Ross Home marks building centenary

John Allen (left), grandson of Presbyterian moderator Andrew Cameron, and Tom Ross, great...
John Allen (left), grandson of Presbyterian moderator Andrew Cameron, and Tom Ross, great-grandson of Ross Home founder John Ross, hold trowels presented to their ancestors when Ross Home’s foundation stone was laid. Photos: Linda Robertson
It is not unusual for a centenarian to be celebrated at Ross Home, but the 100th anniversary of the building itself is a once-only event.

The foundation stone of Ross Home, the oldest Presbyterian Support-owned care home in New Zealand, was laid in 1918.

The land in  Northeast Valley Ross Home  is situated on was donated by Sir John Ross, his gift

dependent on money being raised to support a home for the aged.

That was forthcoming, and in subsequent years Ross Home has grown to encompass five areas and 10 cottages,Today it is home to 124 residents, and on Saturday the oldest, 103-year-old Rod Madill, cut Ross Home’s birthday cake, assisted by Tom Ross — the great-grandson of Sir John Ross.

"Over the years Ross Home has had 10 matrons or managers and hundreds of staff, a good number of whom have worked here for a decade or more," Presbyterian Support Otago board chairman David Richardson said.

Ross Home’s oldest resident Rod Madill (103) sits in front of a cake made to mark the home’s...
Ross Home’s oldest resident Rod Madill (103) sits in front of a cake made to mark the home’s 100th anniversary.
Staff and supporters of Ross Home came to Saturday’s function dressed in period costume, joining residents to mark a milestone in the history of a Northeast Valley landmark.

"One thing that is very important at Ross Home is a sense of community," Mr Richardson said.

"We are part of the community of Northeast Valley — the door is open, the cafe here is used by everybody and residents are encouraged to participate in the community."

Saturday’s function brought together two relics of the 1918 foundation stone ceremony. Tom Ross brought a memorial trowel presented to his great-grandfather that day, while Ross Home resident John Allen brought a trowel presented to his grandfather, Andrew Cameron, the moderator of the Presbytery of Dunedin, at the same event.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz 

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