Laura Fergusson Trust Logo
Laura Fergusson Trust Logo

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Our History

The Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury

The wife of the then Governor General, Laura Fergusson was deeply concerned at seeing so many young faces in Geriatric wards when on her official visits to hospitals throughout the country. She encouraged a meeting to be held at Government House in 1967 and as a result a National Trust was formed and over the next ten years homes were built in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Laura Fergusson became Patron of the Trust and injected a great deal of enthusiasm into the work of the women’s auxiliaries. She was an inspiration to all those associated with the homes for she not only lent her name to the Trust but gave her real self to a cause in which she believed wholeheartedly. Her tragic death in 1979 was a great loss. Earlier that year she and Lord Ballantrae had made the journey from Scotland to officially open the Christchurch Centre.

The Canterbury home also owes a great deal to the tireless efforts of its esteemed Patron, Mrs Noelene McIlroy. Her involvement in the Trust began in 1974 when she was elected President of the recently formed Women’s Auxiliary, replacing its founder, the Mayoress of Christchurch. Fund raising for the home began immediately and resulted in the home opening, debt-free in 1979. Despite ending her Presidency in the same year, Mrs McIlroy continued to be involved in both the Women’s Auxiliary, the Trust Board and the running of the home until 1995 at which time her amazing contribution was acknowledged and she was made Patron. Mrs McIlroy remained a passinate supporter of the Trust until her death in 2012.