History

1929: The “Cancer Society” organisation was formed when the New Zealand Branch of the British Empire Cancer Campaign opened in Wellington with the ‘conquest of cancer' as its mission, The Taranaki Centre was then known as the Wellington – Taranaki – Hawkes Bay Division.

1935 - 1937: Taranaki Centre began, mainly for the purpose of obtaining Radium and a Radiotherapy Department for Taranaki.  Taranaki Centre was incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 on 27th October 1937.

1951: Manawatu Centre was established with the provision of Radiotherapy Services in Palmerston North.  £2,000 was raised in its first year for Radium.

1958: First cobalt machine for the North Island was operational at Palmerston North Hospital, purchased from funds raised by the Manawatu Centre committee. £22,000 raised in just six weeks.  

1952 – 1958: Radiotherapy clinics established in outlying hospitals within the Central Districts territory.  Cobalt machine set up in Napier under the Hawkes Bay Centre.

1962-1963 Central Districts Division was established on the 4 September 1963.  Palmerston North would be the location for the divisional headquarters.

1964-1968: Central Districts Division focused on education and publicity with the emphasis on school groups. Distributed numerous pamphlets.  Mobile education unit was set up.  Sponsored a doctor for overseas training in Radiotherapy.

1967:  St Vincent de Paul Society established Ozanam house for out of town patients and their relatives who required treatment at Palmerston North Hospital.  House named after the founder of St Vincent de Paul Society, Frederick Ozanam.

1980s: The first cancer support group began in Hawera July 1981. Volunteers provided support to cancer patients, assisted family members nursing terminally ill patients at home and acted as a link between patients and various resources of the Society.

1989 - Manawatu Centre along with Wellington Division piloted the first Daffodil Day. This was so successful it was taken Nationwide 1990 and has become one of the mainstays in fundraising for the Cancer Society.

2001 - Manawatu brought the first Relay For Life to New Zealand. Since then it has grown in strength and success with many events happening each year in New Zealand.