Totara man's bequest honoured at hospice hub opening

A bequest from late Totara farmer Nigel Wilson allowed Otago Community Hospice to buy a building in Thames St that is now home to Oamaru's North Otago Hospice Hub. At last night's grand opening are (from left) Mr Wilson's sister Ellen Muschamp, of Oamaru,
A bequest from late Totara farmer Nigel Wilson allowed Otago Community Hospice to buy a building in Thames St that is now home to Oamaru's North Otago Hospice Hub. At last night's grand opening are (from left) Mr Wilson's sister Ellen Muschamp, of Oamaru, niece Carol Gibson, of Papakaio, Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green, of Dunedin, and sister Alice Stevenson, of Oamaru. Photo: Alice Hore
Nigel Wilson would have ''run a mile'' from the attention last night, his sister says.

The North Otago Hospice Hub - comprising a hospice shop, training centre, clinic space and counselling room - opened in Oamaru last night with a short ceremony before the first day of trading at the shop today.

The late Totara farmer's ''very generous'' bequest to Otago Community Hospice in 2016 allowed hospice to buy the Thames St building now home to the hub ''immediately'', chief executive Ginny Green said.

Several of Mr Wilson's family were present for the occasion - sister Alice Stevenson, of Oamaru, said she was ''really proud'' of her brother yesterday.

And Mr Wilson's niece, Carol Gibson, of Papakaio, explained Mr Wilson was more of a ''one-on-one man'' rather than someone who enjoyed the spotlight.

''He obviously looked out a worthy cause and went for it,'' she said.

Ms Green said the community fundraising, spearheaded by Oamaru restaurateur Sally-Ann Donnelly, including the bequest, topped $900,000 for the new centre.

Because the hospice was able to buy the building ''everything we raise goes straight to patient services'' and the new hub for five clinical staff, several support staff and 23 volunteers would make a difference.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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