Newspaper Article – Red in the face

Red in the face

Congratulations to Elsie Leipst, Havelock North, who provides us with this week’s Most Embarrassing Moment and wins a $50 voucher from Hastings Pak’nSave.

Elsie writes:

When attending the Anzac service this year at the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital, my mind went back to an embarrassing moment I had in September 1939 when training as a nurse at that hospital.

In our lectures we were told that in the case of a major disaster or an emergency, any nurse on leave or off duty was to report in uniform to the matron’s office.

I was the junior on night duty and was sleeping soundly when awakened by a colleague saying “We are at war – the Germans have declared war on us.”

There was no time to ask questions – this certainly was an emergency.  Had the Germans already reached Hastings?  I needed to get into uniform and report immediately.

Still only half awake, I dressed and arrived at the matron’s office.

In response to her “Come in,” I stood in front of matron with my hands behind my back and feeling the significance of this emergency said: “Reporting for duty matron.  We are at war with the Germans.”

After what seemed to me an interminable silence, and with a broad smile on her face she replied:  “Thank you nurse, you can go back to bed – and nurse do have a good sleep.”

Winners of this award are asked to phone the Leader’s advertising department on 878 7670 to claim their prize.

If you have an embarrassing moment you would like to share and would like to win a $50 grocery voucher from Pak’nSave please send details, with your name, address and a daytime telephone number to:

Most Embarrassing Moment
Hastings Leader
113 Karamu Road North
Hastings or fax it to: 878 7670, or e-mail it to: leader[@]

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Hastings Leader


  • Elsie Leipst

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