Pam grew up in the small settlement of Te Whaiti, moving towards the end of her high school days to Tokoroa. She began her nursing training in 1956 at the Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, retiring in April 2003 from OSH Rotorua, having given 47 years service to the nursing profession.
In 1962 Pam enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps and from February 1969 to February 1970 she served in South Vietnam, where she was based at Vung Tau, attached to the 1st Australian Field Hospital. During this period she established a special `caring association` with many soldiers, many of which continue to this day. (Pam was one of nine NZ nurses attached to 1 As Field Hospital)
On return from Vietnam, she was posted to Waiouru, where she saw out her service as Matron of the Waiouru Military Camp Hospital. Pam then took time out to do her OE in England and in 1974 she became a Public Health Nurse in Nuhaka where she met and married Dennis Terry, 1 NZSAS. (Dennis later died in a training accident in the Phillipines). From 1989 to 2003 Pam was involved with the Health Department and OSH in the Bay of Plenty area.
Pam has been sought out for advice and assistance to soldiers both from within New Zealand and overseas, on issues relating to Vietnam Vets health issues and general military health issues. She has researched, prepared papers and then handed these over to the local RSA Welfare/Pension representative for many pension claims, most of which have been successful due to her efforts.
Seeing a special need, Pam organised a most successful workshop for local vets and their families on post traumatic stress disorder, and as the local EVSA representative has arranged functions to ensure the ongoing comradeship and sharing of issues by this group. She has attended conferences to keep up to date with Veteran Health issues, and has been the Guest Speaker at ANZAC Day Civil Ceremonies in both Rotorua and Te Awamutu.
Pam was appointed to `Honorary Membership` of the RNZA Association in recognition of her service to the RNZA, both operationally in Vietnam and at home in New Zealand, in February 2013.
This poem `Sister` was written by Mike Subritsky to commemorate the work of Pam and all the Kiwi nurses.
by Mike Subritsky
Young man, you ask me who I am,
And why I wear this faded ribbon…
I am the woman, who held your dying uncle`s hand,
I kept the faith even when hope was lost,
and cried within as young lives ebbed away
In darkest night when combat would return,
I hugged them close and willed each one my strength,