Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg is appealing to the community for memorabilia and keepsakes that help tell the life story of the hospital as it gets ready to mark its 75th anniversary.
Hospital Executive Officer Catherine Hackney said a treasure trove of photos and hand-written records from the Mater’s early days in Bundaberg had been discovered and would be included in a display at the celebrations on July 28 to mark the hospital’s milestone.
“We’ve uncovered photos of nurses in training from the early 1960s as well as the hand-written accounts book from 1941 when the hospital was serving as a hostel for young, single women who needed safe accommodation in Bundaberg,” Ms Hackney said.
“Many families in Bundaberg have had a connection to the Mater hospital and we’re hoping to collect as much memorabilia as possible, from old nurse badges or uniforms to written materials like nurse training books.
“Donations of keepsakes will be curated into a display for the 75th celebrations and would, of course, be returned to their owners.”
From safe housing for young women to compassionate care of the sick and elderly, Mater and the Sisters of Mercy will mark their commitment to the Bundaberg community with a mass followed by a luncheon on the same date that, 75 years earlier, the hospital had first opened its doors.
Former and current Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg nurses, doctors and staff as well as past patients, dignitaries and Sisters of Mercy will attend the celebrations at the Bourbong Street hospital.
Mater Board Chair, Francis Sullivan, said Bundaberg was an integral part of the Mater hospital network in Queensland and the 75th anniversary celebrations provided an opportunity to reaffirm the healthcare provider’s commitment to caring for the people of Bundaberg and its surrounding region.
Mater Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter Steer said marking 75 years of delivering care is a significant milestone in Mater’s life history.
“I am looking forward to thanking the people who have made this achievement possible,” Dr Steer said.
“Mater last year made the decision to become one single, uniform organisation, creating the largest not-for-profit health network in Queensland and providing each of our hospitals with an unprecedented ability to leverage resourcing and expertise from across the state.
“The 75th anniversary of the hospital in Bundaberg is testament to Mater’s commitment, originally founded by the Sisters of Mercy, to providing safe, compassionate care to the community.”