Friday, 7 December 2018

Agnes Faulkner

Agnes Faulkner. Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref. 99-1339
 Agnes Faulkner (nee Davies) was born in Opunake 1891 and died in Tauranga 1986, aged 95

Agnes was one of a family of 13 and it was her dream to become a teacher, but shortly after their arrival in Tauranga she began work at age 13 as a tailoress. Married in 1912 to “Barley” Faulkner she barely left her home for the next 20 years as she raised children and acted as bookkeeper and telephonist for her husband’s ferry business.

Finally in 1932, under doctors orders, she attended a Country Women’s Institute meeting and from that day her world opened up. She became involved in The St John’s movement, and during one period was giving up to nine lectures a week in first aid or home nursing. She was one of the first women to act as an ambulance attendant and eventually became the Superintendent of the Nursing Division.

Bay of Plenty Times, Image courtesy of Papers Past
From 1934 -1977 she was heavily involved in health services and served as only the 2nd woman on the hospital board. She was a prime mover in the establishment of the maternity annexe. In 1953 The Queen bestowed her with a Coronation Medal and an MBE in 1958.*

Agnes was also involved in the Road Safety Council and The Tauranga Historical Society das well as being a JP. In her latter years she continued to lecture on Maori medicines and cures and was a volunteer at The Tauranga District Museum.

* Some sources say 1950

Sources

Biographical Sketches of The Centennial Mural (Artist Elizabeth Grainger and Editor Ernest E. Bush), Feb 1982
Tauranga 1882-1982;The Centennial of Gazetting of Tauranga as a Borough (Edited by A.C. Bellamy) TCC 1982
Manuscript 43 in Vertical Files, Heritage Research Room, Tauranga Library; From interview with Agnes in 1981

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