‘Hospital Sunday’ celebrations for 130th Anniversary of BH Health Services

Hospital Museum new and refurbished rooms re-dedicated – 7 May 2017

The public are invited to help celebrate 130 years of continual health service by hospitals within Broken Hill and District at a ‘Hospital Sunday’ afternoon tea at the Broken Hill Hospital Museum within the Sulphide Street Railway and Historical Museum Complex.

The ‘Hospital Sunday’ 130th Anniversary celebrations on Sunday, 7 May will feature the opening of a new and two refurbished Hospital Museum rooms at the complex.

“It is fitting that we acknowledge our hospital history in that special place where surgical instruments of the past will perhaps make us shudder and remind us all of how much more we are advanced today,” said Ms Christine Adams, Secretary of the Museum Complex Trust.

“We can all, through the photographic exhibition, reminisce and honour so many that served this community over the years,” said Ms Adams.

The Broken Hill Health Service takes great pleasure in contributing to the day by providing a 130th Anniversary cake and assisting in the reframing of many photographs featuring nurses and staff of the health service over the 130 years.

“We are very proud to acknowledge the 130th Anniversary and look back at how health services in Broken Hill developed over the years from a very rudimentary existence to the very modern, high-tech and multi-faceted health provider we have now,” said Broken Hill Health Service General Manager, Mr Ken Barnett.

“This is also an opportune time to acknowledge the history of strong support for the hospital for a very long time and these days that continues with the army of volunteers working throughout the health service, including those that support our clients, patients and staff to those that fundraise to buy equipment or volunteer to work in the Kiosk.

“We also wish to congratulate the Museum Complex Trust on the refurbishment work to the Hospital Museum rooms and for acknowledging the great work by those health providers they are named after and for safeguarding the health service history of the district for future generations.”

The ‘Hospital Sunday’ Anniversary celebrations will start at 1pm with performances by the Burke Ward Fife Band and the Broken Hill Singers. This will be followed by official acknowledgements including a history of the local Health Service’s and Hospital Museum.

The new and refurbished Hospital Museum rooms will be officially reopened by Fay Newell who was the president of the hospital committee in 1983 and a 130th Anniversary Health Service cake will be cut. The public are invited to enjoy afternoon tea and peruse the Hospital Rooms. There will be extra information boards on show.

The rooms have been named after well-known identities in the local health service: Irene Drummond-Vivian Bullwinkel Ward, Doctor Graham Fisk Room and the Matron Gladys Vance Museum Annexe.

The ‘Hospital Sunday’ title of the event harkens back to the 1890s when local churches would dedicate one Sunday a month’s collection to the hospital cause in Broken Hill. They were not all successful as churches were experiencing their own financial difficulties and by 1895 they had evolved into fully supported community events. Hospital Sunday was celebrated for many years with the total support of the community.

Ms Adams said the Broken Hill Hospitals, with the exception of the present day hospital, were built with the financial support of our people. Whilst events such as Hospital Sunday were strongly supported in the early years, in later years more structured financial support was provided including through the Broken Hill Contribution Fund.

“In 2017 we have honoured the dedication, contributions and hard work by our forefathers in building and developing the city’s hospitals by revamping the old building and adding an annexe to continue their good work,” said Ms Adams.

The museum complex will open at 10am on 7 May with free entry. There will be some ‘Hospital Sunday’ tins around for donations towards afternoon tea. This event is Broken Hill’s contribution to the 2017 NSW National Trust Festival.

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