Uncertain future for old hospital

By Staff Reporters

The owner of the former Ross hospital has moved on, leaving an uncertain fate for the rundown 147-year-old building.
Totara Hospital, on the terrace overlooking the township, opened in August 1866, making it one of the oldest buildings on the West Coast.
Hokitika Museum director Julia Bradshaw said it was still in operation until at least 1914, when the curiously named Dr Doctor was there, and the matron was Ada Phillips.
By the early 1900s the hospital was run by the Westland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, which also ran the Westland, Kumara and Otira hospitals.
It later became the Ross Masonic Lodge.
The building’s most recent owner Peter Dorward has now gone to a rest home in Greymouth.
“It was a lovely big house, but it was well worn and I don’t know what is going to happen to it,” Mr Dorward said.
“I lived in the old hospital for 15 years and two goats lived in the house with me — Flossie and Little One. It was a beautiful house and I used to keep warm by having a big wooden fire.”