Dorothy Spotswood — an inspiring lady

Dorothy, the sportswoman, in 1998

Dorothy, the sportswoman, in 1998

When Mark Dunajtsdlik was asked how his wonderful gift to the Wellington Hospital came about, he said it was during a conversation with his business and life partner, Dorothy Spotswood. These two generous people live in Oriental Bay, and Bay View decided to find out more about Dorothy Spotswood. When asked for an interview, Dorothy immediately said that Mark should be the one to be interviewed. But she eventually agreed to talk about her life, which she said was very mundane.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Dorothy, her brother and sisters did not have wealthy parents, but they had a happy childhood and were taught to be self-sufficient. Dorothy was good at sport, and in her youth represented Wellington at basketball. There was no pampering in those days. When her team was to play Auckland, they all had to travel up in the overnight train, and play competition basketball the next morning.

In her 20s she started travelling. She and Mark have had many travel adventures together, but before she met him she went off to Europe with a few girl friends.
They bought a van and set off to explore Europe. She has cheerful memories of being caught in Berlin when the Wall went up. Their visas had run out, and there was no certainty that they were going to get out of Berlin to Poland in their van. They hung around the Checkpoint, and eventually the border control people got tired of these inconvenient girls, and let them through.

Dorothy has been Mark's business and life partner for nearly fifty years, and together they have built up Mark's business. Dorothy does all the accounting work - no easy task. It is tempting to think that Mark Dunajtschik is head of a large organisation. In fact his organisation consists of himself and Dorothy. They have a lot in common. Both both enjoy a simple life, they both love sport and they both like to help people who are in an unfortunate position, not of their own making.

The list of organisations they have helped is too long to list here. It includes the Life Flight Trust, the Graham Dingle Foundation, Hohepa Homes, Hutt Valley Netball, a house for disabled children in Kelson, and of course their massive gift of a new Wellington Children's Hospital.

Dorothy, painting their house — both are great do-it-yourselfers

Dorothy, painting their house — both are great do-it-yourselfers

As soon as you meet Dorothy you are aware of her zest for life. She joins Mark on his deer hunting expeditions, they go rabbit shooting together, and until recently they went on skiing holidays together. She is a great walker. Only a few years ago she decided to tackle the Rotorua marathon, though she had never done one before. She did it in six and a half hours, to even her own amazement since her only preparation for it was to buy herself a good pair of running shoes.

Dorothy and Mark have always enjoyed tennis, and when at the end of the 1970s they decided to buy a house together, their prime requirement was a tennis court. Every weekend they would go to a different suburb and walk round the streets, looking for a house with a tennis court. If they found one, they would knock on the door and ask if the people wanted to sell. The answer was invariably No! Then one day they walked round Oriental Bay, and here they spotted two rather dilapidated houses up a hill. They climbed the hill and investigated them, and realised that if they pulled the larger one down, which had been badly damaged by a slip, and renovated the smaller one, they could have their tennis court.

They have been happy residents of Oriental Bay since then and love it, not least because they can walk just about anywhere they want to go.

Dorothy Spotswood is an inspiring lady.

— Ann Mallinson, Bay View newsletter 70, November 2017