Huge gift to Robinson Memorial

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There was a special occasion which took place on Saturday, March 11 to mark a generous bequest to the Robinson Hospital in memory of the late Dr’s Wilbur and Margaret Temple of Coleraine.

The Temple Family had given £20,000 and asked the Robinson Hospital Trustee Board to use the money in whatever way they might see fit to benefit the Community using the facilities of the Hospital.

After discussion with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust it was decided to build and equip a room beside, what had been the old operating theatre in the Maternity Wing. The new room will be used by the Hospital Diversion Nursing Team (NDNT) as a Day Facility for patients from the North Antrim and the Causeway Coast and Glens Districts.

The Nursing team take referrals from Hospital Specialists, A&E, and GPs and see patients in their own homes or in this new Hospital Facility where they can be given treatments such as blood transfusions, IV Fluids and IV antibiotics. The facility will be available from 8.45am to 10.45pm each day and in the evening District Nurses can refer patients with problems with catheters or syringe drivers etc.

There was a wonderful atmosphere of celebration when the official opening of the new room was declared with the family of the next generation of the Temple family present. Dr Mark Temple, Consultant Renal Physician in Birmingham, and his wife Professor Una Temple, together with Mark’s sister Dr Celia Temple, G.P. in Edinburgh, and also Dr Mark’s two children Laura and Robert Temple were greeted by those present which included members of the NHSCT and the Robinson Trust together with some friends and colleagues of the late Dr’s Wilbur and Margaret Temple.

There was a short opening ceremony with the family and then the gathering went to the Tweed room where Mr David Robinson, President of the Robinson Board, introduced Dr Mark Temple, who spoke of his family’s pleasure and approval of the use of the bequest.

He referred to his Dad and how at the start of hostilities of WW2 he joined the RAMC as a Captain and saw active service in North Africa and then in the landings at Salerno in Italy. After the War he became the single handed Medical Consultant at the Bannview and Ratheane Hospitals in Coleraine and also at the Route Hospital in Ballymoney and frequently was asked for his specialist opinion in the Robinson Hospital in Ballymoney.

Dr Margaret Temple had managed a Specialist Ophthalmic Clinic for children for many years, every Monday, in the Ballymoney Health Centre and it was appreciated that her personal secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Morrison, who had worked so closely with her, was able to be present for this occasion.

Equally it was a fitting tribute to Dr Margaret Temple’s memory that her old Medical colleagues, Dr Wiliam (Bill) Logan and Dr Rosemary Tan were able to attend.

Following Dr Mark’s remarks, the deputy Mayor for Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Mr James McCorkell paid tribute to the Temple family for their generous bequest.

An equally fitting response was made by the Executive Director for Finance in the NHSCT, Mr Owen Harkin, and in a similar vein Mrs Pamela Craig, Assistant Director and Divisional lead Nurse for Community Care spoke outlining the functions of the new Day Room and how already, some 80 out patients a month had been treated in the Unit. She introduced Sister Catherine Skeet who is the Hospital Diversion Team Coordinator and Sister Edith McCreedy of the Robinson Hospital Diversion Team.

Following that there were some personal and anecdotal reflections of Dr Wilbur and Dr Margaret given by the retired GPs Dr John Johnston and Dr Robert Barr, and then an overall humorous appreciation given by Mr Hugh Clarke, Vice President of the Robinson Board. The proceedings were drawn to a close by President David Robinson followed by a light lunch.

This was a fitting and a gracious occasion to mark the generous contribution of an outstanding family who had in their lifetime contributed so much to the Health of the Community of Coleraine and Ballymoney and further afield. They have left a memory so fondly appreciated and so fittingly recalled on a beautiful day in North Antrim — a memory now permanently enshrined in the Robinson Hospital.