25 April 2016
A new ten bed hospital ward at the Rannerdale Veterans Care facility in Christchurch is to be called the Jacinda Baker Wing in recognition of the service and sacrifice of a younger generation of kiwi soldiers.
Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker was one of three New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) soldiers killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan in August 2012.
“Jacinda was professional. She was proud to be a medic in the New Zealand Army and proud of the work she carried out. For Rannerdale, Jacinda’s service and sacrifice represents a commitment to New Zealand,” said Rannerdale’s General Manger, Steve Shamy.
The use of her name was announced at Anzac day services both at Rannerdale and Burnham Military Camp, where Jacinda was trained and later posted before her deployment to Afghanistan.
Her father Peter Baker said: “It’s a very emotional time for us on Anzac day. Jacinda would be chuffed to have a medical wing named in her honour.”
“In twenty or thirty years time it might be the colleagues she served with, or under, who are at Rannerdale and it’ll be a name they recognise,” said Jacinda’s mother Joyce Baker.
Rannerdale has a strong relationship with Burnham Military Camp and the Health Training School based there.
Rannerdale has launched a pledge me page where members of the public can donate funds to help with the fit out of the new Jacinda Baker medical wing. More information can be found here.
A video about Rannerdale and the new wing can be viewed here.
For further information please contact: Steve Shamy, Rannerdale Veterans’ Care General Manager on 027 243 887.
Rannerdale Veteran’s care
Rannerdale is one of New Zealand’s two remaining residential care facilities for Veterans. It is a not for profit organisation with the mission of “providing care for the wider veteran community including those who have served in the military and or civilian emergency services as well as their families and dependents.” Of the 65 residents at Rannerdale, 20 are in the rest home and 45 are in their long-term care hospital. All residents have their own rooms.
Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker
Jacinda was a Year 13 student at Rangiora District High School in 2002. She joined the New Zealand Army and trained as a medic, and was posted to Burnham Regional Support Company in April 2007. She was then posted to the 2/1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment in December 2007 and deployed as a medic to the Solomon Islands in 2010. Jacinda completed her medic training at the NZDF Health Training School at Burnham Military Camp. In 2011 she received a Chief of Army Commendation for her professionalism and courage during exercise Southern Warrior (June 2008), and was promoted to Lance Corporal in July 2008. In August 2012, Jacinda, aged 26, was killed alongside two of her colleagues when the humvee they were travelling in hit a 20 kilogram roadside improvised explosive device.