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Dr Margaret Cruickshank's watch

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Waimate Museum & Archives

Dr. Margaret B. Cruickshank was born in Palmerston, Otago on January 1st 1873 and was the second woman to graduate in medicine in New Zealand, and the first to go into general practice. She was registered as a practitioner on May 3rd 1897 and went into partnership with Dr Herbert C. Barclay who had established the first private hospital in Waimate. Together they provided medical, surgical and maternity services. After some 16 years Dr Cruickshank left in 1913 on a year’s leave to extend her studies in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. To show their esteem , the people of Waimate presented her with a gold watch, chain and a purse of 100 gold sovereigns, at a public function before she left. The outbreak of the first World War in 1914 brought changes to the administration of the hospital and Dr Cruickshank was involved along with two other doctors in a two-monthly interval rotation. The 1918-19 influenza epidemic brought disaster to Waimate too, and Dr Cruickshank contracted the pneumonic influenza and died on November 28, 1918 and was buried privately. The Waimate Museum displays the gold pocket watch which had been presented to her on the eve of her departure overseas on 13th February 1913. In her will Dr Cruickshank bequeathed her presentation watch to her brother James George Cruickshank of Gore. The inscription inside the watch case reads:- Presented to Margaret B Cruickshank from her many Waimate Friends Feby. 13th 1913 [Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, please contact via How to cite this page: 1997-034-001, URL:, updated 27 November 2018]

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  • Text adapted with permission from Te Papa and Digital NZ

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