St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Spring Hill this week celebrated its Foundation Day, 14 May, with a blessing of the foundation stone laid back in 1949 and a morning tea honouring long-standing hospital volunteers and donors.
Andrew Barron, St Andrew’s General Manager, said it took nearly 10 years of fundraising, land acquisition, hard work and dedication before the hospital opened its doors to patients in 1958.
“The momentum and resolve shown by many people in the 1940s and ’50s continues to drive our hospital today,” Mr Barron said.
“It is fitting that at our inaugural Foundation Day ceremony we honour our donors and volunteers, some of whom have had a connection with the hospital for several decades. Without the contributions of many people in the beginning, and throughout the years, the hospital would not be the world-class facility it is today.”
St Andrew’s has grown substantially in the past 56 years, and now treats more than 28,000 patients per year and employs nearly 1000 staff.
At yesterday’s celebration, the creation of “The Spirit of St Andrew’s Club” was announced to acknowledge volunteers who have each given more than 20 years’ service to the hospital.
Carole Lyall is one of the 38 club members whose names have been inscribed on a plaque that will be placed in the St Andrew’s Emergency Centre.
“I have been a hospital volunteer for about 27 years now,” she said. “I do two days a week, and I love it, it is part of my life. I’m proud to be a volunteer.”
Also attending the Foundation Day celebration was corporate and community leader Everald Compton AM, who led fundraising initiatives for the hospital for three years in the 1950s.
“My title was Organising Secretary and I lived in the house beside the hospital site, supervising the first phase of construction and raising money,” Mr Compton said.
“I think we raised about £250,000 over the three years. It was my first job officially fundraising. I had done a little bit prior to that through the Young People’s Fellowship in the Presbyterian Church.”
St Andrew’s plans to mark its Foundation Day each year, and in 2015 the War Memorial Hospital will also hold special commemorative events to mark the ANZAC Centenary year.