Dr Margaret Cruickshank: WWI Patriotic Fundraising Carnival Queen, Waimate, 191...


Dr Margaret Cruickshank: WWI Patriotic Fundraising Carnival Queen, Waimate, 1915.

About this object

Pastel artwork and photograph of Dr Margaret Barnett Cruickshank as WWI Fundraising Carnival Queen.

In 1897, a young woman doctor arrived in Waimate to begin practicing in the district. Dr Margaret Cruickshank was the first woman graduate of the Otago Medical School to enter private practice in New Zealand. Dr Cruickshank joined Dr Herbert Barclay in partnership. Dr Barclay had established the first public hospital in Waimate and together they provided medical, surgical and maternity services. Dr Cruickshank’s compassionate nature and dedication to her vocation engendered much respect and it wasn’t long before she became a favourite with her patients and the Waimate community.

In spite of her professional duties Dr Cruickshank still found time to be involved in other community activities, one being, to co-ordinate the work of the Waimate Red Cross. In 1915 South Canterbury Borough and County Councils decided to combine efforts to raise funds for relief aid in war torn Belgium and Britain. The plan was to organise a regional competition and encourage numerous community groups and organisations to fundraise for their chosen Carnival Queen. The competition was to culminate in a monster Patriotic Carnival. All money raised was to go to the war effort. The Waimate townsfolk were united in agreeing their Carnival Queen could only be Dr Cruickshank.

Competition between the Waimate ‘green and gold’ supporters and their neighbouring South Canterbury rivals was fierce amidst a plethora of community fundraising events and festive occasions. The grand finale was the coronation of the regional Carnival Queen. A long train of full carriages and a cavalcade of motor vehicles left Waimate for Timaru on the day of the Patriotic Carnival to ensure Waimate was represented and their “beautiful doctor” was well supported. It was with good-natured sportmanship that Waimate folk conceded victory to the Fairlie representative and accepted second place. £10,000 in total had been raised for the war effort.
Dr Margaret Cruickshank practiced in Waimate for 21 years with a 12 month
interlude to extend her studies in London in 1913. The 1918-19 influenza epidemic took its toll in Waimate. Dr Cruickshank remained dedicated to her patients and her service in the community. She contracted the pneumonic influenza and died on 29 November 1918. A marble statue was erected in her honour. The inscription summarizes the place she held in the hearts of the people of Waimate - “the beloved physician, faithful unto death”.

[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 wtemus@xtra.co.nz.
How to cite this page: P642, URL: https://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/collections/3188/objects/547186/dr-margaret-cruickshank-wwi-patriotic-fundraising-carnival-queen-waimate-1915, updated 27 November, 2018]

Date Made


Medium and Materials

Pastel artwork and photograph

Place Made


Subject and Association Keywords

WWI Fundraising

Credit Line

Nicholas, Lance (source)

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Public Domain - No rights reserved - no known copyright restrictions No rights reserved - no known copyright restrictions

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