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Gray, Dr. Theodore Grant, CMG. (1884-1964)

Dr. Gray was a Scot by birth and a graduate of the MedicoPsychological Association of Great Britain and Ireland . He was appointed to Porirua Hospital in 1911 as a Junior Assistant Medical Officer to the Medical Superintendent, Dr. Gray Hassell (Superintendent from 1890 to 1920) . Dr. Gray indicated in his autobiography, The Very Error of the Moon(1959), that there was a general apathy among medical men regarding the benefits of the villa system and a preference by them for maintaining the barracks-like system of the Victorian era. Against this lack of enthusiasm Dr. Gray set out to proclaim himself as a strong advocate of the villa system and of the principle of voluntary admission allowed for under the Mental Defectives Act of 1911. Dr. Gray maintained that the latter gave easier access to mental hospital treatment but it is equally clear that he believed that this treatment should be based on the clinically conservative philosophy of fresh air which the villa system promoted. Indeed, the Dictionary of Biography entry for Dr. Gray specifically mentions that he gave the villa system and voluntary admission precedence over the development of other forms of psychiatric services in his subsequent career as Medical Superintendent at Nelson and at Auckland and, from 1927, as permanent head of the Mental Hospitals Department .


The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Volume Four 1921-1940, pp.205-206
Wendy Hunter Williams. Out of Mind Out of Sight. Porirua Hospital, 1987, p72.

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