Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962
We are indebted to Mrs Alison Drummond of Hamilton for some interesting information about her father, Dr George Craig, who practised in Waihi from 1906-1914, when he went to the First World War with the 3rd Auckland Regiment as their Regimental Surgeon.
Dr Craig was the Martha Mining Company's medical officer and there was a special telephone from the mine to his house in Moresby Avenue. "But," says Mrs Drummond, "I remember that when there was an accident, the mine followed the old custom of sending two runners as well. I used to call them 'the feet in the night,' and they always sent cold chills up my spine! After his death I was told that when there was an accident down the mine, my father never allowed a man to be moved until he had seen him, but always went down himself whatever the risk.
"He had a great deal of affection and respect for the mining population, and the old-timers will remember him as something of a 'character'. He was a Highland Scot with a temper that went with his red hair, a kind heart, and a dedicated attitude to his profession, never sparing himself in any way. The going was hard in those days — confinements at home, some of them in remote places that had to be reached on horseback, and epidemics of typhoid to be coped with. (These often eventuated after road works and realignment of drains, there being a sad lack of proper sanitation in the old mining camp days)."
Dr Craig was a skilful surgeon — a Gold Medallist of Edinburgh University — but his heart was in the Army. He served in the Boer War, and from 1914-1918 and in the last war as president of various military boards. This, coupled with the increased work in his practice, killed him as surely as any bullet would have done, and he was glad enoughtodie in the service of his country.