Elizabeth and Charles Knox settled in Auckland from Northern Ireland in the early 1840’s. Charles Knox successfully farmed 500 acres in West Tamaki and, in time, gained a reputation as a philanthropist who generously assisted fellow settlers. Charles died in 1871, leaving his wife Elizabeth to continue contributing to public institutions. Elizabeth died in 1908, aged 99, leaving a bequest for the “purpose of building, endowing and maintaining a hospital or home for poor people suffering from incurable diseases.”
The Knox Incurables Home Trust Board was formed in 1911 and got on with the early task of constructing the Home located on part of the Knox farm close to Morrin Road, St Johns.
On completion of building in 1914, patients were transferred from Auckland Hospital. In time, the Home increased services to a wider range of patients including physiotherapy and occupational therapy. In 1939 the Minister of Health granted the Home recognition as a hospital accepting wounded or sick soldiers returning from World War II.
Through the 1950’s improvements were made to the facilities until the late 1960’s when the decision to relocate to a more central location was made and the trust renamed the Knox Home Trust Board. By 1974 the new Home was opened on the current Ranfurly Road site in Epsom. Through the past five decades, there has been and continues to be, growth and progressive development of the site.
Today the Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital admits both subsidised and fee-paying private residents with care extended across the spectrum from young disabled adults to elders.
A fully registered Eden Alternative home today, we are still a caring community proudly continuing the valuable work that Elizabeth Knox started.
The vision and values of Elizabeth Knox remain as pertinent today as they did over 100 years ago.