Station manager Tracy Nicholas receives the keys for the new ambulance donated by Colin Buckton.
Wellsford has a brand-new state-of-the art ambulance, despite black budgets at St John, thanks to a donation by life-long local resident Colin Buckton.
St John patron Richard Blundell said the ambulance service deeply appreciated the donation as it was facing a $30 million shortfall in fundraising this year due to Covid-19.
The new vehicle is expected to look after 30,000 patients in its lifetime.
Ambulances at the Wellsford Station are worked particularly hard, travelling about 1000km a week.
The new vehicle is named the Albertlander after the community of Bohemians that settled the area in the late 19th century.
The Bucktons are an Albertland family and Colin is the last surviving member of the Buckton family in Wellsford.
He and his brother Nelson, who passed away eight years ago, farmed together in School Road their whole lives.
Colin says the gift of the ambulance, costing $215,000, is made in memory of his family.
“I’ve had four bypasses and as a result several trips to hospital in an ambulance. The ambulance officers have always been very good to me when I’ve needed them,” he said.
“Besides, I believe the two things that are essential for Wellsford are a good ambulance service and a good fire brigade.”
One of Colin’s trips to hospital occurred about four years ago, after a home invasion, when he was attacked by three youths.
Colin’s other contributions to Wellsford include purchasing the former Wellsford Post Office building now occupied by Te Ha Oranga Health, and donating metal for safety improvements on Worker Road.