Another milestone for the Soldier's Memorial Hospital

Our hospital has served the community magnificently for 82 years.

A very successful luncheon and fashion parade was held on June 21 at the Canowindra Bowling Club organised by the Canowindra Hospital Auxiliary.

The clothes were presented by Jeanette of "Inspirations” showing suitable winter fashions.

A raffle was conducted and won by Leone Loombes - a lovely umbrella and handbag.

Mr John Farby was guest speaker and informed those present of previous hospitals in Canowindra and photographs were displayed by his wife Audrey showing earlier times.

Prior to the building of any hospital in Canowindra local men and women treated people with a type of bush medicine and babies were delivered at home by a midwife.

However, in 1908 Grantham Private hospital in Rodd Street was built by John Power, and a few years later Tom Callan purchased it for his daughter 0 Ellen or Nell who was a professional nurse.

We think it was used as a general hospital for a while, and then as a maternity hospital after the building of the Soldiers' Memorial Hospital in 1922.

The building in Short street owned by Mrs Thelma Neville opposite Tralee, was first built as Convent in 1908 for the first nuns in the district.

Later they moved to the present Convent in 1911 and the building became the presbytery for the Catholic priests.

They moved to their new presbytery about 1917 and the building in Short street was bought by Matron Newell and she operated it as a maternity hospital until her marriage in 1920.

It then became Doctor Allen's surgery and residence for about 30 years, then owned by Dr Leake and later by Dr Priestly.

In the intervening years Nurse Upton had a private maternity hospital in Ferguson street opposite the pre-school, and then one in Ryall street opposite the CTR premises. We believe that "Lucerne” or "Lyndon House” was also used as a maternity hospital.

There was a move to have a public hospital built in 1919 and a committee was formed with such names as: Fred Matthews, Stanley Drummond, Father Doran, Rev'd Douglas, Messrs Dunn, Murray, Whitmee, Birchell, Wren, Russell, Murray Gow, Archer, Brown, McDonagh, Woodlands and Dickenson.

The hill on the outskirts of the town was considered a basic requirement as a site for a hospital in those days, because of uncontrolled infectious diseases.

This site was a former miner's lease on the slopes of the Bluejacket Hill. The property cost 212 pounds and the building on it sold for 36 pounds, three shillings and seven pence.

A road was provided through the showground and the racecourse and named Brown's Avenue after the president of the Boree Shire, Councillor H.M. Brown.

The foundation stone was laid in 1921 and the Soldier's Memorial Hospital opened, significantly on Peace Day June 28, 1922, that is 82 years ago.

The Honour Rolls were unveiled with 246 names of soldiers who served with the AIF in the First World War.

The original building opened with provision for six adult patients, and six more beds were added to complete the furnishing of the two public wards and two private wards. Nowadays 18 beds are available - 10 acute and 8 residential (elderly).

The first annual report presented at a meeting of hospital subscribers on January 31, 1923 showed that 6,409 pounds, 17 shillings and 1 pence or about half the cost of the hospital and furnishings had already been raised, which was to the credit of the district.