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A Waitemata DHB tribute to Millicent

29 November 2017

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Millicent McComb, 101, with Special Care Baby Unit Nurse Speacialist Annette Murphy

Waitemata DHB Healthlines Magazine


It was feared arthritis had forced long-time North Shore Hospital Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) supporter Millicent McComb to hang up her knitting needles when she was just four months shy of her 101st birthday.


But the avid knitter is still going strong after having the condition treated successfully. A baby beanie knitted in her 100th year is now being showcased in the SCBU ward at North Shore Hospital, a tribute to Millicent’s extraordinary and ongoing dedication.


The beanie is one of hundreds she has knitted and donated to the unit over multiple years to help keep infants warm. It was put aside by SCBU Charge Nurse Manager Karen Boyle who couldn’t quite bring herself to give it away. Instead she had the tiny hat mounted and framed as a tribute to its creator.


“We are always grateful for hats and blankets,” Karen says. “We use them on the ward and also send the little hats home with their mothers and their new-borns.” Millicent knitted both over a number of years and her efforts were always greatly appreciated. “This little beanie was one she created after turning 100 and it seemed fitting to do something extra special with it.”


The finished product was taken to Millicent this month for a final look before being hung in a place of honour at SCBU. It includes some information provided by Millicent’s late daughter, Barbara Chalton from Takapuna, just before her death on May 12, aged 77. The note says Millicent taught herself to knit when she was 10 years old, sharpening two old bicycle spokes from her father’s workshop and using them as her first pair of needles.


Millicent, who lives in the Greenvalley Rest Home in Glenfield, was surprised and thrilled to see the beanie again. She now hopes the framed tribute might encourage others to do what she did for so long and donate knitted items to the unit also. “I think it’s a good thing to be able to do. I really love seeing these little babies wearing the outfits and I’m just glad to be able to help.”


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