A long history of support from The Rotary Club of Christchurch
During the 1973-74 year, the Rotary. Club of Christchurch set up a meeting to discuss the formation of a Canterbury branch of the Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust. Rotarian Colin Averill had heard arguments for the urgent need for a residential home for disabled young adults. After further discussions with the Laura Fergusson Trust in Auckland, the Rotary Club of Christchurch hosted a meeting with other like-minded organisations. A key attendee was Dr Julian Kirk, Director of Physical Medicine at Christchurch Hospital who strongly supported the initiative.
With the project underway, the next job was to find a site and the North Canterbury Hospital Board whose Chairman, Leslie Averill, had endorsed the project and with the approval of the Department of Health, made the land opposite Jellie Park available for the new facility. This got the project off to a great start as fundraising was not required for land purchase.
The next step was the building itself. Christchurch Rotarian Maurice Moffat, an architect with Griffiths, Moffat & Partners, prepared sketch plans and working drawings for the proposed building. Leslie Averill was elected president of the fundraising committee and following the Auckland model, a Ladies Auxiliary was formed with Mayoress Alexia Pickering elected chairperson.
Once the fundraising project was launched, Rotary’s direct involvement ceased. The new building was opened free of debt in March 1979, the successful result of a team effort involving the Rotary Club of Christchurch, the LFT and the Ladies Auxiliary.
The Rotary Club of Christchurch has continued to support the Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust over the years, most recently with an Impact Grant in 2022. We are so grateful for their contributions, and we are thrilled to have them join us for the trail!