Purpose March 1995


The Newsletter of the Amputees Federation of New Zealand Incorporated


MARCH 1995


National Executive

President   Mrs Jenny Thompson   Wellington

Vice President   Miss Maureen Raisin MBE [Member of the Order of the British Empire]   Palmerston North

Hon Secretary and Editor of “Purpose”   Mrs Lorraine Peacock   213A Bay View Road   St Clair, Dunedin   Phone (03) 455-6347

Hon Treasurer   Mr Jim Bishop   Christchurch

Committee   Mr Colin Blakesley, Hastings   Mr. Robin Welsh, Nelson

Hon Solicitor   Mr Lindsay Trotman LLM [Master of Laws] (Hons) [Honours]

Representative on NZ Artificial Limb Board   Mrs Yvonne Francis   Napier

No. 44 – March 1995


I have always enjoyed a challenge in my work or at home, but there are always exceptions and editorials are one of them. I have always read Lorraine’s editorials with great interest, not realising the thought and effort that goes into them.

Your local Societies need your support in many ways; a Society can go stale and idle without help from fresh faces. So don’t take them for granted; you may need them one day. We can answer most questions on problems. If not, we can advise on where to seek help, and for myself, the most important source of help are the limb-fitters throughout New Zealand who can pin a problem down before it gets too serious.

I would like to conclude by thanking our National Executive members, our local Society members and all other District Societies who have over the years offered friendship and advice.

All the best for 1995.

Colin Blakesley
(Hawke’s Bay/East Coast President)
(Committee Member on the National Executive since 1991)


[handwritten – Joined Ass [Association] approx 1973. Amongst my last visitors in Hospitial [Hospital] was the chap who hit me. And a member of The Amp [Amputee] Ass.]


The big 50 [handwritten – 72] is just around the corner for me, but I cannot forget [handwritten – 1972] what came around the corner at the age of 27 when a car collided with my motorbike and the final result left me a A/K amputee, with several weeks in isolation due to a gangrene problem.

[handwritten – I attended the 50th Jubilee in Goverment [Government] House 1997].

I was working as a fitter-welder at Nelsons, better known as the Tomoana Freezing Works. Prior to that, I had been working as a structural welder all around the country. My job was kept open at Tomoana, to which I returned to work at the plant for many years. I left to operate my own business as a specialised welder and continued for a few years on my own – a great experience. I then began working for an apple juicing firm, setting up their plant at one factory for a season and then moving and setting up another plant at a new location. During that time, I travelled to Australia to dismantle equipment for the new plant and reassembling it when it arrived in NZ. I ran the plant for another season, only to find the company had gone under. So I was back out looking for another job for over 12 months. I now have a permanent job, still working as a fitter-welder.

[handwritten – Feb 1997 Civic Honour for Voluntry [Voluntary] Community Service.]

During my years as an amputee, I have been closely involved with the Hawke’s Bay branch and for the past few years I have had the pleasure of the President’s position. I am also very proud to have a position as a Committee Member on the National Executive.

[handwritten – Life Member 1998]

My wife, Heather, has always supported me in all the challenges of an amputee’s life, along with our three children at home, plus an older son in Auckland and an older daughter travelling the world.

[handwritten – Feb 2008 Retired from Ass and returned in The later years to help out as Vice President]



[handwritten – Coming up 46 years as an Amputee]

On reflecting back, I used to lie in hospital thinking that I would never return to the job I loved doing and my favourite past-time of skin diving and many other things. When I finally had my first artificial leg, I decided it was going to have to follow me around and that I was going to get on with life, not as easy as before but much better than feeling sorry for one’s self. There is always somebody worse off.

[handwritten – Have acted in Ass up to 2017. about 44 years]

To all amputees throughout New Zealand, I wish you all the best in the challenges you will face. The quotation on the back of Purpose should be read and remembered when you feel down.

(Many thanks for your contribution, Colin, and for your contribution also to the Federation)

[handwritten – Many years later I meet the chap who helped me off the road and look after me untill help arrived Barry Phrichard [Pritchard].]


Auckland – A Christmas “Get Together” and Barbecue was to have been held at the Limb Centre on Sunday 4 December. We hope it went well.

Waikato & Districts – It’s AGM [Annual General Meeting] time for District Societies and theirs was planned for 18 February, combined with a barbecue, at Lee Cook’s home.

Taranaki – Tess advises that home visits were made to all members during November and a record number attended the end-of-year luncheon in December. Their AGM was scheduled for 26 February.



Hawke’s Bay/East Coast – A Bush Walk and picnic was planned for Waitangi Day (sounds great), their AGM for Sunday 19 February and a limb-fitters’ visit will be held at Napier on 20 March.

Manawatu – Their AGM was scheduled for Sunday 12 February, combined with a barbecue luncheon. (Refer also to Sports Digest for the achievements of their youngest member).

Wellington – A small number attended their 50th anniversary lunch at the Fisherman’s Table, where Jenny Thompson (National President) was presented with Life Membership of their Society. Congratulations, Jenny! Their AGM was scheduled for Sunday 5 March.

Nelson & District – The first thing on the agenda for 1995 was a limb-fitters’ visit on 14 February, with their AGM set for Saturday 25 February at the Nelson Suburban Club.

Canterbury & Westland – No doubt plans are well in hand for the National Council Meeting to be held at the Russley Hotel on 1 / 2 April and I’m sure any visitors to Christchurch at that time would be most welcome to attend. The Conference will be opened by Dr Morgan Fahey after lunch on the Saturday, followed by the business session which will conclude at approximately lunch-time on the Sunday. A welcome break will be entertainment by the Friends of the Theatre Royal on the Saturday evening.



Otago & Southland – Both the meeting in Invercargill and the Golf Day at Riversdale in November last year were well attended and very successful. Twelve amputees took advantage of a limb-fitter’s visit to Timaru at the beginning of February and a visit to Invercargill was planned for early March. The AGM was planned for Sunday 26 February.


“Ansacare” is a service offered by Ansett NZ for people with disabilities. It is free of charge and covers all Ansett NZ inflights and ground services. To become a member call you [your] local travel agent or Ansett NZ office.

Air NZ have recently produced a new pamphlet “Information for Passengers with Disabilities” which is available from all Air NZ Travel Centres and airport counters. This publication details information for travellers with special needs. For wheelchair users, information is set out about facilities available at various centres, i.e.[In other words] air-bridges, harnesses etc. Advice regarding use of powered chairs, lifting methods, aircraft seating and trained staff available to assist you are some of the items outlined in the pamphlet.






Their annual tournament is to be held at the Tauhara Golf Course, Taupo, on 23 April, commencing at 10 a.m. A slight tariff reduction has been negotiated at the Twin Peaks Lakeside Inn. For further information contact Ron Roberts, 11B Tawari Street, Matamata, Phone (07) 888-8559.


April 3-6   IPC [International Paralympic Committee] World Bowls Champs, South Africa
17-23   National (Aust) Jnr Wheelchair Games, Sydney
July 20-30   IPC World Lawn Bowls Championships, Aylesbury, ngland [England]
22-30   International Wheelchair Games, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, England
July 29 –   IPC European Shooting Championships, Finland
Aug 7
Oct 29   15th Oita Marathon, Japan
Aug 16-27   10th Paralympics, Atlanta, USA




Two 12 year olds have featured prominently in the news recently. One is Grant Brunskill, a member of the Manawatu Society, and the other is Chris Field, a member of Otago/Southland.

On 30 January, a programme about the 1st National Camp at Rotorua organised by the Burns Unit for survivors and their families was shown on TV. Featuring in the programme was Manawatu’s youngest member, Grant Brunskill (12). Grant lost his right leg and three toes off his left foot, as well as suffering extensive burns to his left leg, as a result of a farm accident. It is pleasing to note that Grant has been selected by Parafed to represent NZ in the 8th National Disabled Games in Australia on 17-23 April. His speciality is swimming. We wish you good luck, Grant.

Chris Field of Dunedin, who was born without his left arm, recently gained his junior black belt in karate – the first New Zealander of any age with his disability to do so. Chris has had an artificial arm since he was 5 months old. When he was aged 10, Chris gained front page publicity in the Otago Daily Times when he won a third grade school boys’ cricket award.

Well done, guys, keep it up!



The recently published Annual Report of the NZ Artificial Limb Board contains some interesting statistics:

“In the year under review, 1,272 limbs were made (either initial or replacement prostheses) and 6,162 refashionings, repairs and adjustments performed. Three hundred and fifty-nine new amputees attended limb centres, their amputations resulting from: vascular disease (including diabetic) 67%, trauma 20%, other causes 13%.” It is interesting to note that no fewer than 45% of those who become amputees following an accident are in the younger age group.

The average cost of new limbs and of repairs for the year 1993-94 was: Below knee $1,392, Above knee $3,388, Arm $1,794, Repairs etc. $231.


The Federation is appreciative of a generous grant from the Todd Foundation which makes the production of Purpose possible.

We are also indebted to the NZ Lottery Board for a recent grant of $5,000 towards administration costs.

CONTRIBUTIONS to Purpose from members would be most welcome. If you have anything to share, please forward to the Editor at 213A Bay View Road, St Clair, Dunedin.


BOOK REVIEWS by Lyndall Hancock (a retired Librarian of Dunedin) – continued from previous issue

Barbour, Robert. Farewell to Farming. 1993

In the first half of this autobiography (which isn’t strictly chronological throughout), the author writes of his forebears who lived in rural areas near Glasgow, and he tells of his own interest in farming in Scotland and New Zealand. It was not as a farmer, though, that he made his mark, but as a specialist glassblower in university science departments, first at Glasgow and then at Wellington and Waikato Universities. A troublesome foot all his life is barely mentioned until he tells of its amputation when he was aged 37. Thereafter he came into the care of the Limb Centre in Glasgow, and similar ones later on in Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Burwood. His experiences as an amputee and his advice to others are concentrated into only a few pages, perhaps because he has been able to walk easily from the start and thus being an amputee hasn’t hindered him in anything he wanted to do in his long and varied life.

Voigt, Cynthia. Izzy, willy-nilly. 1986

Izzy, the American teenager in this novel, finds it hard to cope with life after a sudden leg amputation. This isn’t surprising, seeing that she doesn’t seem to get a great deal of useful help. Maybe the author is a bit weak on her background details, or maybe the US police, hospital staff and rehabilitation services just happen to be less quick-acting and sensible than their New Zealand counterparts. There is more about teenage relationships than amputation, which seems to be chosen just as a “different” theme on which to hang everything. Still, it’s a readable story.



Hart, Elizabeth. Victoria, my daughter. 1986

At home in Sussex one day in 1982, ten year old Victoria Hart had a bit of a sore knee. An x-ray was taken and thereafter events moved swiftly, for a rare and virulent form of cancer was diagnosed. She recovered well from a full leg amputation, and with a new type of bionic leg, she continued to enjoy life at home and at school, at least for a while. Then the cancer returned, and Victoria died only 10 months after the first diagnosis. Her mother tells the story of these last months in which her daughter lived life to the full despite her illness. Said the surgeon who had earlier performed the amputation: “I have always been surprised by the resilience and courage of most children, but Victoria was quite exceptional.”

Whipple, Lee. Whole again. 1980

This is the story of three men – two who were desperate to walk without pain and one who made it happen. Bill Barr was an Illinois politician and millionaire who lost a leg in 1970 after a car bomb and who searched the US for someone who could really help him, and help his son Tony too, who had lost part of one foot. Father and son were no strangers to years of frustration and depression. “Bill felt he had fallen into a crack between doctors and prosthetists; neither knew what to do, and each often blamed the other.” Then he met Jan Stokosa, an innovative young man who stood out among many other prosthetists who were, at that time in the US, often poorly trained or unregistered or simply chasing a dollar. Two years later in 1978, Bill’s money and Jan’s expertise led to a better deal for amputees through the founding of the Institute for the Advancement of Prosthetics, in Lansing, Michigan.



Nothing Ventured. (A Rough Guide Special) 1991

Here, about 100 disabled British people (mostly women) tell their travel stories. Most parts of the world are covered, and the editor has added much practical advice in various categories. I searched for any amputee authors and found only two, one of whom went to India and the other to Oman and China. Both women travelled with family members and within organised tours. One took along a spare leg and that is about the only amputee-related travel tip that either happens to give. But here and there, among the travellers’ tales of some other people with difficult legs, I found other snippets of useful information, mostly relating to air travel. New Zealand as a destination, and Air New Zealand in particular, both come out better than most in the book. (N.B. An updated American edition of this book is called “Able to Travel” 1993).

Many thanks, Lyndall, for a most interesting set of reviews. Anyone requiring further information about these books can contact Lyndall through the Editor.





1.   I have the right to take responsibility for the initiation of my behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, and handle the consequences they may perpetuate.
2.   I have the right to state my limits, expectations, and feelings about other people’s behaviour in a manner that respects their self-esteem.
3.   I have the right to decide if I am responsible for solving other people’s problems and to facilitate their solving their own problems.
4.   I have the right to change my mind.
5.   I have the right to make mistakes, to be responsible for them, and to learn from them.
6.   I have the right to say “I don’t know”.
7.   I have the right to be treated with respect.
8.   I have the right to say no without feeling guilty.
9.   I have the right to explain my position in the manner I think is most appropriate.
10.   I have the right to ask for clarification when I don’t understand.
11.   I have the right to ask for what I want, knowing that the other person has the right to refuse.


District   Secretary

Auckland   Mrs Dini Hofma   240A Sunset Road   Mairangi Bay   Auckland   Phone (09) 478-2228

Canterbury & Westland   Mrs Lorraine Wyse   73 Yaldhurst Road   Christchurch   Phone (03) 348-3484

Hawkes Bay/East Coast   Mrs Helen Rogers   10 Maxwell Place   Maraenui   Napier   Phone (06) 843-7597

Manawatu   Mrs Anne Harris   22 Elizabeth Street   Feilding   Phone (06) 323-6509

Nelson & District   Mr Stan Jones   90A Muritai Street   Tahunanui   Nelson   Phone (03) 548-5979

Otago & Southland   Mrs Lorraine Peacock   213A Bay View Road   St Clair   Dunedin   Phone (03) 455-6347

Taranaki   Mrs Tess Hirst   No 7 RD   Inglewood   Phone (06) 756-7160

Waikato & Districts   Mrs Edith Sealey   8 Willow Grove   Morrinsville   Phone (07) 889-3009

Wellington   Mr Don Millward   30 Mission Street   Lower Hutt   Phone (04) 569-8610


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Format of the original


Date published

March 1995


  • Robert Barbour
  • Bill Barr
  • Jim Bishop
  • Colin Blakesley
  • Heather Blakesley
  • Grant Brunskill
  • Dr Morgan Fahey
  • Chris Field
  • Mrs Yvonne Francis
  • Lyndall Hancock
  • Mrs Anne Harris
  • Elizabeth Hart
  • Victoria Hart
  • Mrs Tess Hirst
  • Mrs Dini Hofma
  • Stan Jones
  • Don Millward
  • Mrs Lorraine Peacock
  • Barry Pritchard
  • Miss Maureen Raisin
  • Ron Roberts
  • Mrs Helen Rogers
  • Mrs Edith Sealey
  • Jan Stokosa
  • Mrs Jenny Thompson
  • Lindsay Trotman
  • Cynthia Voigt
  • Robin Welsh
  • Lee Whipple
  • Mrs Lorraine Wyse

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