QE Health’s last hurrah to be celebrated in true Melbourne Cup fashion

The 80-year-old floorboards of QE Health’s Recreation Hall are set to welcome some of their last guests on Tuesday 1 November to celebrate the Melbourne Cup and the end of an era for one of Rotorua’s most iconic buildings.

The fundraising event, organised by The Rotary Club of Rotorua West, will help raise much-needed funds to fit out QE Health’s new health and wellness facility ahead of its opening early next year.

The event will feature an auction of some of the artworks that have graced the walls of QE Health since it opened 80 years ago, during WWII, as well as Melbourne Cup celebrations.

The artworks include prints by well-known New Zealand artist, Jane Evans, and others who have had a past association with QE.

The Rotary Club of Rotorua West organiser, Brett Marvelly, says guests will be welcomed with a complimentary drink and canapés will be served throughout the afternoon, with the Melbourne Cup screening at 5pm.

“In true Melbourne Cup spirit, bold colours and statement shoes, fascinators and suits are encouraged, with Donna Walsh from Willow Fashion Boutique judging the best-dressed ladies and gents, and best hat,” he says.

QE Health Trustee, Liz Harding, says the event is QE Health’s “last hurrah” and a chance for people to come together and farewell an iconic building that has given so much to the Rotorua community.

“The health and wellness centre has touched the lives of many, and while this is the end of an era, it’s an exciting new chapter as we look towards the future in our new purpose-built facility,” she says.

As one of QE’s longest-standing team members, covering various roles in her 40 years including administration, marketing, secretary of the trust, and now trustee, Liz says her passion for the place has stemmed from a belief in what they do.

“QE Health looks after the whole person to heal the body, mind, and spirit. We’re the only clinically integrated wellness centre in New Zealand and I know I’m not alone in my enduring affection for the place.

“But our story hasn’t ended, this is merely a new chapter in our journey to providing specialised clinical health services to the community.”

Ms Harding encourages people to get involved with the event by joining together to celebrate the building and to give generously.

“While we’re hugely appreciative of the loans and grants we’ve received, QE Health is a not-for-profit charitable organisation and the money so far has been gratefully received to cover the building costs.

“The money we are now fundraising for will go towards fitting out the facility with the likes of examination couches, massage tables, gym equipment and laundry equipment.

“This is a community-based charity event with 100 per cent of the proceeds going towards our new facility for everyone to benefit from,” she says.