On the 11th December 2017, Auckland Hospital was alive to the ‘Sound of Music’. Two hundred people, from all walks of life, choirs, choristers, church groups, volunteers, staff, children, volunteer chaplain assistants and chaplains, all gathered outside the chapel for the annual Carol Singing on the wards. The place was abuzz with laughter, choirs beautifully dressed, ladies with Christmas jewelry, men adorned with Christmas ties and many a Santa hat could be spied. Children were dressed up as story-book characters, led by the ‘Cat in the Hat’. Many of these children are ex Women’s health babies and they come every year with their parents to sing at NICU and other women’s wards. It was a very happy and colourful scene to behold.
A warm welcome was given to all from Alex Pimm, the Director of Patient Management service, our Auckland DHB representative, and Young Jun You, Lead Chaplain, with an invitation to partake of refreshments after the carol singing and to collect their free parking tickets before leaving the hospital. Along with Alex, from the DHB, was also Bruce Levy, General Manager of Pacific Health, Riki Nia Nia General Manager of Maori Health, Andrew Old, Chief of Strategy and participation and Improvement and Mark Fenwick Senior Communications Advisor. It was very special to have so many from the DHB join the choirs and festivity. After the welcome, the chaplains, Mele Tavelia, Grahame Walker, Hilary Leith, Father Christopher and Young Jun You, gathered their allocated groups and headed to the beautifully decorated wards. Patients, families and staff were treated to wonderful and joyous carol singing. As the choirs walked and sang their way through the wards, patients and staff ventured from their rooms with looks of sheer delight on their faces .The choirs received requests for favourite carols, patients and staff sang along with the choirs, children danced in the corridor. It was a magical time for all involved. After a couple of hours touring the wards we all met in the foyer outside the chapel for Christmas Mince Pies and fruit juice, courtesy of the Auckland District Board. All were overjoyed with the success of the evening and the laughter and talking continued.