The History of Braemar
We’ve been with you from the start
A hospital was first established on the Tainui Street site in 1924.
The land was once owned by Thomas Jolly who purchased it for thirty shillings an acre from Major Jackson Keddell of the 4th Waikato Regiment. Keddell had been granted 400 acres for his services during the Waikato campaign.
In 1894 Jolly died after being gored by a Jersey bull and his assets passed to his wife and two sons. By 1905 the process of breaking up the estate had begun. An early purchaser of part of the estate was Andrew Seymour Brewis, uncle of Dr Edward Cecil Brewis, one of the founding doctors of Braemar Hospital Ltd.
The land was then transferred by Mary Jolly to Alexander McRae in 1906 who in turn sold it to a George Corncroft in 1909.
The section where the old water tower stood was sold to the Frankton Town Board in 1912. It remained in their hands until 1967 when it transferred to Hamilton City Council who demolished the tower and sold the section to Braemar Hospital Ltd in 1969.
The Corncroft residence and accompanying grounds formed part of that total purchase and they were bought by Frances Young, a nursing sister, in 1926. Prior to that purchase the property had been leased to Nettie Neilson who used the building as a maternity hospital. Young changed the name from 'Tirohia' to 'Braemar' and converted it to a medical and surgical hospital.
In 1931 Young purchased an adjoining section and built a maternity home known as 'Waione' on that piece of land. As demand for private maternity homes declined, "Waione' was converted to a nurses' home serving Braemar Hospital.
Young ran Braemar until April 1935 when she retired after leasing the hospital to Sisters Smith and Barrett.
In 1946 Young had decided to sell Braemar to a boarding-house keeper because of her inability to maintain the building. This meant the potential loss of a private surgical facility for doctors excluded from operating at Waikato Hospital. At that stage Waikato Hospital was 'closed' to general practitioners who wished to operate on their patients. Their concern led to a decision by three doctors to lease the building from Young and form the 'Braemar Hospital Company' in 1946. Those three doctors were Edward Cecil Brewis, Duncan Mcdiarmid and William Fea.
By 1954 the doctors were discussing the possibility of buying the property from Sister Young, who had signalled her intention to sell when the lease expired. While Sister Young wanted 20,000 pounds the doctors were only prepared to pay 15,000 pounds and a leasing arrangement continued until 1963.
By 1963 negotiations for buying Braemar had begun again, and a price of 25,000 pounds was eventually agreed.
In 1966 the water tower was demolished and the land was subsequently purchased by Braemar from the council in 1969. The water tower had dominated the Hamilton skyline for 55 years.
In 1970 Braemar Hospital Ltd resolved to transfer to the Braemar Hospital Charitable trust all of the assets of the company on the condition that the hospital operate as a charitable trust.
Under the guidance of the Braemar Hospital Charitable Trust the hospital continued to grow adding new theatres, wards and services.
In 2001 the trust became known as the Braemar Charitable Trust.
To cope with an ever-increasing demand for its services a new day hospital was opened in Knox Street in August 2001
In August 2005 an agreement was reached with The Salvation Army to purchase ‘The Nest’ site on the corner of Ohaupo Road and Kahikatea Drive.
The land and buildings at Tainui Street were sold to the Cancer Society in 2007 and leased back from the society until the new hospital at Ohaupo Road was ready for occupation.
The new hospital opened to patients on 14 April 2009 and was officially opened on 8 August 2009 by Mrs Mary Clarkson.
The Braemar Day Hospital on Knox Street merged with the main hospital on Ohaupo Road and the new extension was officially opened by David and John Young (sons of Braemar founder) on 28th September 2012.
Braemar celebrated its 85th birthday in December 2011.
Braemar Hospital is now one of the largest private hospitals in New Zealand offering a comprehensive range of Specialist services.
Braemar Hospital Ltd is 100% owned by the Braemar Charitable Trust.