The Leprosy Patients of Makogai, presented by Gwen Parsons
Date: Wednesday 8 August 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Room 311, History building
Contact: For further information regarding this event, please contact Dr Chris Jones by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Ext,6289
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Audience: University staff and students
Between 1911 and 1951 the leper colony on the Fijian Island of Makogai, admitted and treated around 4500 patients. Originally established as a colony for Fiji, Makogai became a key treatment centre within the Pacific, taking in patients from the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand. As part of the Marsden Research Project investigating the history of leprosy in the South Pacific (led by Dr Jane Buckingham), the patient registers for the Makogai leprosarium are being transcribed. These registers
are yielding new information about the treatment, lives and deaths of those people who were admitted to Makogai during the first half of the twentieth century. This seminar will present an overview of the findings of this transcription project to-date and indicate areas for further investigation.
GWEN PARSONS completed a PhD in history at the University of Otago in 2009 examining the development of repatriation policy and the experiences of New Zealand veterans during the post-war decade. While researching her thesis she developed an interest in
the social history of medicine. Gwen is currently transcribing the admission registers for the leper colony at Makogai as part of the Marsden Research Project ‘Community and Isolation, a Social and Contemporary History of Leprosy in the South Pacific 2008-2011’,
led by Dr Jane Buckingham. She also tutors in the History Department at Canterbury.