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Mystery $1 million donor revealed

When it was reported in April last year that an anonymous Wairarapa family had donated $1 million to Wellington Free Ambulance [WFA] to support the build of its new station in Masterton, the region was rife with rumours about the identity of the generous philanthropists.

The donation – the single largest ever made to the charity organisation by a family – lifted the project to 60 per cent of its fundraising target.

The $7 million state-of-the-art facility on the corner of Masterton’s Queen and Russell will be the permanent base for more than 30 emergency response crew, patient transfer officers, and rescue squad members who serve Wairarapa.

The station is intended to future-proof WFA’s service in Wairarapa for decades to come and is being built to an IL4 building rating to ensure it can remain fully operational as a community hub during a civil defence emergency.

The Times-Age can now reveal that the $1 million gift was given by Donald Forrest Jones and his family, with the stipulation – in keeping with his humble, private nature – that his identity would remain secret during his lifetime.

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