regular visitor and support to staff and patients.

“Our district is fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers like Marj, carrying out remarkable work in the community,” Brian commented. He was especially delighted to hear that she had been recognised by the Ministry of Health for her outstanding work. He also added that late last year, The Friends had organised a special afternoon to celebrate the hospital’s ninetieth year, and that Marj’s award has capped off a most notable ninetieth year for the Hospital.