October 14 - 20, 2018: Issue 379


Camden-Campbelltown Hospitals & Carrington Convalescent Hospital: a mona vale-Frenchs' Forest Hospitals Comparison with Pittwater history Links

He had heard people speak of hospitals as if they were a secondary consideration. He had heard them say that a certain site was too good. There was no site too good for a hospital (Applause.)

 “There was no institution that could be created by man that needed a locality of greater beauty and of greater salubrity than a hospital” Sir Henry Parkes (the ‘Father of Federation’), Tuesday 29th of May, 1888 

...when speaking of the Carrington Convalescent Hospital, opened 1890, and a forerunner in that district of the Camden Cottage Hospital, opened 1899 and current Camden District Hospital.

Two quite new Guesdons being dragged all over Camden by history-buff aunt, Winter of 2018, in front of facade of 1916-1920 built phase of Camden District Hospital - at least a hundred years old and does not need demolishing.

Community objections to the closing of the Emergency Department at Mona Vale Hospital, the 2019 planned demolition of the structure opened just 54 years ago, along with announcements for Expressions of Interest for private operators to construct new facilities and provide new services on the Mona Vale campus, and the perception that these will have to be granted long-leases alike that under which the Northern Beaches Hospital has been built and will be operated, as well as the announcement by Helena Mooney, at the Save Mona Vale Hospital Community Picnic that a Free Standing Birthing Unit cannot be housed at Mona Vale Hospital after the opening of the Northern Beaches Hospital "because they had already sold off our public health care", have ignited a lot of discussion into why this is occurring. 

The August 31 2018 released Parliamentary Library report by Griffith scholar Amanda Biggs, 'Recent developments in federal government funding for public hospitals: a quick guide', states;

'The IHPA, in its Private Patient Public Hospital Service Utilisation: Final report (March 2017), found that the number of public hospital separations funded by private health insurers had increased substantially over the period from 2008–09 to 2014–15. It suggested that agreements between Local Health Networks (LHNs) and state and territory governments appeared to create incentives to increase the number of privately insured patients because this increased revenues.

A 2017 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals, 2006–07 to 2015–16, confirmed that public hospital admissions funded by private health insurers had increased, from 8.2 per cent of hospitalisations in 2006–07 to 13.9 per cent in 2015–16. The AIHW report also found that public patients experienced longer median wait times for elective surgery than private patients in public hospitals.'

In recent months numerous visits to Camden Hospital, where public patients are looked after, and where private patients are also admitted (although at a rate per day that is commensurate with being in a private hospital) meant getting to see firsthand the modern version of a health facility that has worked for a long time (founded as the Camden cottage Hospital in 1899) and continues to.

Data available shows a similarity between the Camden-Campbelltown Hospitals and the Mona Vale-Frenchs Forest Hospitals. Distance between for example, which doesn't take into account road building and associated roads closures or access in closing Wakehurst Parkway during flood events, is comparative:

Distance from Mona Vale to Frenchs Forest
19 min (15.6 km) via Wakehurst Pkwy
20 min (19.0 km) via Mona Vale Rd/A3 and Forest Way
23 min (16.3 km) via Pittwater Rd/A8

Distance from Camden to Campbelltown
16 min (15.2 km) via Narellan Rd
22 min (17.9 km) via Camden Valley Way

Camden and Campbelltown public hospitals are part of the South Western Sydney Local Health District - one of the largest health districts in the state. SWSLHD covers seven Local Government Areas from Bankstown to Wingecarribee and has a population of approximately 820,000 people.

The District covers both rural and suburban communities and manages six acute public hospitals:

  • Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital
  • Bowral and District Hospital
  • Campbelltown and Camden Hospitals
  • Fairfield Hospital
  • Liverpool Hospital

The District also operates 14 major community health centres providing prevention, early intervention and community-based treatment, palliative care and rehabilitation services. Oral Health, Drug Health and Mental Health services are provided at a number of facilities across the District. Affiliated Health Services include: Karitane, Braeside Hospital, Carrington Centennial Care, NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors and Sydney South West Scarba Service.

Population is similar too - Population of Camden: 78,218 (2016 census). Population of Pittwater: 72,088 (2016 census).

The two 'satellite sister' hospitals currently have a similar Emergency Department, although presentations to Mona Vale have averaged far higher than those presenting to Camden:

Camden Hospital
Metropolitan hospital with an emergency department

Total presentations

In 2016–17, 12,515 patients presented to this emergency department for treatment.

Year         Number of patients

2016–17 12,515
2015–16 13,118
2014–15 12,892
2013–14 12,831
2012–13 12,549
2011–12 12,419

Time spent by all patients in the emergency department

In 2016–17, the median length of time for all patients to depart this hospital’s emergency department was 1 hour 45 minutes. The length of time until most patients (90%) had departed was 4 hours 1 minute.

Year Number of patients Median time Time until most patients (90%) departed ED

2016–17 12,515         1hr45mins 4hrs1min
2015–16 13,118         1hr41mins 3hrs53mins
2014–15 12,892         1hr41mins 3hrs54mins
2013–14 12,831         1hr34mins 3hrs54mins
2012–13 12,549         1hr33mins 4hrs15mins
2011–12 12,419         1hr33mins 4hrs45mins

Sourced from https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/hospital/1150D2050/camden-hospital/emergency-department 

Mona Vale Hospital
Large metropolitan hospital with an emergency department

Total presentations

In 2016–17, 35,033 patients presented to this emergency department for treatment.

Year         Number of patients

2016–17 35,033
2015–16 34,415
2014–15 33,850
2013–14 33,049
2012–13 31,501
2011–12 29,505

Resuscitation presentations (require treatment immediately)

In 2016–17, 144 patients presented to this emergency department requiring treatment immediately.

Year         Number of patients

2016–17 144
2015–16 141
2014–15 143
2013–14 130
2012–13 151
2011–12 133

Emergency presentations (require treatment within 10 minutes)

In 2016–17, 4,729 patients presented to this emergency department requiring treatment within 10 minutes.

Year         Number of patients

2016–17 4,729
2015–16 4,391
2014–15 3,351
2013–14 3,148
2012–13 2,778
2011–12 2,336

Urgent presentations (require treatment within 30 minutes)

In 2016–17, 12,588 patients presented to this emergency department requiring treatment within 30 minutes.

Year         Number of patients

2016–17 12,588
2015–16 12,693
2014–15 10,617
2013–14 9,643
2012–13 9,826
2011–12 8,479

Sourced from: https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/hospital/1153B2140/mona-vale-hospital/emergency-department

Camden and Campbelltown Hospitals are a 48 bed Emergency Department split over two campuses at Campbelltown Hospital (40 beds) and Camden Hospital (8 beds). They provide emergency care to patients 24 hours a day, seven days per week. On average, Campbelltown Hospital Emergency Department has 159 presentations per day and Camden has 36 presentations per day

According to the HETI (Health Education & Training-NSW Government) website on Mona Vale Emergency Department "We see 33,000 patients per year with 30% admission rate; 30% Paediatric presentations; and have a 5 bed ICU."

On March 25th, 2013 Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced $1.8 million in funding towards an upgrade of Mona Vale Hospital's emergency department. Construction was scheduled to commence in June on a new 8-10 bed Short Stay Unit that will improve the capacity of the hospital's emergency department and the treatment of patients requiring urgent medical care. The Short Stay Unit was designed to better accommodate patients that may need to be monitored in the emergency department for an extended period – but do not require admission into the hospital's general wards. The works were completed by CPS and included 'multiple areas requiring asbestos removal' - that death knell of many a place and person - which causes the query; how much asbestos is still at MVH?

The statistics illustrate that if Pittwater had a population of just over 72 thousand in 2016 and 35 thousand presented to MVH ED, then almost half of our population went there, or revisited. Each visit in the above tables is counted separately, so the number of presentations may not be equal to the number of people seen or treated by the emergency department if some people visited more than once. Here, ‘patients’ refers to the number of presentations - which is clearly a large number for those who presented at MVH.

Documents sourced from the Health Services Union June 21st, 2018 Newsletter (338/2018) state;

'As part of the Northern Beaches Health Service redevelopment, all acute clinical services will transfer from MVH to Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH) and MVH will cease acute services delivery from 31 October 2018.  

MVH will have a rehabilitation, aged care and palliative care focus. The existing 56 inpatient rehabilitation beds will remain on site, together with community palliative care services.  (The existing 56 inpatient rehabilitation beds will comprise a 30 bed Rehabilitation and Assessment Unit and a 26 Beachside Rehabilitation Unit). 

The Community Health Centre which was constructed in 2016 will remain on site. There is also a commitment to provide new services on site including 10 bed inpatient palliative care unit, 10 bed geriatric and evaluation management unit and an Urgent Care Centre.  

The Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will be a new patient care service that aims to meet the needs of people with minor injury or minor illness in an efficient, convenient and timely manner. The UCC will provide an alternative treatment approach for low complexity patients who would ordinarily present to the emergency departments (ED). The service will be 24/7 in the first 12 months with a plan to conduct an utilisation review to determine usage/demand.  

As an interim measure, office space and clinical space in the current ED footprint will be refurbished to provide consulting rooms and reception to be ready to operate 1 November 2018. A purpose built UCC will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019 in the vacated ED.  

Patients who access the service will: 

  • Be ambulant or assisted by family/carer vehicle 
  • Not require admission to a hospital 
  • Generally be local to the Northern Beaches or visiting the area 
  • Present with non-complex/low acuity illness or minor injury/trauma (i.e. similar to those attending a GP) 
  • Be of all age groups 
  • Be provided with basic resuscitation and limited stabilisation prior to transfer to NBH or other hospital if they present and require higher acuity care 

It is estimated that the UCC will have between 10 000 and 13 000 presentations per annum (35 presentations per day). ...

The service (Urgent Care Centre (UCC)) will be 24/7 in the first 12 months with a plan to conduct an utilisation review to determine usage/demand. '

'MVH Hospt. Village Green post 2018' - title and photo courtesy Mark Horton

There again the similarities between the Camden Hospital and Mona Vale Hospital are aligned, apart from the fact that Mona Vale Hospital will cease to have an emergency department and midwifery-obstetrics services while these will still be available at Camden and Campbelltown. The shift to 'a rehabilitation, aged care and palliative care focus', also brings in some more history of Camden as it is home to the first convalescent hospital in New South Wales.

Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents was officially opened on the 20th of August 1890. The hospital owes its existence to the generosity of Mr. William Henry Paling (Palings Music Stores) a Dutchman who arrived in Sydney in 1855. Mr. Paling gave his farm "Grasmere" together with 10,000 pounds as a Centennial gift to the people of NSW.

Our Boys Home, now known as Macquarie House situated in Ferguson Road, was built in 1890 on land also donated by Mr Paling to "The Society for Providing Homes for Neglected Children". - Grasmere by Steve Robinson

It is his presentation of this land and money that inspired Henry Parkes to say, during a speech given to call for public support that;

He had heard people speak of hospitals as if they were a secondary consideration. He had heard them say that a certain site was too good. There was no site too good for a hospital (Applause.)

 “There was no institution that could be created by man that needed a locality of greater beauty and of greater salubrity than a hospital

The hospital is named after Lord Carrington who was Governor of NSW at the time of the Colony's Centenary (1788-1888). The Architect for the project was Harry C. Kent. When built the hospital had 49 beds for men and 40 for women. There were several cottages in this complex; Grasmere Cottage (used for the treatment of children in the early years), Redman Cottage, gifted by a Pittwater local, and the Freemasons Cottage. Alpha Cottage (no longer standing) was used to house patients prior to the building of the hospital from 1888. 

The hospital was established on an 'all are welcome' basis through Mr. Paling's stringent outline of what such an institution should and could be - if people could not afford to contribute to their expenses they should still be welcomed, treated and nursed back to health. In this it was a public hospital established a decade before the Public Hospitals Act of 1898 and the instigating of providing health care to those whom bad health had robbed of the capacity to earn a living, atop medical expenses already incurred, surfaced in medical bodies such as dentists, illustrated through the good work of Pittwater gentleman Charles Autry Hall and the first Sydney Dental Hospital.

The historic sandstone/brick building is a landmark in the Camden area situated approximately 4 kilometres south west of the historic town of Camden. In the early 1970s, under the Sir Robert Askin government (elected in 1950 via the now abolished seat of Collaroy and became the first Member for 1973 established seat of Pittwater), the hospital was turned into an aged care facility following an agreement made between the NSW Health Commission, Federal Department of Health and Carrington Care’s Board of Trustees. This marked the start of a progression from a hospital that cared for convalescents to the organisation it is today – one that encompasses a retirement village of 300 villas and units, four residential facilities and a wide range of in-home support. The original hospital building, which was converted into a nursing home in the 70s, remains today as the administration building. The first Residential Aged Care facility was built on site in 1981. 

On site are Independent Living units, a Nursing Home (aged care facilities; Paling Court, Grasmere Terrace, Mary Mackillop, Werombi Court along with Residential respite), palliative care as well as allied health services such as an on-site medical clinic, on-site pharmacy, podiatry, dietitian, physiotherapy, optical services and the Rocksalt Restaurant &c etc.. 

Carrington Aged Care in 2018, showing roads/paths between complexes, larger structures and villas as well as the 'lake' of 1888 and proximity of the Nepean River - courtesy Google satellite images.(still listed as public hospital under 'Carrington Centennial Hospital')

Mona Vale Hospital sits on 8.8 hectares of land, Carrington is situated on 400 acres, although some records state the farm donated by Paling was 500 acres, others say it was 650 acres in size when given.

In looking back on what has happened to such facilities we can see what may be happening here right now and planned to occur in the near future being repeated. Residents may wonder why the model for public health that works just an hour and a half from here, and is so similar and linked with Pittwater in so many ways, is deemed no longer necessary or practicable for Pittwater. Campbelltown Hospital has had well over 700 million allocated to upgrade this facility in 2017, just north of here Wyong Hospital has received 200 million from the government to upgrade, while on Friday July 7th, 2017 the NSW Government's Health Minister, The Hon. Brad Hazzard, announced the Liberals had decided to ditch plans to part-privatise Bowral and District Hospital and that too will be undertaken by the government alone.

As MVH is slated for a 'rehabilitation, aged care and palliative care focus', despite feedback from way back in 2002 stating the EDs' should be retained at MVH and Manly Hospital, along with birthing units &c etc., and with the rush to sell land to provide yet more new facilities for an ageing Australian population as instanced in the recent secret vote to sell to the Moran Health Group, which develops aged care facilities, the land belonging to historic St. John's Camden, as bequeathed to the community by the Macarthur family, and situated just up the Menangle road from Camden Hospital, delving into Carrington's/Grasmere's and Camden Hospital's beginnings, taken in with events since the 1970's which have shifted public health facilities out of public hands, it may be 'time' to wonder how long history will keep repeating itself.

Renewed calls for answers as to why Mona Vale Hospital as a functioning Level 3 hospital and as a physical structure must go are sure to fuel many a conversation for quite some time. What is coming out in invitations for EOI's from private operators, or being told to midwives, clearly indicates the removal of a public institution into long-term lease private hands is occurring with only the land they will build on, post the demolition of the MVH buildings, remaining in 'public hands' - or will that too be undermined to fulfil contracts, perhaps already signed, to attract private health services developers to the MVH site?

Some insights from the pens of the past show that ultimately public hospitals sprang from, were paid for, made by and kept by the community for the community - they're about family, about ensuring all are looked after 'regardless of creed or colour or financial status' as was stated by one early hospital giver. They are about ensuring the family that is one whole community has quick access to life-saving emergency health care or a place they want and can have their baby at that is within their community - not apart from it. 

Carrington Convalescent Hospital and Camden District Hospital: History Notes

Carrington Convalescent Hospital postcard, circa 1900

Carrington Convalescent Hospital

Carrington Hospital was the first major convalescent facility in New South Wales. It followed design principles espoused by Florence Nightingale, an advocate for ventilation and proper site selection. Florence promoted the ‘healthfulness’ of convalescent hospitals in the countryside and on the edge of towns where they took advantage of fresh country air. The same advantages could be achieved by a seaside location.

The land on which the hospital stood was part of the North Cawdor Farms sale:

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Municipality of Camden.
(Continued from last Issue). 

In 1885 the North Cawdor portion of the Camden Park Estate was subdivided into small farms up to 130 acres each. Altogether there were 3600 acres sold, the final sale being held on 24th May, 1887. Among the buyers were Messrs. W. H. Paling, W. Stimson, G. A. Porter, W. Carter, J. W. Cliff, A. McCullock, Alfred Bennett, and F. Ferguson. It was at this time W. H. Paling commenced the construction of the large reservoir known as Paling's Dam. It was his intention to start irrigation on his property adjoining, but he presented the major portion of his acres for the construction of the Carrington Hospital, which building was erected in 1889-1890, and opened on 20th August 1890. CAMDEN NEWS with RECORD OF DATES (1939, February 23). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141150984

An April article from the 1888 showing the sketches of the Paling Grasmere estate used and the handover of the estate:

Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables at Camden.

The ceremony of taking formal possession, in the name of the colony, of the Grasmere Estate, Camden, as a hospital for convalescents and incurables, was performed on Monday with due eclat, by his Excellency Lord Carrington. The estate is a 'centennial gift,' from Mr. W. H. Paling, of Sydney. A special train started from Sydney at 10.25 a.m., and Camden was reached at a little after 12 o'clock. His Excellency was accompanied by Lady Carrington and Lord Bertie. Amongst other gentlemen with the party were Sir John Robertson, Sir John Hay, Sir Saul Samuel, Sir Alfred Roberts, Mr. Justice Windeyer, Mr. Justice Owen, Major-General Richardson, Hon. J. White. M.L.C. ; Hon. S. A. Joseph, M.L.C. ; Hon. J. H. Young, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly ; Mr. A. J, Riley, M.L.A. ; Mr. J. Garrard, M.L.A. , Professor Anderson Stuart, Dr. Beattie, Dr. Warren, Dr. Renwick, Messrs. C. Stephen, T. J. Foster, Alexr. Gray, P. Marich, J. O. Fairfax, M. Gotthelf, H. Austin, H. Gorman, B. James, G. O. Preshaw, E. M. Stephen, J. H. Goodlet, G. A. Morel], F. H. Reuse, &c. At Petersham Mr. and Mrs. Paling and Miss Lake and Miss H. Lake were taken up

On arriving at Camden, it was at once seen that special honour was to be done the occasion. The volunteers and other available forces were drawn up as a guard of honour; behind were the Oddfellows and kindred societies resplendent with regalia, and in a part by themselves the school children were collected in line. There was a very large muster of residents all dressed in holiday attire. The place was decked with flags and banners, and bunting of all kinds fluttered in the breeze. The military band struck up the National An them, there were ringing cheers from the crowd, and almost before the party knew exactly where they were they found that they had been hurried away to the verandah of an adjoining wool-shed, and that his Excellency was already listening to an address read by Mr. Chisholm, one of the oldest magistrates in the district. It stated that the magistrates and residents of the district of Camden, desired to express their gratification at his Excellency's visit to their portion of the colony, which had obtained an historic interest ; from the fact that in the immediate neighbourhood the great wool-producing industry of Australia was initiated, which now constituted the chief source of its wealth and prosperity. They also tendered his Excellency a loyal welcome, as the popular and much-esteemed repre-  sentative of her Most Gracious Majesty. 

The munificent gift of Mr. Paling, of which his Excellency was there that day to receive formal possession, and with which his name had been so worthily associated, would prove a lasting memorial of his liberality, and justly entitle him to rank amongst the foremost benefactors of the colony. The address was signed by James E. Chisholm, J.P., E. Simpson, J.P. , and 17 others. At the conclusion, there were ringing cheers, and then silence for the Governor's response. His Excellency returned his most grateful thanks for the address they had been pleased to give him, and also recognised with pleasure the loyal sentiments it contained. It gave him much gratification, he said, to pay this visit, not only because of the salubrious and productive nature of the district, but also because of the spontaneous and liberal gift which Mr. Paling had made to the colony. 

Lady Carrington joined with him in his good wishes, and he also returned thanks on her behalf. Rounds of applause almost drowned the Governor's concluding remarks, and renewed cheers were given for Lady Carrington, and afterwards for Mr. Paling. 

A procession was then formed, and the band played the visitors out to the boundary of the town. 'Grasmere Estate ' is situated on a pleasant rise about two miles away from Camden, and is reached by the Brownlow Hill-road. The journey was soon made. The weather being fine rendered it not only enjoyable, but a capital view of the township was to be obtained, and the place was seen under pleasant auspices. A minute inspection followed, and the details of the gift and proposed schemes for management were discussed. The estate comprises altogether 507 acres. This will some day come to the public entirely, but about 80 acres are reserved during the lives of Mr. Paling and his two stepsons. The stock, which is also handed over, includes 150 head of cattle, horses, and pigs, irrigation plant and Machinery, a dairy in full working order, and a couple of cottages. 

One place, called 'Alpha' Cottage, has already been fitted up by Mrs. Paling and her daughters as a hospital, with four beds. In the dairy a cream separator was at work, and in a shed close by the men were at work cutting ensilage for farming silos. The lake from which the water for cultivation is obtained consists of seven acres of water, and it is never dry. The embankment is of a most substantial character, and the water at the deepest part measures about 17ft. At the present time the farm is being managed by Mr. Carter upon half shares, and it has been arranged that the plan shall be continued by the committee. As a profit of something like £1100 a year is being made, the arrangement is a most advantageous one for the committee, who will thus be sure of receiving between £500 and £600 annually in aid of the general scheme.

At the manager's cottage Lady Carrington was received by Mrs. Carter, and was refreshed with milk new from the dairy. The party seemed highly pleased with the inspection*; but it was appetising work, and no reluctance was shown when a summons was given to enter a marquee erected on the ground, where tables were lavishly spread with the many good thing's that combine to make up a ; capital luncheon. During the afternoon n first subscription of £20 was announced from Mr. Garrett, Minister of Lands, who was unable to be present, and we are asked to state that other subscriptions will be received by the committee. The usual loyal toasts having been duly honoured, Mr. W. H. Paling followed with 'The Governor.' He felt that it would be responded to with the greatest enthusiasm, and the more so on this occasion as it was proved again that his Excellency went with heart and soul in all that concerned education and charity. His very presence there was a proof of his willingness and earnestness to help them. In drinking his health, might he be permitted to add that of Lady Carrington, who was amiable enough to grace the proceedings with her presence, and who, since her stay amongst us, had won golden opinions through her gentleness, extreme thoughtfulness, and willingness to interest herself in the welfare of all charitable institutions. (Cheers.) 

Lord Carrington, after responding on behalf of Lady Carrington and himself, proposed a toast to 'Our Host,' in the following terms It is a good rule in life never to be surprised at anything, but I must confess to an amount of astonishment when our friend who has to-day announced something which host to do. He informed me that he intended a present of his estate at Camden, worth ... also 10,000 in cash, to the public, for use for convalescents and incurables : ..he intended to name it after myself. The ... point upon which I was unable to and that was that, in a gift of character, I thought it ought to with the name of the donor. But he has associated being Centennial year, and being a ..intended to give it the name of the individual to the honour of being the Governor of the colony had he for me to say more, and accordingly I accepted the honour he proposed. (Applause.) So to-day to take over this magnificent donation to therefore I need hardly say one word more in praise as the gift he has given speaks for itself.

Mrs. Paling and all his family deserve our warmth for their great generosity. We shall always remember with great respect, and his name will be blessed... Mr. Paling, who was received with applause in course of his response said the honour which had done him was more than be deserved and gave his Excellency and those present his grateful thanks The approbation of so many prominent men for what he had done made the day one of the most eventful in his life and none never parted with an estate on more agreeable terms. solicitors, Messrs. Sphea, Mista's prepared the conveyance and deed of gift, had unsolicited, foregone their charges, which, in the costs would amount to a good sum, and for this consideration, offered them his heartfelt thanks. He referred, also, to Mr. Goodlet, who he said had done single-handed that which he (Mr. Paling) now sought in establishing a convalescents' home. Mr. Justice Windeyer had to propose a toast which would be received with enthusiasm. Little could be done in Parliament excepting the Opposition joined in; and few knew that the lady who was a wife acted splendidly as an Opposition, and saw that the large heartedness of her her husband did not carry him too far. (Hear, hear and cheers.) Therefore, unless Mrs. Paling had joined 'heart and soul' this present act of humanity would not have been carried out. In fact Mr. Paling had been warmly seconded by his ' better half,' and they would all join with him in drinking to her health on the present occasion. (Cheers.) 

Mr. Paling said : I thank you heartily for the compliment you have paid my wife. We both agreed that we were willing to sacrifice— I must not say to sacrifice, but to give up— a small portion of that of which we have more than sufficient, for the good of the afflicted. When I read letter I sent to Lord Carrington to my wife, she said, Well done,' and since that time shoe has helped me in every way. She and her daughters have furnished a small cottage, which is ready for occupation to-morrow. Another minute, gentlemen, and I shall have to say farewell to this estate. I have the honour to present formally to your Lordship the title deeds of the Grasmere Estate, together with an inventory of cattle, horses, implements, and irrigation plant, which I beg you to accept as a Centennial gift for the colony of New South Wales for a hospital for convalescents and incurables. It is my desire that in future this estate shall be styled the Carrington Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables. The mere fact of your Excellency being her Majesty's representative during the commemoration of the centennial period of this colony, together with your Lordship's well-known interest taken in all institutions which tend to promote the welfare of this advancing colony, entitles your Lordship to have your name perpetuated with this institution, and is but a feeble recognition of j the popularity your Lordship so well deserves. The necessity of this hospital is acknowledged by the medical faculty to be urgently wanted, and it affords me a great pleasure to be able and to be permitted to initiate it. The conditions set forth in the deed of gift have been framed after careful consideration, and to the best of my ability. They are as follows; The gift shall be distinguished by the name of the Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables. 

Objects for which the gift is made .-—The erection of a main building for convalescents; the erection of a main building for incurables; the erection of cottages for convalescents and incurables; the erection of cottages for poor lads in delicate health, who could by twos and threes be taken care of by aged or infirm couples of respectable character. It is the strong desire of the donor that benevolent persons should be invited to erect cottages in memory of a deceased child, friend, or relative. Such cottages might be named by the donors, but shall become the absolute property of the institution, and be subject to the control of the committee in all respects. It is also the donor's wish that trades unions, Freemasons, and Oddfellows, and different friendly societies, together with such institutions as the Newsboys' Brigade and the training ships, through the Government, might each be invited to erect cottages, to be called after the institutions so erecting such cottages, to be subject to the same conditions as to buildings immediately before referred to, the donor's strong wish that the farm at Present upon the property may be kept up so long as committee herein referred to shall deem ready and with this end in view the trustees may deem it expedient, lease any portions of the land for farm purposes, it being one of the main objects of the donor, in making this gift, that all aspects of country life, fresh air, and good food, should be enjoyed by the occupants of the institution, and that as little of the banal and as much of home and cottage life as possible, should prevail throughout the place. The institution shall be unsectarian, and all shall be admitted irrespective of their beliefs. Subject to the approval of the committee, any denomination may have permission to have a place of worship for the use of patients, chapters of religion may be invited to attend to spiritual welfare of the members of their denominations, subject to the control actions of the committee; but on no account will religious strife, or attempts at attacking other religions in ... other way, be tolerated or permitted, and if found to be the case, the person or persons so offending will be expating any such places of worship, or from in any of the benefits of the institution. But while these are the wishes expressed the donor, he is quite willing that the management the time being, and who will ha ., inten' and care of the institution, may make modification, of the donor if they think justified may be for the best interests and that his original ideas and shall not change or alter the ... main scope of the plan laid down. Thus you will see plenty of scope a japing benevolent and charitable persons to hand to an institution which, with ease ... grow with the growth of the the South to become one of the most useful ... Excellent Hemisphere. I now recommend it to... protection, and invoke the blessings of the Universe for ' Carrington Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables.' Paling, ... Lord Carrington said: Mr. .., on behalf of the colony, I accept your magnificent and menial gift, and I declare the trustees, stipulations to be earned of this the property of the people forever. Mr. Paling asked me . colony to name the ... The 'first gentleman whom I name is Mr. Paling himself, and.. Knox, Hon. Mayor of Sydney, Hon. Ed M'Lurin, Sir Alfred Roberts, Mr.  Oswald Fairfax, J. R. Street, Henry Austin, J. Stephenpel, Maurice Gotthelf, .. Renwick .. trustees are W. B. Dalley, colony, .. Groodlet. Now, in the name of Mr Paling, for your magnificent bequest, von ort' (Cheers-);and of his address the Governor handed the gift the he had received from Mr. Paling:, to Dr. Rendecds, Goodlet, who received them, and thus complete and the company then separated. The ...  at once commenced, and Sydney was...

Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables at Camden. (1888, April 28). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 906. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164356840

This article a month later, filled with some speeches, is worth running in full as it not only gives us an overview of Mr. Paling's Deed of Gift, it also provides part of a speech that has come down to us and still used today and the knowledge that John Redman (1812-1888), of Pittwater and Manly, gave a lot of money to support the new hospital - a lot more than the politicians of that day


A public meeting was held at the Town Hall last evening to bring before the citizens the munificent gift of Mr. W. H. Paling to the colony, and for the purpose of taking stops to raise subscriptions towards carrying out the objects proposed by that gentleman, via the establishment of a Hospital for Convalescents on the Grasmere Estate. The Mayor of Sydney (Mr. John Harris) occupied the chair, and there were on the platform-His Excellency the Governor, the Hon. Rupert Carrington, Right Hon. W. B. Dalley, P.C., Hons. J. E. Salomons, E. Knox, John Macintosh, and Dr. Renwick, Ms.L.C; Sir Henry Parkes, Messrs. G. H. Reid, A. J. Riley, J. Garrard, and J. S. Hawthorne, Ms.L.A. ; Sir Alfred Roberts, Professor Anderson Stuart, Dr. Cox, Revs. Canon Banks-Smith (of Hobart), S. Wilkinson, Messrs. James R. Fairfax, J. O. Fuirtux, M. Gottheit, E. M. Stephen, F. C. Brewer, B. James, Henry Austin, J. H. Goodlot, F. B. Lark. G. Cohen, Louis Phillips, and W. H. Paling. There were in the main body of the hall about 300 persons, including a few ladies.

The MAYOR said he would not address the meeting, but believed he would meet the views of the meeting by calling on the gentlemen who had kindly consented to speak and explain the objects of the meeting in more eloquent terms than himself. He wished to state that he had received letters of apology for their absence from the Chief Justice, the Hon. James Inglis (Minister of Public-Instruction) and Messrs. J. W. Mortley and Charles Cowper. He would now call on his Excellency the Governor to address the meeting.

Lord CARRINGTON, on rising, was received with loud applause. He said: On the business paper I see that I am called upon to address this meeting, and in obedience to the call of his Worship the Mayor, I have great pleasure in doing so, and also in expressing my satisfaction at being here this evening, at seeing so very good a gathering, and especially at seeing the Platform so crowded with representative men. The business that has brought us together this evening -[Here his Excellency's speech was interrupted by immense applause at the presence of Sir Henry Parkes, who just then stepped on to the platform] - needs no preface and no panegyric from me. The facts speak for themselves more eloquently than any speech could possibly do. 

Some few months ago Mr. Paling walked into my room at Government House, and told me that as this was the centennial year he wished to give some mark of affection for the colony in which he lived; that he was prepared to found a hospital for convalescents and incurables-(applause)- and he told me he was willing to give his estate, which was valued at £20,000, and also to give £10,000 more towards the establishment of this worthy object. (Applause.) The estate has been handed over, and the title deeds are in the possession of the trustees. Mr. Paling has given me a cheque for £10,000-(great applause)-which my bankers have paid in to the account of the convalescent hospital, and I think we may well say that we have made a good start. (Applause.) Mr. Paling also informed me that as I happened to be the Governor of this colony during the centennial year that he intended to name it after me. I told him that 1 agreed with him in his admirable idea, but that there was only one thing with which I disagreed, and that was that the institution which he proposed to establish should bear my name and not his own. He told me he was determined on that point, and therefore I gracefully accepted the compliment, and had nothing more to say. (Applause.) There are several resolutions that will be placed before you this evening, and I have little more to say, except one thing, and that is, that this is the beginning of a now era in the colony. This is the first time that a citizen-and, mind yon, one not born in England or in the colony-has presented the colony with so munificent a gift. (Applause.) I know that in a new country, such as the one in which we live, there are not a great many rich men. We have no family here such as the Rothschilds. In this country we cannot point to a cathedral practically rebuilt as St. Patrick's in Dublin by the Guinnesses. We cannot point to any library such as that in New York given by the Astors, nor to houses for the industrial classes, such as I those in London built by a Peabody ; but in this hospital we have a splendid beginning. (Applause ) I think I can confidently appeal to all to buck up Mr. Paling, and support so noble and good an example. (Loud applause.)

The MAYOR called on Mr. Salomons to move the first resolution. 

Mr. SALOMONS said he felt honoured in being called on to propose the first resolution, which was as follows," That this mooting desires to record its high sense of the services rendered by W. H. Paling, Esq., to this his adopted country, and to humanity, by his munificent gift towards the foundation of a hospital for convalescents and incurables." It was hardly necessary for him to tell the meeting that the gift so generously given comprised a farm of about 500 acres, with a dairy, irrigation appliances, and two cottages and other means, all valued at £20,000. To this Mr. Paling had been good enough to add the munificent gift of £10,000 in money. As his Excellency had told them, this splendid gift came from one who was not a native-born subject of the Queen; but that gentleman was moved by a feeling of gratitude in admiration of our institutions, and after a residence here of over 30 years he was good enough to show his gratitude by placing at the disposal of the community this generous offer. The motion he had to propose invited them to record their high sense of the gift of Mr. Paling, and he thought they would best answer that invitation by raising as for as their means would allow what would make it a perfect success. (Applause.) He was given to understand that the sum of £15,000 was required to bring about this result. He wished that the generosity of Mr. Paling might be emulated by some of the people of New South Wales, who, after satisfying every fancy, had more means than they well knew how to dispose of. He had been acquainted with many acts of generosity on the part of Mr. Paling during the past 30 years, and now, happily, his great humanity and public spirit had expanded itself on a scale larger than he had ever anticipated. Mr. Paling had manifested his liberality by proposing to fill a gap in our charitable institutions that it was desirable to fill. He regretted to say that he felt remorse at the thought of how little of his time was given to those who were suffering from afflictions from which others were free. It was strange how little and how seldom we turned aside from the busy cares of our life to think of how we might relieve those who were unfortunate, and throw light on their dark career. Mr. Paling had set us a noble example, and had shown that humanity and generosity were not the peculiar heritage of the English race. He had laid the foundation of an institution from which would spring a stream of gratitude around him. It was no transcendental thought to assert that the purest pleasures were to be derived from a sense of the performance of a high duty, and in one view it might be held that this wag selfish, because he ventured to prophesy that Mr. Paling and his family when they saw this institution reared, a feeling of purer pleasure would spring up that could not be had by the mere investment of money. (Applause.) He had intended to subscribe £50-(applause)-but if nine persons contributed £100 each he would make the tenth, and contribute £100 also. (Applause.) He had much pleasure in moving the motion.

Dr. RENWICK seconded the motion, and said that as a medical man, and one who had some experience of the charitable institutions of this colony, be know well-and was only expressing the opinion of many others-that a great want had been felt for a lone time for an institution of the character which Mr. Paling had now so nobly founded. (Hear, hear.) They knew well that in our institutions, and especially in our hospitals, great difficulties had been experienced. So little room had there been that it had been absolutely necessary to discharge patients who were not thoroughly cured, and who required the benefits of such an institution as that which it was proposed to establish. (Applause.) Ho remembered that some time ago, when hr hold office as a Minister of the Crown, this matter was so pressingly brought under his attention it was his idea it would be well if an institution which was then available-the Protestant Orphan School-could be employed for that purpose. But he thought it was better that things had occurred as they had, and that the public, instead of the Government of the country, should have on opportunity of carrying out the noble aim Mr. Paling had introduced in this handsome manner. They knew that the operations of kindred institutions had been greatly hampered in respect to the want of institutions of this kind. He was quite sure that if this institution were got into proper working order great benefit would accrue, not only in regard to the wealthy classes of the community, but more particularly to the working classes of Sydney and the colony at large." (Hear, hear.) What could be more dreadful than for one who had been treated in a hospital, and was about to be discharged, to know that he was unable to earn the pittance which was necessary for I the welfare of himself and his family. It was in cases of  that kind that the management of this hospital would stop in and provide a home. The committee had taken into consideration the nature of the gift, as regarded its salubrity and other hygienic qualities, and they were satisfied that no better site could be selected in New South Wales for the special purpose for which it had been given by Mr. Paling. (Cheers.) Of course they were all well aware that not very long ago a very respected citizen of this colony-the late Mr. Thomas Walker-left a munificent bequest to found a somewhat similar institution, but there was no necessity for the two institutions to in any way clash, because the site on which Mr. Walker's hospital was to be erected was altogether different, the circumstances surrounding it would be different, and it would be adapted to an altogether different class of cases than that for which Mr. Paling's institution was to be erected. He was glad they would have in the colony two institutions for a class of cases which for many years had been neglected. It was better that institutions of that character should be placed in the hands of the people to manage than in the hands of the Government (Applause.) He hailed with delight the prospect of having a Local Government Act which would place the responsibility of institutions of that kind on the people them-selves instead of on the Government in the resolution an appeal was made to all classes of the community. He was quite sure that the appeal would not be in vain. Reference had been made by previous speakers to the great value of the gift but unless it was supplemented by the gifts of the people' the institution would never get into thorough practical working order. The gift was an appeal to the people of the colony to come forward as Mr. Paling had done and render practical assistance in the direction of assisting our sufferers who so frequently were in distress when discharged ' from the public institutions of the colony. He was quite sure, therefore, it was absolutely unnecessary for him to say anything further on that matter. He had much pleasure in seconding the resolution. '

Mr. G. H. REID, who was received with applause, supported the resolution. Ho said that ho looked upon the charity which Mr. Paling had designed as one of the most princely and munificent which could be conceived. In this world we found many prizes offered to the strong -to those who excelled in manly pastimes or achieved distinction in arts and sciences-was found those who succeeded surrounded with plenty of friends ; but in looking across the prospect of society we saw few places in which the friendless found shelter-we saw few loving hands stretched out to succour the unfortunate. (Applause.) The benefactor whoso praises had been so justly and so loudly celebrated to-night had, he thought, rendered a far nobler service to humanity-would leave behind him a far more useful lesson in founding a charity like that than if he had associated his name, with the triumphs of life as a patron of successful competition. Mr. Paling had founded an institution the finest the essence of charity could devise. Left in the world little else than a wreck of vitality-the outcome of long and painful struggles-the friendless poor would now find before them a home in which they could receive the tender care to nourish them back to life and hope. (Cheers.) '

The resolution was then carried with acclamation.

At the invitation of Mr. G. H. Reid, the meeting gave three lusty cheers for Mr. Paling.

Mr. PALING briefly acknowledged the vote of thanks so graciously accorded to him, as an honour which he would appreciate during the remainder of his life. The many kind expressions already received, and the complimentary comments of the Press for having initiated that hospital were more than sufficient to repay his endeavours to make the centennial epoch of this colony to be remembered by our afflicted and less fortunate follow creatures. (Cheers.)

Sir HENRY PARKES, who was received with loud applause, said that the most beautiful things done by human beings were almost always surprises. One of our living poets-the author of " Festus "-in a line so great that it had become a household phrase, told us that

"The world knows nothing; of its greatest men."

That noble line must commend itself to every mind there to-night. Amidst all the noise-all the struggling-all the applause of our little day and generation, there was living amongst us a man-aspirant to no position-bearing his part in the work of colonisation, and exercising unobtrusively the power of greatness. They had seen to-night that gentleman's action recognised in so fitting a manner, he trusted it would become contagious. He could hardly suppose that the great example which had been set would be allowed to pass away without equally meritorious imitators. In securing a hospital which was to do a noble, benevolent, enduring work, the site must be carefully chosen. From all report, nothing could be better than the site in this case. (Applause.) When the buildings were put up, the most recent principles should be observed in the superstructure, so as to admit as pure atmosphere inside as there was outside. The organisation for the management must be as nearly perfect as possible. This noble gift of Mr. Paling would come to nothing unless these simple principles were completely understood and firmly put into operation by the gentlemen who had the management of the hospital. To give an instance of the importance of good management he would take as an illustration lying in hospitals for women. A great authority on hospitals Baron Meydoll-had given this singular and curious illustration. In hospitals for this purpose in Russia, accommodating 2000 women, 30 or 40 of every thousand perished; in hospitals which accommodated 1000 only 25 in every 1000 perished; in hospitals calculated to accommodate 400, only 20 in the thousand perished; and in a cluster of small hospitals which accommodated only two or three women each, but provided altogether for some 1600, only nine lives were loot per - thousand. This illustration was certainly very striking, as showing the wonderful effect of proper organisation, which secured tender treatment, all the comfort« of a home and home surroundings, with the best medical and surgical aid obtainable. When first he was in office, some 22 years ago, his attention was called to a case in the Sydney infirmary. He visited the institution, and was so affected by the horrible sight he saw that he at once took a step which he had no authority to take. He at once sent to England and enlisted the services of that most noble and loving woman Florence Nightingale in selecting a staff of trained nurses, and hence originated the trained nurses in the hospitals of this country. (Applause.) The nurses came out in due time under the superintendence of that admirable- and devoted woman Miss Osborne.

(Applause.) Much had been done here to place our hospital accommodation on a footing with the best in any part of Europe, and what was of more advantage we had in the country districts many hospitals which were doing good and meritorious work. He had heard people speak of hospitals as if they were a secondary consideration. He had heard them say that a certain site was too good. There was no site too good for a hospital. (Applause.) There was no institution that could be created by man that needed a locality of greater beauty and of greater salubrity than a hospital. He had been called on to move the following resolution, and he did so with pleasure," That with a view to meeting the pressing necessity for a convalescent hospital, a public subscription be immediately opened and a fund raised for its erection upon the Grasmere Estate, presented by Mr. Puling." He strongly advised the gentlemen who had taken up the work of public subscription to make up their minds from the start to receive no money from the public treasury. It would be a shame if the work was not completed by the unsullied efforts of the people. (Applause.)

Mr. DALLEY, who was received with cheers, said that by the resolution just proposed so ably and so effectively, the public were now invited to participate in the labour of the generous man who had performed his noble part in the great work of humanity which had made our own society as all such works necessarily did-more beautiful, and given us a more exalted place among civilised peoples. (Cheers.) Individually we were asked to make but small sacrifices compared with the great and affecting one which ho had found so easy. (Hear, hear.) His splendid benefaction demanded at our hands the recognition of his charity, which was best expressed by an attempt to second his noble efforts. (Cheers.) That would be to Mr. Paling the finest compliment which we could pay to his munificence. (Hear, hear.) The men who did such acts as his neither valued phrases nor applause nor congratulations, nor human distinctions of any kind. Their deeds were above these forms of reward. But to kindle by their example a spirit of usefulness, of beautiful compassion, of princely generosity, of a love of the charity which knows no creed in the care of the afflicted, but an equal love and pity for all-this was the great end and aim and honour and reward of such men as their dear and honoured friend who brought, there out of the Netherlands more than a quarter of a century ago, beside graceful accomplishments of which we have often tested the fruits, a most tender and compassionate spirit(cheers) and had worked among foreigners to his tongue as successfully as the best of us colonists, and whose actions were as soft and beautiful and consoling as his music. (Cheers.) Let us make him the best return we could for his rare generosity, and help in building a memorial of his goodness, of our gratitude, and of our good fortune in possessing such a distinguished citizen. ' (Loud cheers.)

The Rev. Canon BANKS-SMITH (of Hobart) supported the resolution. He could scarcely think there would be any difficulty whatever in raising a sufficient amount of money to supplement the noble gift Mr. Paling had offered to the colony, so that his undertaking would be brought to a successful issue. (Applause.) '

The resolution was carried unanimously.

Alderman RILEY moved the third resolution, which ran as follows:-" That the following gentlemen be invited to co-operate with the committee in collecting subscriptions;-' Hon. John Davies, M.L.C., Hon. E. Vickery, M.L,C_ Messrs. D. O'Connor, M.L.A., Joseph Abbott, M.L.A- Sydney Smith, M.L.A., Henry Gorman, Benjamin James J. Y. Mills, E. C. Batt, Edward Jones, Josiah Mullens, H. Evans, Henry Deakin, Charles Walsh, Charles Cowper William Cowper, Thomas Davis, F. B. Lark, A. Hoffnung, George J. Cohen, H. S. I.ovy, R, Teoce, John Kent, John Bennett, George M'Murtrie, J. W. Cliff. Alexander Dean, W. P. Manning, J. Macpherson, James Burns, Henry Hudson, John Pope, Sydney Burdekin, and Louis Phillips."

Professor ANDERSON STUART seconded the resolution, which was then put and carried.

The following list of subscriptions was announced by the Mayor:-His Excellency Lord Carrington, £20; the late Mr. John Redman (bequest), £500; the Hon. J. E. Salomons, M.L.C.. £100; Mr. James R. Fairfax, £100 . the Hon. Edwd. Knox, £100; Mr. R. L. Tooth, £100- Mr. J. S. Mitchell, £100; Mr. Geo. J. Cohen, £100; Mr. Louis Phillips, £100; the Hon. Arthur Renwick, M.L.C., £100the .Mayor (alderman John Harris), £50; Messrs. Lark Sons, and Co., £60; Mr. Thos. Buciand, £60; Mr Marich, £40; Mr. Joseph Palmer, £25; Mr. A. J. Riley M.L.A., £20; Mr. Moritz Gotthelf, £20; collected by a lady, £9 ; Mrs. Benjamin James, £6 5s.; Mr. W. H. Dibley, £5 6s. ; Mrs. Marich, £5 ; Mr. Charles Hooker £o ; Mr. W. P. Manning, £6 ; Mr. F. P. Pines: £5 : Mr. W. Polle, £2 2s.; Mr. Scully, £1 1s., Mr. Marlborough, £1 Is.; Mr. Samuel Bowles, £1 Is. ; Mr. Chas. Friend, 10s.

Hon. J. MACINTOSH proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding, and appealed to the great mass of the people to contribute towards the object for which they had met. Everyone could not give £30,000, but very few there were who could not afford 3d. He hoped every working man would have a brick in the institution. "

Mr. J A GAURABD seconded the motion. He hoped those who were at the head of the societies to which the industrial classes belonged would consider this subject in' its economic bearing. On the low ground of £ s. d. it would be desirable for them to contribute towards an institution of this character.

The motion was carried by acclamation.

The MAYOR returned thanks, and said he felt proud to take part in such a meeting. He called for three cheers for the Governor and Lady Carrington, which were given with great warmth. 

Lord CARRINGTON returned his thanks, and called for three cheers for the Queen.

The cheers were given, and the meeting terminated. 

CARRINGTON CENTENNIAL HOSPITAL FOR CONVALESCENTS. (1888, May 30).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13687697 

Carrington Centennial Hospital.

We have received from the secretaries of the above institution a letter, with a printed circular enclosed, soliciting our aid in making known its origin and objects. We liavo previously done this to the best of our opportunities ; and the splendid gift of Mr. Paling, together with the salient features of his "noble and patriotic movement," have by other means been so prominently placed before the reading public, that they must already be tolerably familiar with them, and the result will no doubt be, as the joint hon. secretaries desire, "a warm and generous support to the institution by the public."

A few important facts, however, which we gather from the circular-letter referred to, will be of interest:—The Alpha Cottage, on the Grasmere Estate, which was furnished and provisioned by Mrs. Paling and her daughters, is already occupied by convalescent patients; and the committee have received and accepted an offer from the late John Redman, Esq., to erect a cottage at a cost of £500. It has been determined to proceed at once with the erection of a Convalescent Hospital for one hundred patients, and the building committee are at present engaged with the architect in the preparation of plans. The building committee have also been instructed to prepare plans showing the sites which will be available for the erection of cottages by institutions, private benefactors, or associated bodies. Carrington Centennial Hospital. (1888, August 8). Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article118274714

Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables.

The idea of founding this hospital for convalescents and incurables originated with W. H. Paling Esq. , who in a letter to his Excellency the Governor, dated January 31st, 1888, offered to his Excellency on behalf of the colony, the Grasmere Estate, at Camden, and all its improvements, stock, &c. together with the sum of £10,000, as a starting point for the carrying out of the noble and patriotic movement to which all are now invited to lend their assistance. 

The general scope of the work which the hospital is intended to perform is sufficiently indicated by its title; but some further particulars of the lines which are proposed for its management will be of interest to the public, and more especially to those who accord their support to the hospital. The following are the most salient features in the scheme, as laid down by the donor, and subsequently settled by the committee, to whom the management of the hospital is entrusted, in accordance with his wishes :— 

The object of the institution are, that persons recovering from acute illness may benefit by a short residence in the healthful climate of Camden, and a plentiful use of the farm products from the Grasmere Estate ; and further, that persons suffering from incureable diseases may have their lives prolonged and their sufferings alleviated by the above-named advantages. The occupants of the hospital will be selected without regard to creed or nationality, but the authorities, to whom the selection of patients will be entrusted, will make much enquiries as may be necessary with regard to candidates for admission. While every reasonable opportunity will be gives the inmates to receive the ministrations of the clergy of such demonstrations as they may desire, it will be provided that no attempt at proselytising will be tolerated on any account. On the expiry of the term for which the present committee has been appointed, and subsequently on the same date in every year, a general meeting of subscribers will be held when a report and balance-sheet will be submitted and an election of subscribers' representatives on the committee will take place. With a view to preserving, as much as possible, the characteristics of home life, it is proposed to invite mercantile, financial institutions, trade unions, benefit societies, and other associated bodies to erect and sufficiently endow cottages, to which they will have a right of nomination for their employees of members. It may be stated that the Alpha Cottage on the Grasmere Estate, which was furnished and provisioned ready for occupation by Mrs. Paling and her daughters, is already occupied by convalescent patients, and the committee have received and accepted an offer from the Executors of the late John Redman, Esq., to erect a cottage at a cost of £500. It has been determined to proceed at once with the erection of a Convalescent Hospital for one hundred patients, and the building committee are at present engaged with the architect in the preparation of plans. The building committee have also been instructed to prepare plans showing the sites which will be available for the erection of cottages in connection with the institution by private benefactors or by such associated bodies as are mentioned above. It is necessary, for the effective carrying out of the grand work conceived by Mr. Paling, that a warm and generous support should be accorded to this institution by the public, and annual subscriptions or endowments of land are particularly desired to secure its permanent success. Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables. (1888, August 25). The Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article99867664 

Construction occurred from 1889 to 1890. The foundation stone was laid by Lord Carrington on Monday, February 18th, 1889:

The foundation-stone of which is to be laid on Monday afternoon, February 18th, by Lady Carrington.

No title (1889, February 16). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 334. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161930152


The ceremony of laving tho foundation-stone of the Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables, founded by Mr W H Paling, was performed by Lord Carrington at Grasmere Estate, Camden, yesterday, in the presence of nearly 2000 people, a large number being visitors from Sydney. The bulk of those present selected the occasion as a great gala day, and, with Mr Paling's generosity in providing abundance of good things, converted the otherwise formal ceremony into a huge picnic. The visitors from Sydney were provided with a special train, which left Redfern at 9 30 and was met at Camden by fully 1000 people, who turned out with all the pomp and splendour at their command i ho railway platform and all the principal buildings in the main street were gaily decorated, and in two places strings of flags were stretched across the road, bearing in centre pieces the words "Blessed are the Bounteous," and ''Welcome to our Donor and Guest ". The town-ship generally presented an imposing spectacle, bunting being everywhere displayed. As soon as Camden was reached the visitors were conveyed in coaches, omni-buses, and waggonettes to the site of the institution, which stands in an elevated position two miles distant from and overlooking toe township Refreshments were partaken of by the company pending the arrival of his Excellency, who came from Mossvale by the midday train and reached Camden shortly before 1 o'clock the band of N.S.S. Vernon escorted Lord Carrington to the scene of operations, where he was met by Mr. Paling, vice-president the Hon Knox, M L A, hon treasurer Mr J Oswald Fairfax, hon secretary. Amongst the members of the committee present were the Hon James White, Colonel Goodlet, Mr J R Street, M L A , and Mr E M Stephen. The Bishop of Bathurst, the Comte de Segtuer and a large number of medical gentlemen and members of the clergy were also amongst the company.

Mr PALING said he was requested by the general committee to ask his Excellency to lay the foundation-stone of the Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents, which they hoped would be an everlasting memento of his kind and generous actions during the period he had represented her Majesty in New South Wales (Cheers ).

Mr J OSWALD FAIRFAX, on behalf of the committee, presented his Excellency with a silver trowel and mallet, and in doing so said he could not help feeling that the duty could have been no more fittingly performed by his senior colleague, He was now enjoying a well earned rest after many months' close attention to the affairs of the institution. He conveyed the warmest thanks of the committee to his Excellency for the great personal interest and sympathy he had exhibited in connection with the hospital adorned by his name (Cheers).

Mr H C KENT, the architect for the building, then read a copy of the parchment placed in a sealed bottle under the stone, a portion of which ran as follows -' This stone was laid by his Excellency Charles Robert Baron Carrington, P C , G C M G , Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Anno Domini February 18, 1889, in the fifty-second year of the reign of her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria the building of which this stone forms a part being erected as the Carrington Centennial Hospital tor Convalescents, upon the Grasmere Estate Camden, which estate of five hundred acres, together with a cheque for £10 000 was the munificent gift for such purpose of W H Paling, Esq.  The following gentle-men are trustees for the same, viz- The hon Dr A Renwick, M L C , and Colonel J H Goodlot, the third trusteeship vacant through the death of the late Right Hon W B Dalby P C , having been recently accepted by his Honor Sir Frederick M Darley, Chief Justice The general committee are the following- President, His Excellency Lord Carrington, P C , G C M G , vice-president W H Paling lion treasurer, the Hon E Knox, M L C joint hon secretaries, Sir Alfred Roberts and J Oswald Fairfax , and the other members of committee, the hon Dr A Renwick, M L C , Colonel J H Goodlet, his Worship John Harris, Mayor of Sydney, the Hon James White, J R Street, M L A , Dr M'Laurnn, H Austin, M Gottheit, E M Stephen, Jacob Garrard, M L A. Copies of the Sydney Morning Herald and Sydney Mail were also placed in the bottle but coins were conspicuous by their absence, it being preferred that they should have a more useful place upon the top of the stone.

His EXCELLENCY, amidst cheers, declared the stone to be well and truly laid, upon which he called for throe rounds of cheers for Mr and Mrs Paling, which were most heartily responded to.

Cheers were subsequently given for her Majesty and Lord Carrington.

Mr KNOX said it became his duty, for the information of the many friends who had testified their interest in the noble work, to make a statement of ways and means I hey had, in addition to Mr Paling's munificent gift, donations and subscriptions amounting to £4,182(cheers), but from this amount there were to be deducted two donations specially appropriated to the erection of a cottage hospital, one was of £1000 from the Masonic body, and another of £500 from the executors of the late William Redman These reduced the amount available for the work the committee had in band to £882, leaving the committee to raise during the progress of the work a further sum of £3418 the question they had therefore to address themselves to was the deficit of £3418. In round numbers they required £3000 to complete the noble work-not that sum to initiate a largo, new, and costly undertaking, but to supplement the princely gift of £10,000 from Mr Paling a gift small in comparison to the magnificent estate of 500 acres The cause of charity would indeed be at a low ebb in tho community if the slightest difficulty were felt in raising for so noble a purpose that comparatively trifling sum The opportunity was at the moment afforded of laying upon the stone the desired amount, and he hoped their good resolutions would be put into practice (Cheers ) For the information of those who were not precent, he wished to have it stated that his address was No l8, Victoria Arcade -(cheers)-where donations would be gratefully acknowledged Before concluding he mentioned the following figures -Amount of Mr Graham's contract for the building, £12,137, bricks, £1666, architect's commission, furnishing, laying out grounds, &c, £2500 total, £16,300.

The names of subscribers were then taken, and in less than 16 minutes £1000 was collected, many donors supplementing previous handsome contributions. Lord Carrington sent his hat round for small coin, and speedily gathered a substantial sum.

A few particulars concerning the institution will be read with interest. The building is the central block of the proposed group of hospital buildings to be erected upon the Grassmere estate, The portion now being built will accommodate 89 patients (49 males and 40 females) provision being made for a future extension to accommodate an additional 24 patients. The plan has been worked out with a view to the greatest simplicity of supervision and economy of management. The visitors and the matrons' rooms will occupy the right and left portions under the central tower, the doctors' room and dispensary being also centrally placed, and close to the entrance. Care has been taken in separating tho sexes, a different entrance being provided for each at the opposite eudB of the building. Close to these a day room with a wide verandah is provided for each on the ground floor, with n smoking and summer houses opening on to the verandahs. Sick wards and all conveniences are also included on the ground floor. The building will bo well-lighted and vontilatcd, and special arrangements are being made for carrying tho drainage to a large cultivated area for fertilising purposes. The water supply will be twofold, that for baths. &c, being pumped to a set of roof tanks from a largo reservoir, while that for drinking and cooking purposes will be caught from the roof and stored in an underground tank, whence it will be lifted by a windmill pump to another sot of roof tanks. Hot and cold water will be laid throughout the building. The arrangement of the plans has been carefully worked out by the architect, in conjunction with Sir Alfred Roberts, whose experience in hospital construction is of great value. The aspect of the edifice is a few degrees east by north-east, so that the sun may touch every side of it during its course. Care has been taken to waste as little as possible on more adornment, the grouping of the building being relied upon for picturesqueness of appearance. A granite tablet will he placed over the central doorway, memorialising Mr. Paling's gift.

His EXCELLENCY subsequently laid the foundation stone of the Masonic Convalescent Home, on a site close to the main building, once a sum of £60 was collected on the spot. Cheers for the Queen, Mr. Paling, his Excellency, and Lady Carrington closed the proceedings, which were attended by a large and influential body of Masons. The funds for the establishment of this cottage for members of the craft were voted by the members of the late District Grand Lodge of New South Wales just prior to its dissolution. Brou. W. H. Simpson, A. Gabriel, Donnelly Fisher, and E. Robinson were appointed a committee to carry out the undertaking. Plans were prepared by Bro. H. S. Thompson, of Beaumont's-chambers, and a very good idea of what the building would look like when completed was obtained from a pen-and-ink sketch exhibited by the architect. The building is to be of brick cement dressings on concrete foundations, roofed with slates, and finished with an ornamental tileridge cresting. Although plain it will have a pleasing appearance, and will contain two wards, one 20ft. by 13ft. Oin. and the other 13ft. 6in. square; sitting room, 18ft., with large bay window, nurse's room, kitchen, bath, &c. The entrance facing the main road will be marked by a porch, from which access is gained to the hall, 10ft. wide, on the wall of which will be erected a marble tablet with an inscription detailing the origin and objects of the building. Along the whole length of the north-eastern or main elevation will run a verandah 7ft. wide. Ventilation and the comfort and convenience of the future inmates have been most care-fully considered, and the building when complete will be a credit to all concerned, and as it is the first edifice erected by the Masons of New South Wales for a charitable object will be of considerable ...

At the luncheon which followed, his Excellency, who occupied the chair, read a telegram from Mr. Dibbs regretting his absence. In proposing Mr. Paling's health, he spoke in eulogistic terms of the munificent gift, and dwelt upon the success which must attend the undertaking. He warmly advocated the claims of the institution and expressed a hope that the remaining £1000 required would be speedily collected. He referred to the presence of many notable citizens, including the Consuls for Germany and France, and regretted that the Comte and Comtesse de Seguior were leaving the colony at an early date. In conclusion, his Excellency wished Mr and Mrs Paling "God speed" on their approaching departure and a safe return, adding that generations would bless the name of generous Mr Paling (Cheers )

MR. PALING suitably acknowledged the toast, and thanked the company for their presence at the ceremony. Other toasts followed and the proceedings terminated. THE CARRINGTON HOSPITAL FOR CONVALESCENTS. (1889, February 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13714621

Lord Carrington Laying the First Stone of Centennial Hospital. 

THE CARRINGTON CENTENNIAL HOSPITAL, GRASMERE, near CAMDEN. (1889, March 7). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 - 1894), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63621508

The value of a £16,000 in 1889 translates to $1,884,200.00 in 2017. If you want to compare the value of a £16,000 0s 0d Project in 1889 there are two choices. In 2017 the relative: real cost of that project is $2,768,000.00 while its value to the economy and our society would be $105,020,000.00. - per Measuring Worth website - Amazing, a hospital that size for so little coin! Makes you wonder how our now escalated costs for everything associated with hospitals actually comes from. Also worth thinking about is the cost of hospitals in comparison to the worth they bring to the society or community they are part of.

A little over a year later:


1. Sir Alfred Roberts reading the address to Lady Carrington at the principal entrance. 2. Lady Carrington receiving the first patient. 3. Masonic Cottage Hospital. See Page 481. OPENING OF THE CARRINGTON CENTENNIAL HOSPITAL. (1890, August 30). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 476. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163650164

The Carrington Centennial Convalescent Hospital was a huge success which saved and succoured thousands during the first 80+ years of attending to what he had been gifted for:

The Carrington Centennial Hospital 

DURING the year 1889 Mr. W. H. Paling waited upon his Excellency the Governor and offered him an estate of 500 acres at Camden, with all improvements, stock, buildings, etc., and a cheque for £10,000, as a Centennial gift to the colony, handing him at the same time a letter embodying his wishes. He only stipulated that the estate should be devoted to charitable objects and called the ‘Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables,' and that the first use made of it should be the erection of a hospital for convalescents.

His Excellency accepted the splendid offer, and on behalf of the colony tendered to Mr. Paling his heartiest thanks for the noble gift, but objected to the title named, suggesting that the name of Mr. Paling should be substituted for his own this, however, the donor would not allow, and said that he made the donation on the condition, named and no other, whereupon it was cordially accepted, and his Excellency added that so long as he remained in the colony he would take an active interest in the work. As soon as a deed of grant could be made out, the Governor appointed three trustees and a committee of gentlemen to design, build, and organise the first hospital. A public meeting was held in the Town Hall, and the scheme of the C. C. C. Hospital was fairly launched.

View from Hospital looking towards Camden.

Mr. Paling's Cottage.

Probably some of our readers may remember how, about a year ago, the little town of Camden was thrown into a great state of excitement and rejoicing, consequent on a vice-regal visit to their peaceful community. The railway plat-form and the main street were gaily decorated with bunting and congratulatory mottoes, and the whole population turned out in gala attire. Camden had reason to rejoice and be proud, as Lord Carrington's visit that day was to lay the foundation-stone of the building that was to be called after his name, upon the Grasmere Estate, Camden.

The ceremony passed off with éclat. The plan of the building was seen and admired, but it is doubtful if many who saw it realized the handsome structure which now stands finished, all but ready for another ceremony-the opening of the hospital.

Good work has been done in the months that have passed, both by architect, builder, and last but not least in importance, those of the committee, who knowing the urgent need for such a hospital, have ungrudgingly given time, thought, and attention to every detail, and have watched from beginning to end the gradual growth of the fine building now completed. To even the most inexperienced it is plain that the object for which the hospital is built has been borne in mind throughout. Of what use is fresh air outside if ventilation in the sleeping and living rooms is insufficient, or what pleasure is there in extensive grounds if all the trees are removed so that it is impossible to sit outside and enjoy the lovely view and balmy health giving air, because all is glaring sunlight and there is no shade where those weak from recent sickness may rest at their ease? But great care has been exercised in this particular matter, and on the top of the hill whereon the hospital stands, only those trees that it was absolutely necessary to clear were touched; the others still stand, giving the air of coolness and comfort that no new shrubs of a few months planting could produce. It is a crying shame the way in which the fine old gum trees are ruthlessly and needlessly swept away where even a little building is in progress; a few pines, figs, and oaks may be planted in their stead, but it is many a long year before they give any shade, and they never have the grand towering effect of a judiciously thinned cluster of native trees.

In the grounds in view of the hospital is a large dam of water which forms quite a miniature lake and greatly enhances the beauty of the scene with its little pleasure boats on it. We must remember for a hospital for convalescents the situation and the garden, with comfortable shady seats, where patients may wander about and rest at will, is of great importance, as also the verandahs where they can obtain exercise in wet weather, and the large sitting or day rooms, in which so much of the patients' time must necessarily be spent, if they should be prevented from going out of doors.

Driving from the railway terminus at Camden, almost as soon as the main street is left, the Grasmere Estate commences, and one is struck by the expanse and park-like appearance of the land; It has been said justly that the scenery, around Camden is very English in its character, and the difference between it and that seen on the other lines of railway is very striking. The train runs through miles of lovely undulating downs, with cattle here, sheep there, no rough overgrown bush, but grassy slopes with pools of water shaded by grand old trees. Every now and then there is a glimpse of hills far away in the distance, the sun just catching the tops of the trees and painting them all shades of red and gold. What is more restful to the town-wearied eye and heart than the murmur of the country sounds, the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze that but enhance the quiet laziness pervading the gum-scented atmosphere the shadows chasing each other over wooded hill or grassy hollow, where ' the world forgetting, by the world forgot,' one can dream away the hours in indulging the delicious feeling of lassitude that attends returning health. This is a delightful sensation under such circumstances and in these surroundings, hut of a very different nature when struggled against in town, going hack to work almost as soon as the sick bed is left, and the wrestle for existence taken up before body or mind has recovered from the shock of recent illness. How many, alas, have to do this now, because there is nowhere they can go to get the two or three weeks' rest and proper food that would mean so very much to them just at this stage. It will be a bright spot in the memory of many a one, the few weeks spent at Camden, where, perhaps for the first time, they are free to revel, in the country scenes and sounds, and rest awhile from the bustle of life.

On our way to the hospital we pass the orchard, vinery, and farm, where the fruit is grown, and the butter made from the fresh milk by aid of the separators, a most interesting operation to watch. The farm is let to a farmer who works it and keeps it in order, and gives half of the profit made by it to the institution by way of rent. Then we see the picturesque cottage that, until the new building was commenced, was the main feature of the Grassmere Estate. It is one of the country resorts of Mr. Paling and his family. He generously gave it with the estate, but the committee insisted on his retaining the cottage and garden surrounding it for his own use during his life ; he will thus be able to occasionally visit the scene of his good work, and see for himself the pale faces and weak limbs grow fresh and strong in the country home he has enabled them to enjoy.

It is difficult to write an interesting account of a building that is not occupied, as it necessarily has a bare appearance, but a short sketch of the plan will give some idea of the internal arrangements, which the illustration of the exterior will help us to understand. The building is the central block of the proposed group of hospital buildings to be erected on the estate as time goes on and funds allow. The portion now built will accommodate eighty-nine patients (forty-nine males and forty females), provision being made for a future extension when required. The plan has been worked out with the object of enabling the matron to employ thorough supervision with as small an outlay of labour as possible. The patients will be expected to help in the household work as far as they are able, which decreases the number of servants required, and consequently the expense of working the hospital. Close to the entrance hall there is the matron's office ; the room where visitors or patients are received, the doctor's room, which is also a dispensary. The rooms on the left hand side of the building, both upstairs and down, are for female patients ; those on the right hand side are for the men ; on either side the accommodation is similar. There is the sick ward for those who require special nursing and attention, in cases of relapse, etc. ; then there is the large sitting or day room and on the men's side there is a smoking-room, where those who wish may indulge in the luxury of a pipe without annoying patients who do not appreciate it, no smoking being allowed anywhere else indoors. At the centre of the building, at the back, is a very large dining hall, which will also be used for concerts and entertainments ; upstairs are dormitories, bath rooms, and lavatories, with hot and cold water plentifully supplied ; linen cupboards, the matron's and nurses' apartments, and many others that it is impossible to remember. The kitchen and laundry accommodation is most perfect, and every modern improvement seems to have been adopted.

In the grounds away to the right we see the cottage erected by the Freemasons as a Masonic Convalescent Home. The foundation stone was laid by Lord Carrington at the same time as that of the hospital. It is a pretty little building and sufficiently near the larger one to be under the matron's supervision. It contains two wards, sitting room with large bay window, kitchen, nurse's room, bath room, etc., and a good verandah, seven feet wide, runs along the whole length of the building. It is the first edifice erected by the Masons of New South Wales for a charitable object, and from its appearance reflects great credit on all concerned. Ventilation has been carefully considered in both buildings, and in the large one it is arranged on the same plan which has been found satisfactory in the Prince Alfred Hospital ; one is reminded of that building unconsciously while going over the Carrington Hospital, as Sir Alfred Roberts, who so ably superintended and planned it, has also given the assistance of his valuable and world-wide experience in the arranging and carrying out of the various plans for the health and comfort of those to he received here. He has studied minutely every part, and it is almost impossible to mention any detail of either the building or the future working management which he has not mastered and prepared, ready to enable those who enter upon the work to understand their duties, and carry on the management economically and harmoniously.

The two members of the medical profession who reside in Camden have kindly volunteered their services to the hospital, which offer has been most thankfully accepted, as regular medical attendance and supervision will be most necessary.

The objects of the hospital are, that persons recovering from acute illness may benefit by a short residence in the healthful climate of Camden, and a plentiful use of the farm products from the estate and further, that persons suffering from incurable diseases may have their lives prolonged and their sufferings alleviated by the above-named advantages. The occupants of the hospital will be selected without regard to creed or nationality; but the authorities to whom the selection will be entrusted will make such enquiries as may be necessary with regard to candidates for admission. Every reasonable opportunity will be given to inmates to receive the ministrations of the clergy of such denominations as they may desire. The railway commissioners, taking into consideration the nature of the charity, and that the weakness of the patients will naturally make a change of carriages during the journey irksome to them, have kindly arranged that after the formal opening of the hospital a special carriage to accommodate eight patients - shall twice a week, on certain days, be put on to the train at Redfern, and be shunted at Campbelltown on to the Camden line, thus obviating the necessity of the change from the ordinary train to the little train or tram that runs between Campbelltown and Camden. This carriage will also convey those convalescents returning to Sydney after their residence at the hospital. The committee, bearing in mind that poverty or circumstances may render some otherwise eligible patients unable to pay the necessary sum for the railway fare, and that they might thus be deterred from receiving the benefit of the charity, have arranged that the admission order which each patient must get from the committee, or some person appointed to act for them, will also serve as a railway pass to and from Camden.

The Government has kindly promised a grant towards defraying the remaining debt upon the building, the contract for which. was £14,000 ; but subscriptions will be urgently required to start the working of the hospital and to keep it going. The object of the charity, which is at present the only one of its kind in New South Wales has but to be known to become popular, and it is sincerely hoped that public subscriptions will come in generously to finish the good work so nobly commenced in 1889 by Mr. Paling. 

Mr. W. H. Paling, Founder of the Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents.

(For letterpress, see ' Sydney Social Items,' page 13.)

The Carrington Centennial Hospital (1890, May 24). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 - 1894), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63610975

A clearer photograph of William H Paling, courtesy of the Camden Museum;

The Illustrated Sydney News states that the Carrington Hospital is located on a hill overlooking Camden to take advantage of ‘fresh air’ with ‘ventilation in the sleeping and living rooms’. The ventilation in the buildings was planned by Sir Alfred Roberts and based on Prince Alfred Hospital, a sister hospital to the institution during its formative decades. 

A few post-opening by a decade articles with pictures:

The Carrington Hospital for Convalescents.

In centennial year, 1888, Mr. William Henry Paling conceived the idea of founding a Convalescent Home. ...

Nurse Florence Inglis. Nurse Lilian Banfield. A. J. Ryder, Clerk. Sister Ethel Reynolds. Matron Blanche Bricknell. Sister Jean Dalziell. Nurse Emily Gwyone. THE HOSPITAL STAFF.





The institution is built on the best modern principles. The wards and rooms are lofty and well ventilated, and there is accommodation for 100 patients ; and at the present time 92 are on the books. In the entrance ball is a splendid marble bust of Mr. Paling, executed by a famous artist in Florence. Carved on a stone near by are the appropriate words, ' A tender regard for the afflicted attests the kinship of humanity.' 

In every part of the building absolute cleanliness is noticeable. The tables in the spacious dining room are spotlessly white, in the huge kitchen every thing is spick and span. Ample provision is made for an outbreak of fire, hose, ladders, and water being in readiness for immediate use. The hospital is lighted by means of kerosene oil, the use of which is often attended with danger. The introduction of acetylene gas would be a great improvement, and would lessen the risk from fire. From the tower of the building a grand view of the surrounding country is obtained. The Blue Mountain ranges are clearly discernible, and the pretty town of Camden seems quite close at hand. The patients are provided with the best of indoor and outdoor recreation. The library contains about 600 volumes of books, three pianos are available, a large reading room is much used, and the smoking room with its little bagatelle table is freely patronised by the men. Outside these are a tennis court, swings, cricket and quoit grounds. About 50 yards from the main building is a pretty cottage hospital, erected by the generosity of the Masonic bodies at a cost of £1500. Six beds are provided in this cottage, two of which are reserved for convalescent Masons. 

Carrington Hospital is quite famous for the excellence at its pigs and poultry ; the former are an excellent breed of white Yorkshires, and provide well-fed pork for the institution. The fowls have also made a name for themselves at the Camden annual show. They consist of Silver Wyandottis, Brown Leghorns, White Rocks, Game and Durtongs, and a lot of crossbreds for killing. The poultry-yards are well constructed, and the numerous chickens under Mrs. Ward's care are thriving well. The vegetable garden, tended by Mr. Ward, is a credit to the establishment, and supplies a large variety of cabbages, peas, asparagus, and many other vegetables. The gardener's cottage and part of the garden appear with our picture. 

The water supply of the hospital is from a large dam or lake about half a mile distant. From it water is pumped by means of an engine to large tanks, and from there into the building. About 100 yards in the rear of the hospital is a round-shaped seat little brick structure, the doors of which are seldom opened. This is the mortuary, which, happily, is not much required. From 1891 to 1899 no fewer than 8929 patients were treated. Of these, over 6000 were cured, and over 2000 relieved. The deaths for the nine years numbered only 36, and 14 of these were emergency or local cases. 

Last year the cost of each occupied bed was £35 5s 10d, and the total annual working expenditure £2684 15s 6d. These sums show that the . management of the Carripgron Hospital requires, as it deserves, much support from the charitable public Judging from the expenditure statement, the institution seems to be managed on faitly economical lines. Such items as £127 for milk Ad £104 for butter point to the absence of cows from the splendid pasturages of the hospital. The institution is managed by a Sydney committee and a local committee of ladies and gentlemen. The staff appear with our pictures. It comprises a matron (Mrs Blanche Bucknell), who seems to be admirably suited for the great responsibilities of her position, two sisters, and four nurses. The patients are of all sorts land conditions. Those at present convalescing include, as shown in our pictures, little children on crutches, young and old women and men, and invalided South African soldiers. The Carrington Hospital for Convalescents. (1900, September 29). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 757. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163698768


...To the bed endowment fund Mr. Hugh Dixon has become a donor in perpetuity. During the past year the total number of patients was 987....

The committee at present consists of the Hon. Henry Mobb, M.L.C., Messrs. E. R. Deas-Thomson, M. Gotthelf, John Keep, Dr. Cecil Purser, Dr. John I Hay, LL.D., F. P. M'Crae, Dr. F. North-Mannine, P. Y. Manch, James O. Fairfax, F . G. Sargood, and T. F. Knox ; honorary treasurer, Mr. I M. Gotthelf ; honorary secretaries, Mr. E. R. Deas, I Thomson and Dr. Cecil Purser. The Sydney office is at 33 Vickery chambers, 76 Pitt-street.












CARRINGTON HOSPITAL FOR CONVALESCENTS, CAMDEN. (1901, March 30). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 793. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165293288

The Carrington Convalescent Hospital, Camden.

The Carrington Convalescent Hospital Home originated with the late Mr. W. H. Paling, who in 1888 generously offered to His Excellency, Lord Carrington, on behalf of the colony, the valuable Grasmere Estate, at Camden, consisting of 500 acres, with all improvements, together with the noble sum of £10,000 as, a starting point for this benevolent Institution. ; This sum was supplemented by public contributions amounting to £6000. The estate was handed over to trustees, and a committee was appointed to design and carry to completion a hospital for convalescents. The hospital was built, and furnished, at a cost of £20,000, and was opened by Lady Carrington for the reception  of patients on August 20, 1890. ' In order, however, to accomplish this, a debt of nearly £5000 was incurred, to liquidate which a sum was voted by the liberality of Parliament, by which the hospital was enabled to start its career free of debt.

By the generosity of the Masonic body, a cottage hospital, containing seven beds, was erected near the main institution, and thoroughly furnished, at a cost of £1500, and which when completed was placed under the direction and control of the committee for the use of convalescing Masonic patients.

The hospital is intended to provide a temporary country home where those reduced by severe illness and other weak and sickly persons may, under the favouring influence of change/ comfort, and cheerful country surroundings, regain the health and strength necessary to enable - them to return to work, and to earn their living.

Patients are selected without regard to creed or nationality, and the medical officers appointed to examine patients for admission select those only whose, condition of health is calculated to be benefited by the advantages and change thus placed at their disposal. While the hospital is available for the relief of the destitute poor, patients able to do so are expected to-contribute to their support according to their ability.

Since the hospital was opened in 1890, no fewer than 11,000 patients have passed through the institution. By far the greater number of these were cured, and able to resume their occupations. During last year : 1203 patients were treated, and not one death occurred; 1056 fully recovered their health; 57 were much improved in health; ll were apparently not benefited; and 79 were remaining in at the end of the year. There is accommodation for 100 patients; the inmates at the present time number 92. The average annual cost of each occupied bed is £36. The total working expenditure last year amounted to £3268; every effort being made to keep down the expenditure without Impairing the effective management of the hospital or the welfare of the patients.

Improvements which have long been contemplated have recently been effected, chiefly the Institution of the electric light throughout the main building and the Masonic cottage. This work was carried out at a cost of £1030, which sum was raised through the generous energy of lady collectors,'and the liberality of donors.' The electric light is a great boon, and has so far been found entirely successful, -and its convenience and safety is a great relief, after the danger attached to lighting by kerosene. 

1.-The Hospital, as seen from the Grounds. 2.-The Cottage erected and maintained by the Freemasons for the Accommodation of Members of the Order. 3.-The Staff Sitting Room. 4.-The Matron and Staff.

The system of conveying patients between the hospital and the Camden : station has been greatly Improved by tho supply of a new and commodious coach, adding  greatly to the comfort and safety of the patients in transit. The same applies also to a new railway car, recently supplied by the Railway Commissioners for service between Sydney and Camden.

The conveyance of patients entails an outlay of nearly £400 annually, and has to be regularly Incurred, Irrespective of the: number of patients In the hospital or of the number In transit. The demands upon the hospital are always Increasing, but notwithstanding the great amount of benefit the Home affords to the most deserving class In the community, and that it enables breadwinners to return Invigorated to their occupations, as distance from Sydney brings it less Immediately and prominently before the public than the metropolitan hospitals. We cannot but think that if the generous public of New South Wales realised tho magnitude of the work done, quietly and continuously, by this great charity, at a minimum expenditure of money, they would gladly give assistance in the numerous ways so needed by a large household composed of the sick and ailing ones of the community. While for purposes of convalescence, a complete change of air, and perfect rest and quiet, are essential, these advantages are gained at the price of banishment from the sight and memory of the general public. Its needs are therefore comparatively unknown by those who give ungrudgingly to more evident, tout not more needful, charities. The advantages to the community are demonstrated by results, but the needs are great, and increasing year by year, while many would gladly help, we feel assured, if they knew where assistance was truly needed. The capabilities of this grand institution are great, and we feel convinced that an object which appeals so strongly to the benevolence and generosity of every member of the community will always meet with that general and hearty support it ls deserving of.

The estate is suffering severely from the prolonged drought, and the great Increase in the cost of supplies is already causing a great strain on the resources of the hospital.

In 1900 the hospital benefited to the amount of £750. This sum was presented by Mr. Hugh Dixson for the endowment of a bed in perpetuity.' The Ministering Children's League has also endowed a cot for the use of its nominees. These are steps in the right direction. His Excellency the Governor, following the rule of previous Governors, has since his arrival in the State, consented to act as president of the hospital.

The majority of patients are sent from the metropolitan hospitals, principally from the Sydney, Prince. Alfred, and St. Vincent's Hospitals. There are two visiting medical officers-Dr. P. W. West. M.B., and Dr. Basil Foulds, L.R.C.P., Lond. and the hospital is connected by telephone with  their residences. The Sydney, office ls at 33 Vickery's Chambers, 76 Pitt-street.

The nursing staff consists of the following: Matron, Miss Blanche Bricknell; senior sister, Miss Edith Miles; sister, Jean Dalziell; nurses; Eva Steele, Daisy Ban field, and Ivy Knight.

1. The Men's Day Room. 2. One of the Long Wards. 3.The Dispensary.

The Carrington Convalescent Hospital, Camden. (1902, August 9). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 32. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71491317

Carrington Convalescent Hospital.

43rd Anniversary.
(By M.W.H.)

Remembrance — yes, that must go with the yesterdays, but the event which was celebrated in Camden on August 20, 1890, has left a monument that will never be effaced, but will keep evergreen the memory of those responsible tor its birth for generations to come.

On that date Camden was en fete, the occasion being the opening of the above Convalescent Hospital by the then vice-regal representatives Lord and Lady Carrington, who were accompanied by the Governor of Tasmania, Sir Robert Hamilton, and a host of the colony's leading philantrophisms.

The event was made possible! by the munificience of Mr. W. H. Paling, of Sydney, who not only presented the colony with the estate, then known as 'Grasmere,' containing 650 acres, but also donated the sum of £10,000 in cash for the erection of a suitable building on that wonderful and health giving site. 

On arrival at Camden the party was escorted to the estate by the Campbelltown Mounted Infantry under Lieutenant Newman and were then entertained by the donor, who had reserved for .himself, for the time being what was then, and is still, known as 'The Cottage.' Here they were received by Mr. W. H. Paling and members of the general committee which included the then Mayor of Sydney (Mr. Sydney Burdekin), Sir Alfred Roberts (hon, sec.), Mr. Edward Knox (hon. treas.), Messrs Gotthelf, Jacob Garrad and Camden's then hospital committee Messrs. J. K. Chisholm, F. Ferguson, F. W. A. Dowries, A. J. Onslow Thompson, W. R. Cowper (hon. sec.), and Drs. Warren and Beattie. The gathering also included leading members of the medical profession of Sydney. 

Alfred Roberts invited Lady Carrington to open the building which has since that time been responsible for restoring to health bread-winners and bringing happiness to fully 50,000 homes. He reminded the general public that their hearty and generous support and co-operation was needed to endow and carry on the hospital so that it should be a permanent success. The response that this appeal received is evidenced in the generous donations made by not only those in the Camden district but by the majority of leading firms of the city to this day. The Governor, replying, on behalf of Lady Carrington, expressed his pleasure in that it gave him once more the opportunity of thanking Mr. Paling in the name of the colony for a munificient gift, and in the course of his address asked God's blessing on an institution so beneficient. 

Mr. W. H. Paling, in presenting Lady Carrington with a golden, key, the gift of the architect, Mr. W. C. Kent, said that he had named, the handsome structure after her kind husband, not only because he was the Governor, but because of his ever-ready sympathy in distress and suffering. 

After luncheon which followed, trees were planted in commemoration of the event. It would, be impossible to conceive what a boon, blessing and haven this wonderful institution has proved to the thousands who have sought it hospitable and health-giving quarters . Fresh air, rest and attention is all that those convalescent need, and to those requiring such they find it now, as 'they probably have in the years that are gone, under the very capable 'and sympathetic treatment received at the hands of its beloved matron. (Miss Stall!) and the competent staff. 

Probably never before in the history of the State has the wonderful environments of the Carrington Hospital been proved to those who have sought its sanctuary as in the recent times of depression, and it has brought home to many that life is much like a garden, if we want to gather roses we must reckon on the thorns. Sometimes one appears to be getting more than their share of the latter. We only realise how little we understand our neighbour when we discover someone who is bearing a much worse fate with great fortitude and smiling face. This is the lesson of adversity and should prompt, a more tolerant and generous outlook, so that we may gather fresh garlands of inspiration to re-radiate the spirit charitableness. 

From time to time the institution is visited by the State's leading citizens and philanthropists; among those to be found in the records are Lord and Lady Jersey, Lord Chelmsford. Lord and Lady Hampden, Messrs. J. R. Fairfax, John Keep, E. R. Deas-Thompson, J. Macarthur Onslow, A. J. Onslow Thompson, Arthur Bray, Miss Mary Blaxland and many others. 

No reference to this wonderful institution would be complete without mention of that portion which is known as the 'Masonic Cottage.' To those invalids of the craft who have tasted of its very many privileges there is music in its title. To those who have been cast into the Slough of Dispair through illness, they remembered fondly and with reverance its creators, arid while convalescent there, away from the environments of the city it is like a palace of Fairyland, even as the greasy pavement was a floating, silver cloud. The cottage, created by the District Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of New South Wales, was opened by the then M.W. Grandmaster, His Excellency, Lord Carrington, in May, 1890, the architect being Ver. Wor. Bro. Herbert S. Thompson and is still maintained by that august body. In the 43 years of its life it has given fresh life, hope and comfort to many of the brotherhood. The total cost for the treatment of patients last year amounted to 5,700, an average cost of £52/15/7 per bed occupied, when 1638 patients received treatment, of whom no less than 1596 were unable to contribute, a fact that emphasises the charitableness of the institution. 

Two massive marble tablets hold pride of place in the main vestibule of the building on which are immortalised the names of those who have bequeathed and subscribed large sums of money for its maintenance, and, incidentally, there is still much space for others who wish to follow their wonderful example. Carrington Convalescent Hospital. (1933, August 17). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140484539

Carrington Aged Care in 2018, showing roads/paths between complexes, larger structures and villas as well as the 'lake' of 1888 and proximity of the Nepean River - courtesy Google satellite images.(still listed as public hospital under 'Carrington Centennial Hospital')


Camden Cottage Hospital

The idea for the first Camden Cottage Hospital was initiated by the local Council and dairy farmers in early 1898 after the appearance of Scarlet Fever in the area. Infectious dairies had to close, by law, for six weeks, but the costs were actually higher than following that law;

Proposed Cottage Hospital for Camden

At the last meeting of the Camden Municipal Council, held on Wednesday, 19th January, Ald. E. C. Griffiths moved, '' That this council take into consideration the advisability of establishing a cottage hospital for Camden.' 

Ald. Griffiths said his primary object was to bring this very important subject before the council for discussion. He had not the facts and figures to lay in detail before the aldermen, but would shortly be in a position to do so. He considered such an institution had become a necessity. The Health Act, as they were aware, was very stringent, and he thought rightly so. He might say, however, that any dairyman in any part of the district could easily be ruined by its provisions. If his family should unfortunately be afflicted with scarlat fever, the milk from his dairy would have to be thrown away, for he could not supply it to the Sydney firms, or to local creameries ; and it might occur that a man with a large family might have contagious diseases in his house for twelve months — for the attacks are nearly always insiduous, affecting only one at a time — and during the whole of the time the milk from his cows would have to be thrown away ; while if there was a cottage hospital he could bring the patient in for medical examination, and if suspected could be taken to the institution at once, and if any disease developed, the patient could remain at the institution and the milk-supplying at the farm could continue as usual. The fever, instead of running through the family, would be stamped out in a single case. The expense of paying at the hospital would more than be compensated for by the doctor having to visit the hospital instead of travelling many miles to the patient.

Ald. Griffiths concluded by moving, 'That it is necessary for the benefit, health, and convenience of the public that a cottage hospital be established at Camden.' The motion was seconded by Ald. Moore, supported by several of the aldermen, and carried unanimously. 

Ald. Griffiths said he would see to the matter at once, and in order to advance it a stage he gave notice of motion, ' That this council take into consideration the best means of raising money for the purpose of erecting a cottage hospital.'

Proposed Cottage Hospital for Camden. (1898, February 2). The Campbelltown Herald (NSW : 1880 - 1919), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102164162

In 1899 a two story house on Mitchell St known as 'Edithville' was leased from Charles Furner and converted to a Hospital that was capable of taking 12 patients nursed by a Matron and supported by local Doctors. The 'cottage' opened on April 12th, 1899.


The Camden Cottage Hospital. 

The board of management met at their monthly meeting on Thursday evening last at the Camden School of Arts, Mr. F. W. A. Downes J.P., president, occupied the chair, amongst those present were noticed Messrs J. R. Armitage, J.P.,hon. secretary, W. C. Furner, J.P., hon. treasurer, the Mayor of Camden, Mr. G. F. Furner,, P. O'Reilly Burragorang, S. Ellis, R. H. Druitt, J.P., A. Ferriss, Dr. Bell, Dr. Morton, W. R. Cowper J.P., M. Devitt, C. T. Whiteman, J.P., E. F. Druitt and E. Dobell.

The minutes were read by the secretary and unanimously confirmed on the motion of Mr. R. H. Druitt seconded by Mr. Ferris. The hon. secretary then laid before the board the monthly accounts and salaries due for payment, amounting to £28 2s 8d, and on the motion, of Mr. S. Ellis seconded by Dr. Bell were passed for payment. 


On the motion of Mr. C. T. Whiteman, seconded by Mr. W. C. Furner, it was unanimously decided that the rules as printed in proof form, as submitted, be printed forthwith. 


The secretary stated that the officials in Sydney had stated that the clergymen and the medical officers should be elected by the subscribers on the committee at much length was the subject discussed, the president ultimately ruling that in any vote of the clergy and medical gentlemen 'voting, he would not disallow the vote. The subject was fully discussed by Messrs P. O'Reilly, R . H .. Druitt and others. The hon. treasurer, Mr. W. C. Furner, then read his financial statement for the month which showed a credit balance to the institution of £309 0s 6d. (Applause). He, the treasurer, stated that he had received from Mr. G E. Young the sum of £2 18s 6d as the proceeds of the Narellan concert, and he wished that it should be placed on record that this committee tender to Mr. Young their great thanks for his efforts in adding to the funds of the institution, and in addition the thanks of the committee be given to the many local gentlemen who had given their services gratuitously in entertainments. (Applause). Mr Armitage seconded the hon. treasurer's remarks. Carried by acclamation. The hon. secretary stated that the sum of £7 11s had been received for patients fees to date.

Report for August: — Remaining in hospital 5; admitted 4; discharged 6; remaining; in September 1st 3. In the hospital at present 2. Since Sept. 1, discharged 2, admitted 1.


The president then read the following communication received from their hon. secretary: — Sir. — In view of my approaching departure from the district. I beg to tender my resignation as honorary secretary of the Cottage Hospital, and will ask you to be good enough to have my successor appointed at the next meeting of the committee. I am, etc. J. R. ARMITAGE. 

The president after reading the resignation said he felt it would be most difficult to find a successor to Mr. Armitage who had carried out the duties of inauguration of the hospital with the greatest efficiency, they must however be grateful for the labours bestowed by Mr. Armitage in the past, and for the labour expended by him, the committee, he felt, were most grateful for the work done by Mr. Armitage in perfecting the arrangements. (Applause). He, the president trusted that Mr. Armitage would retain the duties of hon. secretary until the annual meeting in January. Mr. Armitage stated that it was impossible for him to do so. The resignation was then accepted with the greatest regret. The committee then considered the appointment of Mr. Armitage's successor, and various gentlemen were proposed for the position, the first being Mr. E. F. Druitt, who declined the position owing to pressure of business and shortly intending removing his residence from the township to the Cawdor Road. Mr. W. R. Cowper also declined the position, which he would have readily, accepted had it not have been for his trying duties and failing eyesight, he had that day consulted in Sydney an expert oculist and who had strongly advised him to refrain from night work and all extra strain on his sight and labours. 

The mayor, Mr. G. F. Furner, stated that the worst of the work was now over and as it had been well done there was no great difficulty for Mr. Armitage's successor to follow. Hear hear. Mr. M Devitt said he trusted the difficulties would be overcome as 'God fitted the back to the burden.' It was suggested that a paid secretary services should be obtained, Mr. G. F. Furner, the mayor, and other gentlemen objecting to such a course of procedure, although a motion was so moved. After many resolutions the hon. treasurer of the institution, Mr. W. C. Furner, kindly undertaking the two offices until a honorary secretary was appointed. Mr. Furner's acceptance was received with much gratification by the committee. The business of the evening was concluded by Mr. S. Ellis moving, and Dr. Bell seconding, that a hearty vote of thanks be tendered to Mr. Armitage for his past valuable services. Carried by acclamation. The Camden Cottage Hospital. (1899, September 21). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133050328

By the turn of the century it became clear that a new hospital would be needed to provide inpatient care for the growing Camden community. The community itself raised the funds to purchase the land and engage an architect to construct the building, along with seeking state government allocations towards the running of the hospital and 'special grants' towards the new project:

Camden Cottage Hospital.

The following offers of sites for the permanent Camden Cottage Hospital building were read at the last meeting of the board of management : — From the Camden Park Estate Limited, under date 2nd April, offering to sell one or two acres at the corner of Barsden- street, at £100 per acre, also offering from 3 to 5 acres adjoining the mill property from old road to cross fence at the bottom of hill at £50 per acre. 

A further letter was received dated 28th April and duly- read. From Mr. J. Bruckhauser, Elderslie, offering l£ acres at Elderslie at £50 per acre, situated at the corner of Carpenter's Iane and Mr. Braine's road. 

From Mr. Kowald, Elderslie, offering a site opposite Mr. Braine's at £50 per acre. 

From Mrs. Purcell, under date May 2nd, offering site now occupied by Mr. Hopson, 2 acres, price £300, Well fenced, with house and street frontage. Camden Cottage Hospital. (1900, May 24). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133051213

Camden Cottage Hospital. 


Sir.— The existence of the above Institution in our district is a matter that we should all be proud of, as it awakens within us all the finer qualities of which human nature possesses, it demands our sympathy, and our loyal support. It gives us the opportunity of helping our fellowmen in trouble and distress and shows to us one and all the full meaning of good fellowship. Therefore as we are all deeply concerned there need be no excuse offered for the exercising of our just rights in endeavouring to see that the Institution is cared for in the only way in which it can sustain its proper usefulness. As I intend to mention several matters connected with the management of the Institution, I do hope that those gentlemen who are concerned will give me the credit that my motive is pure and honest, and for the sole purpose of helping to launch this noble Institution on a thorough and business foundation, with one idea, one wish, 'that the end will justify the means.' 

At the annual meeting of subscribers (mark you, Subscribers ! !) I noticed that the trustees were elected, and that the bye-laws of the Institution allowed such trustees to be committeemen by virtue of holding office as trustees. I thought such a privilege was wrong, and after consulting several subscribers, it was decided to obtain an official statement from the Colonial Secretary's Department — such statement has now come to hand and bears out my contention that the Trustees have been taking their seats as committeemen illegally. The following extract from the letter received will suit the purpose for the present No. 1, 'In section 4 of Public Hospitals Act, trustee's are mentioned distinctly from committee and have no authority to sit upon the committee by virtue of being trustees.' 2, 'By-laws cannot repeal provisions in! an act of Parliament.'' 3, ' The act and not the bye-law must govern.' . 4, 'Trustees must be subscribers.' The present acting committee will see at once that for the trustees to sit on the committee they must first of all be subscribers, and then be nominated and elected in the same manner as an ordinary subscriber. Therefore the three present trustees cannot place themselves for election until the next annual Meeting, in the event of a vacancy occurring they may be nominated and elected by the committee— such a position at the present juncture is unfortunate as we lose in committee the benefit of the knowledge and business ability which these three gentlemen possess. But be that as it may — it it far better 'to do a little wrong that neglect a greater right'. The Executive officers have no alternative but to exclude them from their deliberations — and if they do not, then the proper authorities may be appealed to. The acting committee must know that if these Institutions necessitate the passing of an act of Parliament for their control, together with the granting of a yearly subsidy from the Government, that the management must follow definite lines as laid down in the Act, and if not followed, may easily be the means of upsetting good and hard work done by honest and earnest men. The 'auditor's' are in the same position as the 'trustees' and cannot take their seats as committeemen except by being elected as others are, of course the 'Act' allows an 'auditor' to be nominated outside the subscribers. 

Now as to subscriptions: — I took the opportunity on last Wednesday of looking through the list of subscribers for this year, and was painfully surprised to see the small amount of money which had been collected; whose fault that such position exists is not for me to say — but there it is — and in face of the desire to erect a new hospital, it looks as though the committee will have hard work to gain the desired end. Is this neglect intentional ? Perhaps those who care to read between the lines may easily answer my question. Yet there is no excuse why the subscriptions of the officiating committee have not been paid. No one, I hope, will dispute the fact that before a subscriber can take his seat on committee, the subscription for the current year must be paid. But what do we find ? : — that the half year is nearly gone, and out of the large number of members on the committee only the following gentlemen have paid their subscriptions: — : the President, one vice President, treasurer, and five committeemen, and either one or two of the three trustees, There have been five meetings of the committee, and yet the treasurer has never reported the vacancies. No one would be so foolish as to think the delinquents do not intend to pay,— that is not the question. The act and also the by-laws speak very distinctly on the matter, and it is a breach of faith with the subscribers that they elected gentlemen who should be the first to fulfil their part of the contract, and so guard the interests of the subscribers in all detail. If the committee neglect their own subscription, how can they expect the public to respond with any degree of enthusiasm. I have spoken thus much, in the hope that the committee of this or any other Institution will always remember it well that if there are rules, that they ought to be kept. Trusting I have not intruded too much on your valuable space.

I am, etc.,
Camden Pharmacy, 4/6/1900.

Camden Cottage Hospital. (1900, June 7). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133051075

For those interested: 

Act No. 16, 1898.
An Act to consolidate the Acts relating to Public Hospitals. [27th July, 1898.]

BE it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :—
1. This Act may be cited as the " Public Hospitals Act, 1898, " and is divided into Parts, as follows :—
PART I.—-Preliminary—ss. 1-3 .
PART II.—Election and appointment of officers—ss. 4-11 .
PART III.—Hospital property and legal proceedings—ss. 12-18 .
PART IV'.—Supplemental—ss. 19-21 .

2. (1 ) The Acts mentioned in the First Schedule to this Act are, to the extent therein expressed, hereby repealed.
( 2 ) All persons appointed or elected under the Acts hereby repealed, and holding office at the time of the passing of this Act, shall be deemed to have been appointed or elected hereunder.
( 3 ) All rules, regulations, or by-laws made under the authority of any Act hereby repealed, and being in force at the time of the passing of this Act, shall be deemed to have been made under the authority of this Act.

3. This Act shall apply—
(a) to the hospitals mentioned in the Second Schedule hereto;
(b) to any hospital to which the Governor is authorised to extend and extends the provisions of this Act as hereinafter provided.

Camden Cottage Hospital.

A special meeting of the Board was held on Tuesday evening at the School of Arts. Mr W. R. Cowper, vice-president, occupied the chair and there were present Messrs W. C. Furuer, hon. treasurer, H. Dobell, hon. secretary, Rev. G. Thompson, and Rev. Father Comaskie, E. F. Druitt, P. Kilmartin, A. Veness, Dr. Morton, and J. Ferris. A number of apologies were received, owing to the early hour of the meeting. 

The chairman Stated that a committee of the Camden Cottage Hospital board had met and viewed the site offered at Windmill Hill by the Camden Park Estate and recommended the same for consideration and approval. The chairman stated that this was the object of the meeting, and it was for them to consider the subject in order to lay the same before the general body of subscribers.

After much deliberate consideration Mr. E. F. Druitt moved that the Windmill Hill site was the best offered and most available, he would therefore move that the site be recommended to the general body of subscribers to the institution, and that a meeting be held of the whole of the subscribers on Thursday, July 12th. Mr. P. Kilmartin seconded the resolution. 

The opinion of the Board was that the site offered was a most suitable one and that it was most generous on the part of the Camden Park Estate to offer the position. The question of price for the land was discussed and it was pointed out that the price asked was in keeping with the land recently sold near the Southern road. The Board dealt fully with the subject, and on the motion being put was declared unanimously carriedCamden Cottage Hospital. (1900, June 28 - Thursday). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133052990

Camden Cottage Hospital

The monthly meeting of the Board of management was held on Thursday last ...The president, Mr. F. W. A. Downes, in the chair, the following gentlemen of the board were present, Rev. Father Comaskie, Messrs. G. F. Furner; W. R. Cowper, E. F. Druitt,: W. C. Furner, hon. treasurer, H. Bell, h'on. secretary M. Devitt, A. V. Jore, P. O'Riellly, S. Ellis, E: Dobell, Dr. L Dr. Morton, G. M. Onslow. P. Kilmartin, C.T. Whiteman, G. E Young' and J. Rankin. The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed on the motion of Messrs G. Onslow , E. Dobell. An apology was received for the absence Mr G L Dunn. Matron's Report. .. 

Hon. Treasurer's Report. 

Mr. W C Furner stated that the hospital funds showed a credit balance on the current account of £315 6s 6d, which with the fixed deposit of £250 made a' total of £565 6s 6d ; the Government subsidy of £146 10s 6d is included in the total. The hon. treasurer notified to the meeting that the annual subscriptions were not being received to that satisfaction desirable. 

Visiting Committee. 

Report received; consisting of Messrs Cowper, Druitt and the hon secretary, same considered very satisfactory. The report, stating that they found everything to their entire .satisfaction. It was decided on the motion of Mr Cowper seconded by Mr Ellis that the visiting committee meet the same evening as the usual committee meeting 


Tradesmen's accounts were then scrutinized ; amounting to .£40 1 6s 7d, the same being passed for payment. Messrs Druitt and Onslow moving the resolution. 

Notice of motion 

Mr. Cowper moved that the date of meetings be altered from the first Thursday in each month to the second Thursday; 


From the Principal Under Secretary relative to a special grant of £50 towards the Camden Cottage Hospital, the communication setting forth that the matter would receive attention when the estimates were under consideration. From the Camden Park Estate offering a further portion of land at the disposal of the committee. At much length was the communication discussed. 

Purchase of Extra Land.

Mr, Whiteman proposed and. Mr. E. Dobell seconded that the committee avail themselves of the offer named and purchase an extra twenty five feet of ground, the price to be fixed or determined by the sale or market value of the land adjoining the hospital site proposed to be sold. The motion was unanimously carried.  

Patients Fees. 

This subject at length received matured consideration, no decision was arrived at, the opinion of the committee was that a fixed scale of charges should be drawn up. 

Deposit of Funds

The hon. treasurer Mr. W. C. Furner proposed that the sum of £200 be placed in the Government Savings Bank until required. Dr. Bell seconded the motion, unanimously carried.

Various subjects were discussed, mainly the forthcoming ball ; the visiting; committee, which were reappointed, with the substitution of the Rev G Thompson in the place of the. Rev. C; J. King who is unable to visit the hospital on Thursday evenings. 

The conclusion of the Board meeting was the giving notice by Mr. G. F. Furner, that at their next meeting the committee consider the matter of consulting architects in connection with the plans for the new hospital. The meeting was most lengthy and protracted, but with great earnestness. Camden Cottage Hospital. (1900, August 16). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133050162

Camden Cottage Hospital

Through the courtesy of the hon. treasurer of the hospital, Mr. W. C. Furner, J.P., we are enabled to inform all interested in the welfare of the institution that the Government through the Chief Secretary has notified that the sum of £800 has been allotted to the Camden Cottage Hospital out of the vote for the 1900-1 estimates. We are farther in a position to state that a further sum of £200 will be granted to the hospital out of next year's vote. These facts must be indeed satisfactory to the workers of this valuable institution in our midst. Camden Cottage Hospital. (1900, December 20). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133053872

Although already in operation for a few months, the Camden District Hospital was first officially opened at its current location on Saturday May 24th 1902 on Windmill Hill (known today as Menangle Rd.) by then Premier Sir John See at a cost of £2,300, excluding the pounds paid by the community for securing the land/acreage it rose from. A total of £100 was contributed by the government of the day towards the construction.

What shows up in the Sydney Morning Herald report of the official opening event, when taken into account with the previous scant few reports added here, is that the land bought was owned by a family that had always invested in the people and town of Camden, that the builder had been a committee member, in fact that everyone gave something, whether affluent or just a chicken farmer - everyone gave to support the establishment of a community hospital, in goods, in coin, in reduction of prices paid for land, materials, services and labour.

Guests at the official opening of Camden Hospital in 1902


It is over a quarter of a century since a Premier of New South Wales has visited the prettily situated town of Camden. The last political head of the State to do so was the late Sir Charles Cowper, but he saw the place under conditions far different from those presented to the view of the Premier (Sir. John See) on the occasion of his visit on Saturday for the purpose of formally opening the Camden Cottage Hospital. When Sir Charles Cowper visited the township 30 years ago, spring grasses clothed the beautiful undulating country, the Nepean River flowed steadily on its course in a fine stream, sheep and cattle grazed in paddocks of luxuriant feed, whilst many acres of land looked bright with ripening crops. On this occasion, however, the town and surrounding country are in the iron-grip of a prolonged drought, with the result that the pastures are burnt up, the lulls and dales look sombre in their russet coat, sheep and cattle are not to be seen, the Nepean River is a chain of waterholes, whilst the cultivation paddocks, garnished with the dead stubble of last year's crops, look as if they had been pledged to extended idleness.

Notwithstanding these depressing circumstances, the people of Camden determined to give the Premier a cordial welcome on his arrival, and they carried out their determination in a royal manner. Mr See, accompanied by his two daughters, his colleague, Mr Kidd, Minister for Mines and Agriculture, also representative of Camden in the Legislative Assembly, and Miss Kidd, reached Camden shortly after 11 o'clock on Saturday morning. When the train drew up at the railway station the party was vigorously cheered by several hundreds of the townspeople, and a cordial welcome was extended to Mr See and his colleague by the Mayor, Alderman G Macarthur-Onslow and his fellow aldermen.


The Mayor expressed tho great pleasure the residents of Camden felt in being permitted to once again entertain the political head of the State, and said that the aldermen and townspeople embodied this feeling in the following address -

"The Premier of New South Wales, Hon John See, Esq -Dear Sir -We, the undersigned Mayor and aldermen of the municipality of Camden, do ourselves the honour to bid you a hearty welcome to the town of Camden, both on behalf of the residents of the municipality, and of the surrounding district we assure you that your visit (which we regret is of so short a duration) affords us all the utmost pleasure, and is the more appreciated from the fact that no Premier of our State has visited Camden since the time when Sir Charles Cowper held the reins of office, over 30 years ago. It is unfortunate that you find us in the midst of a severe and disastrous drought, which might give you an unfavourable impression of our surroundings, but we are aware that your long connection with the producing interests in the Northern rivers must have brought you fully into touch with both the ups and downs of a farmer's life. We trust that you may long be spared to do good work for our State, and hope that when prosperous times return you will again visit us and our district under more favourable conditions "

The Premier said it was with extreme pleasure he accepted the kindly worded and beautifully illuminated address from the aldermen and residents of Camden. He was pleased to visit Camden after many years, still he would state that it was not the fault of Mr Kidd that he (Mr See) had not revisited the town long before this. With the people of Camden he lamented the fact that the drought had proved so disastrous to the country. He had seen many districts under its iron grip, and well understood the disheartening conditions under which the people on the land were labouring. The one redeeming feature in the desolate picture was the sturdy, self-reliant, patient, and brave attitude of the people. Though faced with difficulties that would quell the stoutest heart, nevertheless the people looked forward with one hope that beautiful rains would fall. He joined sincerely with them in that hope.


A procession was then formed, and proceeded through the town to the Camden Cottage Hospital, situated on a commanding eminence called Windmill Hill, from which a magnificent view is obtained of the picturesque landscape surrounding the township. The procession was headed by the Camden Town Band, after which came the members of the Order of Royal Foresters, the Sons and Daughters of Temperance, the Camden Fire Brigade, the Mayor's carriage (containing the Mayor, Mr See, and his daughters), another carriage with Mr and Miss Kidd, with an escort of mounted police, and members of the Camden mounted military forces. The main street was decorated with flags and streamers, and the procession was greeted with cheers by a large gathering of people in the thoroughfare.

On reaching the hospital, the Premier and his colleague were received by Mr F. W. A. Downes, president of the institution, and the members of the hospital committee, as well as by a large gathering of the residents. Mr Downes extended a cordial welcome the visitors, and before asking Mr See to formally open the hospital proceeded to give a brief history of the circumstances which led up to its erection. He explained that the building was erected and equipped at a cost of £2300, to which a grant of £100 was received from the Government, whilst the remainder was chiefly subscribed by the residents of Camden. At the present time only a small balance remained unpaid. The architect of the building was Mr. Kent, of Messrs Kent and Budden, whilst the contractor and builder was the late Mr J D. Rankin. The hospital, which embraced two large wards, and was able to accommodate a number of beds, had the able medical assistance of Drs F. West and Foulds, who were supported by a matron and nursing staff. A detached building was provided for the purpose of receiving patients suffering from infectious diseases. The hospital had been open for a couple of mouths, and had been availed of to a large extent. Mr. Downes concluded by expressing the pleasure experienced by himself and the members of the hospital committee on having just received a letter from Dr. Cecil Furser, of the Carrington Convalescent Hospital in Camden, offering to do anything in his power to assist the new institution whenever there was a severe pressure on its accommodation. The offer, Mr Downes remarked, was a generous offer, and showed the humane feelings which animated the breasts of those brought daily into contact with sickness and suffering (Applause).


Mr See said it afforded him great pleasure to be present to join in the rejoicings of the opening of the hospital. He had been greatly interested in the report made by the president, and must congratulate them on the success attained. One thing which was satisfactory to him when performing similar functions was that he always found unanimity of opinion among all sections of the people, all classes and creeds working harmoniously m the erection and carrying on of hospitals. One of the greatest attributes they possessed was charity. Every day it was being proved that hospitals were absolutely essential and were growing more and more into use. Thanks to men like Mr Kent, the architect, modern lmprovements had provided the greatest accommodation in the smallest space, not forgetting the surroundings which went so far towards the recovery of the inmates. Under the softening influence of a common Christianity they felt it their duty to help those who could not help themselves, especially in times of sickness. As civilisation grow larger, so would hospitals continue to expand. The advantages of hospitals were many. First, the skill of their most able doctors was always obtainable, and, to their credit, their services were mostly gratuitous, although it was against their interests to encourage hospitals Nurses were indispensable, since nursing was the greatest factor towards recovery. He congratulated the people of Camden on possessing such a well-appointed and useful institution. The Government had been accused of spending too much money on charities. He would ask the very economic people who made that charge if they would care to see the inmates of the Liverpool Asylum turned out of that institution. Would these same people like to see the state neglect the lunatic asylums or destitute children? Last year there were in the State 120 hospitals, either already in operation or nearing completion. Fifteen of those wore in-cluded in the metropolitan limits, while in the country there were 105. Of the 120 hospitals, state aid was received by 114, including 104 of the country division, four were not subsidised at all, one was privately endowed, and one was wholly a Government institution.

During the year these hospitals had under treatment over 32, 500 persons, of whom 2300 remained in them at the end of the year. The total revenue of the New South Wales hospitals during 1900 was £191,272, made up as follows - Government aid, £88, 683, private contributions £86,195, miscellaneous sources, £16, 394. Those figures, however, only referred to hospitals in the strict sense of the word. In the widest acceptance of the term, including all asylums for the insane, the permanently incurable, the destitute, the aborigines, and so on, the gross expenditure of the Government during last year was £353,909. To that must be added £42,422, the State's expenditure on the Children's Relief Department. The Government aid of £88, 683 was distributed in 1900 as follows -To country hospitals, £42,171 to metropolitan hospitals, £29,781 and to the Coast Hospital at Little Bay, £16, 731.

There were more hospitals outside Sydney than there were in the metropolitan area; but when they remembered how very extensive the metropolitan institutions were, the large population they served, and the fact that they were general hospitals for the whole State, they would agree that the country, as distinct from the town had every reason to feel satisfied with the contributions from the State. The Government was told by some people that it would have to go further than it had done in the direction of economy in its finances, yet since he had been in Camden that day he had been congratulated on the fact that the Government had been able to raise a loan on better terms and in less time than it did 12 months ago. Those creakers were always saying that the country was going to be ruined If those Jeremiahs had their way. The Government would be forced to economise to the verge of ruin. He was not going to do any such thing If they wanted it done they must get someone else to do the work. The Government was not afraid to face Parliament, because it had done nothing of which it need be afraid. All it wanted was justice from the people (Applause).

A golden key was then presented to the Premier, and, unlocking the door of the institution, he declared the Camden Cottage Hospital formally opened, and ready to commence its humane work. At the conclusion of the ceremony a collection was taken up, and a sum of £100 was subscribed.

The Ministerial party, piloted by the president, then made a tour of the hospital. At the conclusion of the inspection Mr. See, accompanied by his daughters, departed amidst cheers in a carriage with the Mayor, Alderman G. Macarthur-Onslow, for Camden Park, where they were entertained by that gentleman. Later on in the afternoon they were driven to the Menangle railway station, and left for Sydney. THE PREMIER AT CAMDEN. (1902, May 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14465229

Camden Hospital when first opened

The 12 bed Hospital was established, supported and run by the community through a Hospital Committee. Each bed cost £30 per year and money was raised through social events and donations.

These items from that inaugural year and a few years on gives a small overview of the workings of the community-run institution and also that Mr. Cowper battled on, despite his failing eyesight:

Camden Cottage Hospital

We beg to acknowledge with thanks the following donations: — 

George Lee, vegetables. 
Mrs. King, flowers. 
Miss Kemp, flowers. 
Mrs. Spice, eggs. 
Miss Dougall, eggs. 
Mrs. Cowper, lounge and magazines.
Mrs. Druitt, books.
Mrs. Deusbury, 1/2 doz. pillow cases.
Mr. Martin, literature. 
J. Hubbard, Matron.

Camden Cottage Hospital (1902, October 23). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133052420

Camden Cottage Hospital.

The monthly meeting of the Board of Management of this institution was held at the Camden School of Arts on Thursday last, Mr. W. R. Cowper, vice-president, presiding. There were present Messrs. W. C Furner (hon. treasurer), B. Hodge (hon. sec.); A. E. Hawkins, P. O'Reilly, E. F. Druitt, St. Ellis, G. F. Furner, Dr. F. W. West, and Rev. H. Williams, an apology being received for the absence of Mr. W. H. Anderson. The meeting's minutes were confirmed on the motion of Dr. West and Mr. Druitt.

On the motion of Messrs. Hawkins and W. C. Furner the hon. secretary was authorised to sign a contract for the supply of carbide from the firm of W. Tyree at 17½ per cent discount. The hon. treas. reported having received during the month the sum of £23 12s as subscription, and £24 16s as patients' fees. The credit balance to date being £259 0s 2d and a fixed deposit of £300. Mr. Furner also read the quarterly balance sheet. The matron reported through the patient's book : Patients admitted during the month of November 18, discharged 19, deaths 0 remaining 10. The sub-committee appointed to go through the tenders for supplies recom-mended the following for acceptance which, on the motion of Messrs. Druitt and Ellis were endorsed : — Drugs : Mr. H. J. Asher. Butcher : Mr. A. E. Dunk. Wines and spirits: Mr W. H. McDonald Undertaker: Mr. W. Peters Groceries: Messrs Whiteman Bros. Baker: Mr. W. G. Watson The hon. secretary reported that the house committee had met at the hospital, but the executive were alone present, matters in connection with the working of the institution were dealt with. The writing of the draft annual report was left in the hands of Mr. W. R. Cowper and the hon. treasurer and hon. secretary. Dr. West drew attention to the fact that the lounges promised for the hospital had not been supplied, but the secretary reported this matter was being attended to. 

Pay Sheet.                                   £ s d 
Salaries, and Wages                 28 9 4 
Commission                                1 4 6 
Provisions                                 15 1 3 
Fuel and Lights                           1 7 0 
Bedding and Clothing                 1 2 0 
Furniture and Ironmongery         7 3 
Sundries                                     1 10 8 
Building and Repairs                31 14 9 
Drugs and dressings                  4 13 10 
Stationery                                 16 8 
Total                                        £86 4 3 

Passed for payment on the motion of Messrs, Druitt and Ellis This concluded the meeting. Camden Cottage Hospital. (1906, December 20). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140477660 

Camden District Hospital continued to grow and in 1916:


In the year 1898 opinions differed greatly as to whether a Cottage Hospital was necessary for the Camden district. To settle the vexed question it was finally decided to open a temporary Hospital, premises being rented in Mitchell St., Camden, from the late Mr. Chas. Furner, and opened on 12th April, 1899; the staff consisting of a Matron and one probationer. It was soon proved that it was required and that the people of the district were quite ready to support it by financial and other assistance, the Hospital accommodation being taxed to such an extent that in a very short time the committee, who were at that time in office, felt justified in making inquiries for a suitable site on which to build a permanent institution, eventually purchasing the present site from the Camden Park Estate, Ltd. 

Tenders were called and arrangements were at once made for the Erection of the Hospital, and in May 1902 it was opened by the late Hon. John See, then Premier of the State. In that year the number of patients treated was 102, the daily average number resident being 5.71, and the cost of maintenance £574. 

Owing to the increasing popularity of the Institution, and the consequent addition in the number of patients treated, it was found necessary to augment the staff, the difficulty being to find accommodation for same. This was solved by the committee, with the aid of a Special grant of £400, purchasing the cottage and property adjoining the hospital and converting it into sleeping quarters for the staff,  and only for the far sighted policy adopted at that time, the present committee would have found it impossible to have provided, Quarters for the nurses, and boarding-out arrangements would have had to be made, as in some other country hospitals, a fact that would not tend to the economical working of the Institution. 

In 1914 the number of patients who received treatment had grown to 253, with a daily average of 11.94, and the Matron was hard pushed on various occasions to find beds for same despite the fact that several beds had been placed on the verandahs. Early in 1915 the same trouble occurred and the committee after careful consideration came to the conclusion that it was absolutely essential that the accommodation should be further increased for patients, and after the Minister of Public Health, the Hon. George Black, visiting the hospital and expressing the same opinion, and promising a special grant, it was decided to go on with the work. 

This has been done, but to do it compelled to use up their fixed deposit, and when the furnishing has  been completed it is expected that the credit balance at the bank will only be sufficient to carry on the working of the Institution for about two months. Arrangements have been made for the opening of the new wards by the Hon. George Black, on Saturday, June 10, 1916, at 3 p.m., the public of the district being cordially invited to attend same; it is the intention of the committee to throw the whole of the Hospital open for inspection, and they believe that the general consensus of opinion will be that the Camden Cottage Hospital is an institution that the district might well feel proud in supporting, and that it will compare favourably with any other country hospital in the State. 

It is interesting to note that the cost of maintenance £574 in 1902, had increased to £1,180 in 1915. 

The Camden Town Band has kindly given their services for the opening, and afternoon tea will be dispensed by the lady' friends of the Institufcion, whilst last, but most important, a collection will be taken up to assist the committee in meeting the heavy expenditure incurred in the cost of the additions. CAMDEN COTTAGE HOSPITAL. (1916, June 1). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136793283

The name was changed to Camden District Hospital in 1916. Since then the hospital was enlarged a few times, in 1916 to 1920, which included the adding the wonderful facade that faces Menangle road now and behind which towers of a modern facility hide, the 1930-1939 expansions and culminating in the opening of the P.B. Hodge Block in 1971. 

A few of these, commencing in 1921, when Australia was in the grip of the Spanish Flu brought home by WWI soldiers, shows in the annual report that at least one person from Manly was a patient in the year 1920:

The Camden District Hospital.

LOCAL residents will have noted, with a feeling of pride, the growth in the institution known as the Camden District Hospital. The above picture shows at a glance the Institution as it stands today, the main hospital with the Nurses' Quarters on the one side, and the Infectious Wards on the other, and to those who remember the small beginning 22 years ago, when a building in Mitchell St. accommodated the hospital, the growth and progress of the institution stands out as a reflection of the goodwill and charitable disposition of the community generally. 

To speak of the growth of the hospital, the mere size and grandeur of the buildings in the midst of beautiful grounds is nought to its usefulness to the district as a whole in alleviating suffering and saving of life. The hospital and its staff, with ever open doors, has claim to the highest of noble deeds; it asks not the colour or creed, whether young or old, rich or poor, but for every sufferer it affords a haven of ready care, attention and comfort that modern treatment can afford. The building, appurtenances and equipment have been established to conform with the latest thoughts in such matters, and the management are congratulated on the provisions made, but not more so than the generous public who have much such things possible, and who have the heart and will to continue its usefulness. 


IN presenting their Annual report for the year 1920, your Board desires to again congratulate the Subscribers and public in general of Camden and surrounding districts on the very satisfactory condition of affairs. Special thanks are due to the Matron, Acting Matron, Nurses and Staff for the even working of the Institution, to the Hon. Medical Officers, Dr. West and Dr. Crookston, for the responsible duties they have undertaken during the year; to the Hon. Treasurer, and Hon. Secretary for the very satisfactory manner in which their work has been carried out; and also to the Hon'. Auditors, Messrs. L. Duesbury and J. E. Veness. 

We are greatly indebted to our Honorary Medical Officers for their continued interest in carrying on the course of lectures, without which our status as a Training School would soon cease. Also to Dr. Mawson, of Campbelltown, for his valued assistance at the Hospital many times during the year. It is with sincere regret that your Board were compelled to grant extended leave of absence to Matron Mary-Morton McAnene on account of continued ill health. Miss McAnene has been connected with the Hospital Staff since June, 1901, and was appointed Matron in 1908. She was granted leave of absence during the period she was on Active Service abroad. Immediately on her discharge from the A.I.F. she resumed her duties as Matron, and we remember with pride the splendid work she carried out whilst in charge of the Emergency Hospital during the Influenza Epidemic of 1919. It is the prayer and sincere hope of your Board that she will regain her health, and once more be able to resume her duties as Matron. We have to congratulate, ourselves on securing the services of Sister Rose M. McAnene as Acting Matron. It will be remembered that Miss Rose McAnene was Acting Matron during 1915-16, and resigned on being accepted for Active Service. Miss McAnene returned to Australia in the early part of the year, and shortly afterwards was re-appointed acting Matron. Several changes have taken place on the Nursing staff during the year. Nurse A. Beavis, who we were pleased to congratulate on the successful passing of her A.T.N.A. examination, resigning; also Nurse M. Mackie. Both these young ladies resigned for the purpose of being married, and we desire to convey to them our best wishes for their future happiness. During the year your Board increased the salaries of the Nursing Staff. 

In common with practically every other Hospital in the State the ever increasing cost of upkeep has caused your Board very much concern during the year under review. Every effort has been made to keep down expenditure. The amount charged for patients' fees was increased to 5/6 per day. Various improvements that are needed at the Hospital, including that of a Water Sterilizer for use in connection with work in the Operating Theatre, an absolute necessity in every up to date Hospital, were gone into, but the cost of installing same was found to be prohibitive; that is to say, prohibitive considering the present state of our finances. 

During the past few years, whilst the various improvements to the buildings were being carried out, other items had to be curtailed, one result being that this year we had to expend over £300 in renewals to linen and bedding alone. We have to thank the Department of Public Health and Motherhood for carrying out the repairing and painting of the main building, nurses' quarters and isolation wards. This work badly needed doing but without such assistance we would have found it impossible to do. 

During the year we again made a direct appeal to our friends and supporters throughout the district with most gratifying results, the total received being some £300. The combined Friendly Societies resuscitated their annual Sports Meeting on Anniversary Day, in aid of the Hospital, after a lapse of 14 years, resulting in a very welcome £18 5s 6d being added to the funds of the Institution. Narellan Sports and Athletic Club forwarded a cheque for £45, being a third share of their sports meeting held on 4th October, 1920, for which we desire to extend our heartiest thanks. The Annual Ball, under the able secretaryship of Mr. A. R. Clarke, assisted by a most energetic band of collectors and workers, proved to be a record, £130 being added to the funds of the Institution. The previous highest amount received from the result of the Ball was in 1903, when £121 was paid into the credit of the Hospital. Your Board also extends its sincere thanks to Mrs. Margaret Watts who organised and carried out a very successful concert, £28 15s 3d; the Camden Amateur Athletic Club for an afternoon's sports, £15 2s; Mr. P. J. Fox of the Camden Star Pictures for a picture show, £9 1s 0d; the Camden Football Club for a football match, £10 0s 6d; and Children's Bazaar, £8 4s- 2d, all in aid of the Institution, resulting in a net gain of £71 2s 11d to the funds. 

The following donors of £10 during the year were placed on the list of Life Members: — Miss Minnie West, Mr. Claude Hart and Bud Singh. In recognition of many years services as a worker in everything in aid of the Institution, your Board unanimously appointed Mrs. C. Butler an Hon. Life Member. Two Legacies were received during the year, one of £50 from the late Hon. John Kidd, of Campbelltown, who in the early days of the Institution proved of invaluable assistance in paving the way for the good work that the Hospital has been able to do for the last 21 years. The other, also of £50, was left by the late Christian Winter, of Minto. Your Board are sincerely grateful for this kindly thought. 

Your Board also desires to thank Mrs. W. Larkin for the gift of a valuable piece of land fronting Broughton Street, immediately at the rear of the Nurses' Quarters. By this splendid gift the whole of the Hospital grounds now extend right through from Menangle Road to Broughton Street. Mrs. Larkin was unanimously elected a Life Member of the Institution as a slight recognition of her gift. We especially desire to thank our friends at Campbelltown who this year endowed two beds in our Institution instead of one as in other years. Also to Yerranderie for again renewing their Endowed Bed. We regret that no contribution has been received from Picton during the year, thus causing their bed to lapse after having been endowed for so many years past. 

The X-Ray and Electric Lighting Plant is in first class order, and continues to give every satisfaction. We thank Mr. Fred Shaw for his advice and assistance in an honorary capacity in connection with same. We deeply deplore the severe loss sustained by the Institution in the death of the late Mr. David Nott, who was one of the Trustees since the inception of the Hospital, and has always been one of our best financial supporters. To Mrs. Nott and family we convey our sincerest sympathy. At a special meeting of Subscribers Mr. F. A. Macarthur Onslow was unanimously appointed to fill the vacancy of Trustee. 

The year's work shows a slight increase in the number of patients as compared, with last year, the figures being 325 as against 321; whilst the daily average number of patients treated decreased from 16.72. to 14.22. Of the 313 patients discharged, 180 paid towards their maintenance; 20 came under the endowed beds; 19 old age and invalid pensioners; 3 children from the Boys' Home, Mater die Orphanage and State; whilst the remainder, viz., 91, did not contribute anything. Tho amount received from patients for the year was £704 12s 11d, an increase of £121 14s 0d on last year. The fee charged patients is 5/6 a day. The cost to the Institution per patient, per day, amounted to 8/9, and towards that cost an average of 2/8 per patient, per day, was received.

For comparative purposes the Hon. Treasurer has given, in connection with the Statement of Receipts and Expenditure, the figures for the corresponding services in 1919. The amount of Subsidy received was for period 1st Janu air, 1919, to 30th June, 1920. We thank the members of the Brownlow Hill Estate for a Marble Tablet with the names of the past and present Presidents of the Hospital inscribed thereon. This was donated in memory of the late F. W. A. Downes, who was first President of the Institution, The appearance of the grounds surrounding the Institution are a credit to our wardsman, and speaks well for the interest he takes in his work. 


WE have pleasure in presenting the report for the year 1920. During the year 325 patients have received treatment at the Hospital, the daily average being 8.16 males and 6.06 females, a total daily average of 14.22. It will be seen that the Hospital has maintained its usefulness to the district. We regret that- during the year, our well tried and trusted Matron, Miss M. Morton McAnene, had to obtain extended leave of absence owing to ill health, after doing many years of faithful and efficient service to our Hospital. Her sister Miss Rose 'McAnene, who has very ably carried out the duties of Acting Matron in the past, was again appointed to the position of Acting Matron; and we are fortunate in ' being able to secure her services. During the year Nurse Beavis passed her qualifying examination, and shortly afterwards left us to be married. Nurse Mackie also left to be married and we extend our congratulations and best wishes to them both. The work of the Hospital has been smooth and efficient, and we once more thank the Matron and nursing staff for their assistance. 

Details of cases are as follows: 

MALES. Remaining in Hospital, 31st Dec, 1919 . . 2 Admitted during 1920 ... 174 Total........176 Recovered 136 Relieved .......... 12 Unrelieved ....................................2. Died.................................................18 

Remaining in Hospital, Dec. 31, 1920 . , 8 Total . ................................176 . 

FEMALES.- Remaining - in 'Hospital, Dec' 31, 1919 ...6. Admitted during 1920 .. 143 Total . . . 149. Recovered .... 

The patients came from the following localities: — Camden 76 Wollongong 5- Narellan 15 Cowra 1 Elderslie 13 Tahmoor 1 Menangle 11 Penshurst 1 Carrington Hospital 2 Ultimo  3 Camden Park  7 Thirlmere  Mount Hunter 6 Enfield 1 Brownlow  4 Appin 3 Werombi 7 Badgery's Creek 3 Oakdale 6 Rossmore 3 --Cawdor 3 Parramatta 4 Glenmore  2 Picton 17 Cobbitty 10 Wyong 1 Campbelltown 32 Douglas Park 6 Minto 2 The Oaks 12 Ingleburn 2 Cordcaux Dam 4 , Bringelly10 Silverdale, 2 Albury 1 Burragorang 18 Forbes  1 Yerranderie 14 Manly 1 Sydney 4 Wilton 1 Tramps  3 Luddenham 2. The Camden District Hospital. (1921, February 3). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136647289



It is with a sense of gratification that the Board of Directors submit to you the 38th Annual Report, together with an Audited Statement of Receipts and Expenditure for twelve months, together with a Statistical Record of the services maintained during the twelve months. It may be interesting to note that on the 12th day of April, 1899, the late Hon. John Kidd opened the Hospital, then housed in a two-storey building in Mitchell Street, Camden. Continued support being forthcoming, it was soon decided to erect a permanent building more in keeping with hospital requirements, and on the 24th day of May, 1902, the late Hon. John See, Premier of New South Wales, opened the present building. 

The report for that year shows that the staff consisted of a Matron, Senior Probationer, Maid and a boy to do odd jobs. Thirty-seven years of service to suffering humanity is indeed a good record, and it is interesting to stop and consider the hundreds of patients who have during that period passed through the wards. Undoubtedly, these people have reason to be grateful for the care and skilful attention bestowed upon them. 

The Annual Report for 1903 records that 102 patients were admitted; during the term under present review the number increased to 813. This is easily a record for the Hospital, and is an increase of 82 on last year. The daily average number of occupied beds for 1902 was 5.72, and the average stay of in-patients was 20.81. 

For 1935-36 the daily average number of occupied beds was 20.34, and the average stay of in-patients in days was 8.69. Whilst there has been a very large increase in the daily average of occupied beds, it is extremely gratifying to note the most pronounced reduction in the average stay of patients in Hospital. This is only achieved by skilful medical attention and careful nursing, backed up by modern scientific equipment. On reference to the Honorary Medical Officers' Report it will be seen that the Board have, during the last twelve months, materially added to the efficiency of the Hospital by the provision of modern apparatus, as and when recommended by those officers. 

The X-Ray plant has had constant use, and the Hospital is fortunate in having a highly capable and skilful operator in the person of Matron Norman, competent to obtain the best possible results in this section of the Hospital's activities. The amount received from this department is not a true reflex of the number of times that the plant is used. It is to be remembered that the subscribers to the Contribution Fund, up to the present, have not been asked to pay for X-Ray treatment, it being included in the benefits of the fund. Your Board regret that they are not in a position to state that the Children's Ward, that was mentioned in the last report, is an accomplished fact. Two sets of sketch plans have been submitted to the Board, the last being accepted subject to several minor alterations, and it is hoped that this badly needed block will be in use when the next report is submitted to you. In addition to the Children's Ward the plan provides for the re-modelling, of the male wards and sanitary annexes, a new ward for the segregation of patients and a much-needed room for visitors and relatives waiting, during anxious times, in at least some comfort. To carry out this work your Board is faced with the problem of finding the funds, and application has been made to the Hospital Commission for a special grant. 

In addition, it will be necessary for the Board to arrange for a loan to finance their portion of the cost. This will be the first time in the history of the Hospital since the erection of the original building that a loan has had to be obtained. It is with pride that your Board can say that of the thousands of pounds that has been spent on the Hospital since 1902 their share has always been forthcoming. The Directors appeal to every citizen in the districts served by the Hospital to be awakened to the responsibilities of maintaining the highly efficient service for which the Hospital is renowned and trust that all subscribers will use their best endeavours to bring the needs of the institution before their friends and urge their practical and generous support. The Systematic Contribution Fund continues to make good progress, the income received and the amount of benefits obtained being in excess of any previous year. 

During the year 175 contributors, or their dependents, were treated at the Camden District Hospital, their number of bed-days being 1,670, the amount  saved to them being £685/18/-. In addition, £150/12/- was paid away to other hospitals for 34 subscribers who were away at time of sickness, or who had to have special treatment in other hospitals, included in this number being, 17 who were admitted to maternity hospitals. 

Acknowledgments and thanks are due to: — The Honorary Medical Officers for their services to the Hospital, including much of their valuable time spent in giving lectures to the trainees. They spare neither time nor trouble, and their excellent work is thoroughly appreciated. The Matron, Miss Norman, Sister Crosthwaite and the members of the Nursing Staff for the highly satisfactory manner in which they have discharged their respective duties. The Hospitals Commission and their most obliging officers for advice and assistance so readily given, resulting in the saving of much worry and a considerable saving in the purchase of hospital equipment, all of which is greatly appreciated. The Ground Committee for constant supervision of the grounds of the Institution. The Press for printing donations received, also for reporting Board meetings. The ladies of various organisations who make regular visits  to the patients. The Clergy for constant visitation. The Campbelltown Hospital and Medical Auxiliary, and the Thirlmere Endowed Bed Committee for sustained interest and renewal of their annual donations. Messrs. H. Haylock and H. V. Taplin, Nurse Taplin and their energetic band of workers in connection with the Annual Ball and Children's Party. All others who, by word or deed, have assisted in advancing the welfare of the Camden District Hospital during the past year. 


'Something attempted, much achieved,' may well be written in praise of the Camden. Women's Hospital Auxiliary. A perusal of their Annual Report, which is incorporated with this Report, shows the many activities of the members, and your Board offer their congratulations on the work achieved and sincere thanks for valuable additions to the Hospital equipment. 


The total number- of patients treated during the year was 834, being an increase of 82 on last year. The total bed-days numbered 7,252, the daily average of occupied beds being 20.34, and the average stay of in-patients 8.69. Details of cases are as follows: — 

Males  Females Total In Hospital, 1st July, 1935
10          11                 21 
Admitted during year . . . ... .  406 , 407 813 
Total Number Treated .. .. 416 418 834 
Discharges Males Females Total Recovered  ..... . . .... . . 
                     327   356          683 
Relieved         55     35            90 
Unrelieved        5       4              9 
Died               18      16           34 
Total Discharges ........... 405 411 816 
Males Females Total Remaining in Hospital, 30th June, 1936,
11 7 18 

The total number of out-patients treated during the year was 230, the number of attendances being 260. 

During the year 14 Board meetings, including two Special, were held, the attendance being as follows :: — R. A. C. Adams ........... 12 R. F. A. Downes 13-P.E.Butler.  14 P.W.Johnson  12;.. E. A. Carruthers 12 W. A. Larnach 11; F. A. Cowell 10 E. Macarthur Onslow 9 E. A. Davies 12 E. L. Sommer .... . . . 9 B. Hodge  14 

R. F. A. DOWNES, Chairman. B. HODGE, Secretary. 

The Board is pleased to be able to record its appreciation of the continued satisfactory performance by Mr. Hodge of his many-sided duties in connection  with the operation and finance of the Institution. 

R. F. A. DOWNES. 7th August, 1936.

CAMDEN DISTRICT HOSPITAL. (1936, September 3). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140595330



CAMDEN DISTRICT HOSPITAL. (1939, November 30). Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141153619

The P.B. Hodge Block Foundation Stone.

The P.B. Hodge Block as seen behind this 4 year old Guesdon.

By 1985 the hospital had grown to provide network services to the greater community of Macarthur and had 156 beds.

In 1990 a Day Unit and Aged Care and Rehabilitation centre opened and the hospital underwent a $900,000 redevelopment.

The University Medical Clinics of Camden/Campbelltown (UMCCC) were established in 2008 at Camden Hospital, improving patient access by delivering specialist outpatient services, while providing training facilities for medical, nursing and allied health students.

In 2010 a new eight-bed Karitane Residential Family Care Unit was opened to provide expert help to local families.

Today Camden Hospital still enjoys strong community support, from groups such as the United Hospital Auxiliary Camden, Palliative Care Volunteer Network, Rotary Clubs, Cawdor Uniting Church, Camden Show Society and the wider community. 

Behind the historic facade Heritage building a Basement, Lower Ground Floor, Ground Floor, Level One and Level Two house the range of services available.

Camden District Hospital is a District Group C1 hospital and was a Level 2 Role Delineation Public Hospital (per 2017) and currently has a Role Delineation Level 3 (per - Camden and Campbelltown Hospitals A Facility of South Western Sydney Local Health District Operational Plan 2018 – 2020).

References and Extras

1. Amanda Biggs. Recent developments in federal government funding for public hospitals: a quick guide. RESEARCH PAPER SERIES, 2018–19. Parliamentary Library. August 31, 2018.[ PDF version - 306kb]

2. Australian Government My Hospitals website and webpages.

3. NSW Department of Health and linked to NSW Health District websites.

4. TROVE - National Library of Australia.

REDMAN.— At his residence, Pittwater, John Redman, in his 75th year. Family Notices (1888, April 26). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 4 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229943738

In the Supreme Court of New South. Wales. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION.

In the will of John Redman, late of Pittwater, near Sydney, in the Colony of New South Wales, Esquire, deceased.

NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof in the New South. Wales Government Gazette, application will be made to this Honorable Court, in its Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, tbat probate of the last will and testament of the abovenamed deceased, who died on or about the 24th day of April, 1888, may be granted to Benjamin James, of Sydney, Esquire, and John Redman, of the same place, gentleman, the two executors in the said will named.—Dated this 1st day of May, a.d. 1888.


Proctors for the said Executors,

81, New Pitt-street, Sydney. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. (1888, May 4). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 3195. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222760791

James Wheeler, farmer, Narrabeen Lagoon, was on the information of John Redman, farmer, residing at Pitt Water, charged with having wilfully removed certain Government landmarks, namely, a corner-pin or stake from certain ground near Pittwater, this landmark having been erected by a licensed surveyor, and it not being necessary to re-move it for fencing or improving the land. Mr. W. Redman appeared for informant, Mr. Burton for defendant. 

It appeared from Redman's evidence that the peg in question was placed at the corner of defendant's land, and formed one of a line separating witness' land and land owned by defendant. Redman did not see Wheeler pull up the peg, but when he told Wheeler that he should proceed against him for doing so, Wheeler said if he had been present when Mr. Neal (the Government surveyor) put it down he would then have pulled it up. There was another peg close to the corner peg pulled up, Redman's reason for instituting this proceeding was because defendant was trying to encroach on his land by claiming a line of eight feet in advance of his proper boundary. Several witnesses in corroboration of this evidence, and others in defence, were heard; when their worships considered the charge was made good, and fined defendant 40s., with costs of Court and professional costs of prosecution. WATER POLICE COURT. (1860, March 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13038437


THE adjourned inquest on the body of Bridget Collins was resumed yesterday, at the Pier Hotel, Manly Beach.

Senior-constable Carton said: About half-past 6 o'clock on Saturday morning, from information received, I went to Dewy lagoon, accompanied by Mr. George Smith, J.P., and Mr. Joseph Staine. On arriving at the lagoon, I saw Mr. John Jenkins and Thomas Collins. They were standing on the edge of the road near a large drain, which emptied itself into the creek. In the drain was a cart turned over. The horse was in the shafts partly on his side and back. Underneath the dray was the deceased, with the guard-iron on her chest, and the off wheel resting on her head. With the assistance of Messrs. Jenkins, I got the body from beneath the cart. I then removed her to the bank. She was dead. Before I removed the body, I saw only the head and a portion of her neck. Collins told me he was drunk, and did not know how it occurred. He gave me the same information as to the occurrence as reported in his evidence We removed the body to the bank. When I arrived the only portion I saw of her was her head and neck ; the remainder was completely covered by the cart, the guard-iron of which runs the entire length of the side. The cart was resting partly on the neck and partly across her chest. I removed the body in a cart to the Pier Hotel, Manly Beach. On my arrival at the Dewy Bridge the man Collins (deceased's husband) was not drunk He appeared stupid. I asked him how the occurrence happened. He said he did not know ; the first thing that brought him to his recollection was hearing the horse splashing in the water, and finding the water about himself. He subsequently told me he was lying for about two hours under the cart, and that he crawled out from under the back of the cart, where he found a channel, and scraped away till he made a hole large enough to enable him to get out. I asked Collins where he stopped after leaving Manly. He said he stopped at old John Redman's. I asked him if he know the time he left Redman's to go home. He said he could not say ; but he remembered taking down the slip-rails at Redman's, and getting up into the cart, and that his wife said, "Now, old man, lie down, and I will drive " I asked him what he did to obtain assistance. He said he returned to Redman's, and informed him, and then went to Jenkins's place. Under the cart were a box, a bag containing some meat, a parachute, and a man's hat. Outside of the cart was an empty keg. There was a bottle or two of mead underneath the cart; also, a sodawater bottle about half full of rum. There was an empty bottle, smelling of rum. I have examined the spot where the tail of the cart was lying. The horse was under the cart. There was a small trickle of water. There were no marks that I could see to show that any of the earth had been scraped away about where the tail of the cart was resting. I made this examination on Sunday last, and another one yesterday. It was after the cart was removed from its position that Collins told me he had got out from under the tail of the cart by scraping away the earth. I then looked to see if there were any marks to indicate it, but did not observe any. I did not on that occasion examine the locality The tail-board was in the dray. The whole of it was not resting on the ground. That portion near the corner where the deceased was lying was about six inches from the ground. The deceased on several occasions told me that Collins had threatened his life. He was never present when she told me this. On one occasion I served him with a summons at his wife's instance, claiming a separate maintenance. She told me she could not live with him (Witness here described how he tracked the cart, and produced a rough sketch of the locality, which he explained.) I did not try to lift the cart, but I feel confident I could have lifted it without assistance. The two Jenkinses and I lifted the cart. Philip Jenkins held it up while John Jenkins and I got Mrs. Collins out It had been raining very heavily during the night. I did not see any footmarks about the track.

George Smith, a magistrate of the territory, who accompanied senior-constable Carton to the Dewy Bridge, corroborated the testimony of that officer, and gave a detailed account of Collins's statement. Mr. Smith also stated that some months ago Collins asked his advice magisterially, as to what he would do with his wife, as she was constantly leaving him. He (Mr. Smith) had no personal knowledge of the terms on which they lived.

John Redman, farmer, residing on the Pittwater-road, about four miles from Manly Beach, next gave evidence. He testified that he accompanied Collins and his wife from Manly to his own home, where they arrived about half-past 8 in safety. Mrs. Collins was perfectly sober. Collins, he should say, was not exactly drunk. He was capable of knowing what he was doing. They remained at his house from one hour and a-half to two hours. They had some honeymead. They left about half-past 10 o'clock. Collins was then quite capable of taking care of himself. He searched in the cart for a newspaper and letter for witness. They (deceased and Collins) were on the best of terms when they left. Believed it was about 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning when Collins returned to his house crying, and said his wife was killed. Collins asked witness to go down with him, but witness said he was incapable of so doing, and did not do so. About four or five hours after Collins told him of the occurrence, proceeded to the scene. Got there about 8 o'clock, all he saw was a cart across the gutter. Nothing else, there was no person there. Did not say to Constable Carton, when he called at his (witness's) place, that Collins had not called at his place and informed him of the occurrence.

John Jenkins, residing at Long Reef, deposed to having been called by Collins at half-past 5 on Saturday morning, from whom he gathered that his wife was killed. Witness with his nephew, Philip Jenkins, went to the place, sending a message to constable Garton. On arriving at the spot they saw Mrs. Collins lying under the cart, but took no steps to extricate the body till the arrival of Mr. George Smith and constable Carton. He was satisfied Mrs. Collins was dead when he arrived. She was stiff, and the cart was resting on her temple. Did not ask Collins any questions. The remainder of Jenkins's evidence as to the way Collins said he got out, &c., fully substantiated the testimony of Carton.

Frances Dusiassy, a married woman, separated from her husband since last April, and who resided in the Lagoon Cottage, on Mr. Redman's property, deposed to having seen Mrs. Collins at her cottage, on Friday fortnight, about 10 p.m. She was alone, and asked for a night's shelter. She remained at her (Dusiassy's) place until early on Saturday morning. About a quarter of an hour after she came and asked for a night's shelter, I heard, added the witness, a woman's screams and a man's voice making use of bad language. I did not see any man, nor did I recognise the voice I know Thomas Collins's voice. I have heard him speak repeatedly. It was his voice I heard. I heard the words " You b— drunken w—." I heard nothing else. I heard the words after I heard the woman's screams, and some time before Mrs. Collins came to my place.

Dr. Ward said that the cause of death was suffocation, that death was not sudden. The pressure on the chest and respiratory muscles from the weight of a superincumbent cart or dray would be sufficient to account for the death. No marks of violence were visible to account for death. I am opinion that the injuries received were not necessarily fatal, and that if proper assistance had been rendered her life might have been saved.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

CORONER'S INQUEST. (1871, November 2). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60877714

For more on Lavinia Collins, visit: Roads To Pittwater: The Sandspit Punt And Spit Bridge

Background - Previously

On December 2nd 2016 Member for Pittwater, The Hon. Rob Stokes announced the NSW Government is seeking registrations of interest from experienced health care providers to co-locate additional health services at Mona Vale Hospital. 

“This initiative supports our community’s desire to ensure Mona Vale Hospital continues to play an integral role in the provision of high-quality health care on the northern beaches into the future,” Rob Stokes said in the Media Release which published the announcement.

“Over the past 5 years we’ve seen around $50 million invested in capital improvements at Mona Vale Hospital and we must ensure this momentum continues.

“We’re now exploring opportunities for Mona Vale Hospital to make the most of its fantastic beachside location and provide a broader range of health services than ever before.

The Northern Beaches Health Service Redevelopment webpage regarding the ROI listed that services could include:
• day surgery
• primary care services, including general practice
• family resource centre
• additional clinical support services, for example medical imaging, pathology and pharmacy
• medical suites
• mental health
• additional oral health
• additional rehabilitation and sub-acute services
• residential care facilities
• carer accommodation

Further information on the registration of interest was available to download

The webpage advised that 'Responses to the ROI will be assessed to ensure they align with the identified priorities for local health care. Interested providers will also have to demonstrate they have the experience and capacity to deliver the services proposed.

Providers shortlisted through this process will be invited to submit detailed proposals in 2017.'

Former NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the ongoing transformation of Mona Vale Hospital will provide a further boost for health care on the northern beaches and the Northern Sydney Local Health District will continue to retain responsibility for overseeing the delivery of services.

“Following major investments in new infrastructure at Mona Vale Hospital, this project continues to advance plans for additional health services and will help create an integrated and modern hospital campus,” Mrs Skinner added.

Part of the announcement stated Acute services would be transferred to the new Northern Beaches Hospital when it opens in 2018. The document, available to download, states, 'This will enable the hospital to progressively transform into a purpose built dynamic health care environment centred around a village green. '

Regular correspondent Mark Horton attended a MVH Community Information session in July 2014, and when refused a copy, took a picture with his phone:

'MVH Hospt. Village Green post 2018' - title and photo courtesy Mark Horton

2018 is slated as the potential start of construction of new facilities.

On March 23, 2017, Rob Stokes MP for Pittwater announced that more than 20 health care providers had responded to a Registration of Interest (ROI) process for additional health services to be co-located at Mona Vale Hospital.

These additional services would be provided alongside a range of existing and new health services including 24/7 Urgent Care, medical imaging, pathology, pharmacy, inpatient rehabilitation and assessment, inpatient geriatric evaluation and management, inpatient palliative care and a diversity of community health services.

“The interest received from experienced health operators has exceeded our expectations,” Rob Stokes said.

“I’m particularly excited by the diversity of health services being proposed – especially from local operators.

“We’re now looking at the potential for a broader range of sub-acute and complementary health services to be provided at Mona Vale Hospital than ever before. This includes everything from General Practice through to medical specialists.

The Northern Beaches Health Service Redevelopment Request for Proposals document (2013) states that 66 sub-acute beds will be available at Mona Vale Hospital and that the new hospital will treat both public and private patients. 2013 was also when local GP Suzanne Daly's petition of 11800+ signatures to save Mona Vale Hospital was apparently ignored by Parliament.

Part of the March 2017 announcement included: 'All land will remain in public ownership and Northern Sydney Local Health District will continue to manage the Mona Vale Hospital campus.'

One Reader commented to Pittwater Online News: "Best news I've read in ages."

Reaction in the rest of through the rest of the community was not so positive. In March 2018 Pittwater Online News, which is also by the community, was asked to publish this Petition:

Petition: Keep Maternity Services In Mona Vale! 

As many of you may know both Manly and Mona Vale hospitals are due to be closed towards the end of 2018 and replaced by the large hospital currently under construction in Frenchs Forest. This means losing both the maternity units from our local hospitals as all services are transferred to the new site, creating a gap in maternity services and further limiting local women’s choices regarding where they choose to give birth.

This petition seeks to provide a platform for our voices to finally be heard. It has long been proven by countless research studies that midwifery-led continuity of care models for low-risk women SHOULD be the gold standard of maternity care. Why should women accept any less? As a community, we want to see a midwifery-led freestanding birth centre that provides continuity of midwifery care and CHOICE for families on the Northern Beaches.

We are concerned that the commute to the new hospital in Frenchs Forest will put women at risk due to travel time during peak traffic and the flooding that occurs during heavy rain on the main access route to the new hospital. Studies have already proven that the closure of maternity units across Australia has been significantly associated with increased 'birth before arrival' (BBA) rates. The distribution of studies undertaken has not been limited to rural and remote areas, but includes large urban populations. Given the high risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes associated with BBA, it is time to stand up against the closure of units.

A birth centre that is based at Mona Vale Hospital, centrally located on the beaches would allow women with low risk pregnancies the option of Midwifery Continuity of Care which research also shows to be cost-saving. In 2012 a multimillion-dollar investment was made to upgrade and modernise the Mona Vale maternity unit. The investment has been made in the right location already. We therefore propose that the Northern Beaches Health Service Redevelopment (Mona Vale Hospital site) be the ideal location for such a service.

This is such an important issue! It is a fundamental human right to have CHOICE when it comes to childbirth.

Both local and regional support is welcome, you may not use this service or live on the beaches but if we rally together for the future we can see this dream become a reality for our daughters, granddaughters and the wider community as a whole.

We need to be heard, but to be heard we need your voices! We need as many voices as possible so that NSW Government take notice. Please,sign and share this petition today and be the change.

What became apparent in April 2017 was the planned demolition of the tower many people associate with Mona Vale Hospital. Also sinking in was that clearly calls for providers was private enterprise, which must see this as viable to submit an EOI but that that, in itself, commits 'securing Mona Vale Hospital’s role into the future' - that phrase so often reused through the process, into the realm of privatisation. It is this perception of a public hospital being shifted into a private one, coupled with the ending of Emergency Services at the site, and no plans to upgrade Wakehurst Parkway or commence the Mona Vale Road upgrades that is causing concern with resident after resident stating: "Someone will end up dead as a result."

This groundswell of concern is creating a new Save Mona Vale Hospital movement - some examples:
Many people have a story about what Mona Vale hospital means to them. For example, within 50 meters of where I live are two families where:
1) a husband and father suffered a massive heart attack at midnight and a smart wife rushed him to mvlifesaver from where he staged a full recovery without heart muscle damage and
2) a young man, still technically a boy, who is an extraordinary athlete, came down almost instantaneously with meningococcal disease. Within minutes his life was going rapidly down the toilet but a smart mother got him to mvlifesaver and after several excruciating hours his decline was arrested and he was saved, again without serious long term damage.
Neither of these people would be undamaged today were it not for mvlifesaver. Nor, probably, would they be alive.

Many people have a story, perhaps along similar lines, it might be that mvlifesaver was where your children were born, or it could be any of a dozen connections. One thing almost certain is that every long term Pittwater resident is likely to have a story. 

The first petition was followed by this one:

Mona Vale Hospital 

Retain as a Feeder to Frenchs Forest Hospital.
Why this is important

There is little to no information out there regarding the bulldozing of Mona Vale Hospital as soon as FFH is up and running. It is unnecessary. The people of Pittwater deserve to keep their Hospital in particular:
  • A refurbishment of existing building;
  • Retaining MVH as a level 3;
  • Continuing with an A and E; 
  • Maternity ‐ upgrading birthing suites;
  • Basic inpatient surgical and medical care of geriatric paediatric and palliative care. (Meaning an ICU specialist anaesthetist and surgical support & back up). 

This level of hospital has served our community well as feeder for RNSH so why not as a feeder for F.F. We're already aware that the proposed "Private/Public" Hospital model is not working at other Hospitals across the state plus with poor road infrastructure in existence getting from Palm Beach ‐ as south to Mona Vale will be extraordinarily tough in bad weather. As recently as July 2016 Mona Vale was cut off due to flooding at the grave yard (base of Mona Vale Road), Garden Street & Pittwater Road Narrabeen and Wakehurst Parkway flooded ‐ any emergencies would not have been able to make it to FF.

More and more young families are moving into the area hence the need to retain such a basic health facility to ensure the lives of all residents within the Pittwater/Wakehurst community is not lost on trying to reach a Hospital.

Hospitals require millions upon millions of dollars to build, maintain and upgrade. Many are supportive of the current NSW State Government in their determination to get great health care in modern facilities available to communities by inviting proposals from private contractors to become partners in the construction of these. The recent Budget 2017 announcement of a $341 million upgrade for Concord Hospital, even if the works won't be completed until 2023, caused cheers all round. There has been no mention of privatisation of parts of that hospital, yet, although critics have pointed out the upgrades are funded through the revenues from the part-privatisation of electricity companies Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy and the government's moves to privatisations of ports and the Land and Property Information service.

Our government was also in discussion with the Commonwealth and Victoria about selling its share of Snowy Hydro and then offered and sold 51 per cent of the WestConnex motorway to the private sector.

The idea of privatisation of public hospitals attracts criticism from those who look after those who need these services. A January 2017 NSW Nurses and Midwives Association article pointed out their experience with the contractors building the privatised NBH had not been a good one with a lack of consultation, and answers to questions not being provided...for years - from Northern Beaches privatisation still shrouded in secrecy:

'Northern Beaches Hospital staff are still in the dark about their future,  three and a half years after the first announcement of the privatisation and over two years after Healthscope was named as the provider.

Health unions including the NSWNMA have gone to the state Industrial Relations Commission to try to get answers to vital questions about Sydney’s new, privatised Northern  Beaches Hospital.

The unions notified the commission of a dispute after trying for more than three years to get answers about employee transitions, staffing arrangements and work conditions.'

The article is critical of the 'new model that will essentially hand over public hospitals to private operators'. Other hospitals then slated for a similar model were Maitland, Wyong, Shellharbour and Bowral.

On Thursday July 6th, 2017, the new NSW Health Minister, The Hon. Brad Hazzard, showed he's listening to what the community is telling him: 

$200 Million Hospital Upgrade For Wyong

06 July 2017: Media Release - NSW Health Minister, The Hon. Brad Hazzard
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard today announced that the $200 million Wyong Hospital redevelopment will deliver a substantial expansion in health services to respond to the needs of the growing community.

The Wyong Hospital redevelopment comes on the back of the $348 million redevelopment of Gosford Hospital, the medical school ($20 million) and new hospital carpark ($35.5 million).

After careful assessment of expressions of interest from operators, the NSW Government has decided on a Government-led approach for this significant upgrade,” Mr Hazzard said.

Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch, MP said: “The Central Coast community is seeing the benefits of a Liberal-National Government that cares about delivering world-class health facilities.

“This $200 million redevelopment of Wyong Hospital brings the total investment in the future of health services for the Central Coast to $588 million.”

Upgraded facilities to cater for the growing Central Coast region will include:
  • a new emergency department
  • maternity car
  • paediatric services
  • new inpatient surgical beds
  • rehabilitation
  • ambulatory services
  • mental health services
  • additional car parking.
Mr Hazzard said this significant upgrade will go a long way in boosting clinical care for patients and relieving pressure on the emergency department.

Today’s announcement follows extensive consultation with staff at Wyong Hospital as well as the local community to determine the best way to deliver the upgrade.

“Work to prepare for the redevelopment has continued while options for models of delivery were considered, and we are moving full steam ahead to deliver for the community,” Mr Hazzard said.

“I’m also delighted to report that on-site activity will start this year, with the first stage to include extra car parking. This will ensure construction will commence as planned in 2018 and in line with the Government’s commitment.”

“I know first-hand from the conversations I’ve had with people in Wyong that they are excited to see a redeveloped hospital become a reality so we will get on with the job.”

Visit Wyong hospital redevelopment to stay up- to-date as the project progresses.​​​​​

On Friday, July 7th, 2017 the NSW Government's Health Minister also announced the Liberals have decided to ditch plans to part-privatise Bowral and District Hospital and that too will be undertaken by the government alone.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association responded immediately, General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, saying:

“Another day, another victory for the people. This is a sensible outcome for Bowral Hospital and will ensure the redeveloped facility remains in public hands, as it should be,” Mr Holmes said.

“We congratulate NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard for listening to our concerns and not just pressing ahead with the public-private partnership model that was left behind by his predecessor.

“Our members had been extremely concerned, not only about their own job security under a public-private partnership arrangement, but also over the lack of guaranteed safe patient care and accountability of taxpayers’ money.

“There is abundant evidence indicating public-private partnerships in health don’t work. They are an expensive ill-fitting exercise for the health sector that often end up costing the government, and therefore taxpayers, much more than anticipated.

“Local nurses, midwives, doctors and other health workers from Bowral and the surrounding area raised these issues since the proposal was first announced last September and it’s very pleasing to see their hard work and dedication to oppose this plan has been rewarded with the best result.

Mr Holmes also called on the Health Minister to immediately extend the same courtesy to the communities of Shellharbour and Maitland and scrap their hospital privatisation plans.

“Yesterday, Wyong Hospital redevelopment was secured in public hands and today we learned Bowral will be kept public – it is vital the Health Minister does the right thing and delivers a publicly built and operated new hospital in Maitland and also Shellharbour,” said Mr Holmes.

The NSWNMA has reiterated it will continue to campaign all political parties until all proposed public hospital privatisations in NSW are scrapped.


Campbelltown Hospital: $764 Million Investment

The NSW Government has committed $632 million towards Stage 2 of the Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment. Planning for the redevelopment is now underway.

The project follows on from the $134 million Stage 1 Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment, which was completed in January 2016.

Stage 2 of the redevelopment is expected to include further enhancements to the hospital campus, providing a range of services to meet the needs of the growing communities of South West Sydney.

Stage 2 will expand key clinical and support services, integrate and expand mental health services and deliver enhanced paediatric services.

Key features include:
  • New clinical services building with modern wards and patient facilities
  • New women’s health services including birthing suites and maternity ward
  • State-of-the-art operating theatres and intensive care unit
  • Bigger emergency department with more treatment spaces
  • Increased medical and surgical children services
  • Modern mental health units that are centrally located
  • Increased access to outpatient and ambulatory care services
  • Upgraded medical imaging equipment
  • New services to the hospital, but not included in the new building include nuclear medicine and dental services 
Stage 2 follows on from the $134 million Stage 1 Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment completed in 2016, which delivered a new multi-storey acute services building with inpatient wards, ambulatory, outpatient, allied health services, pathology and clinical information.
Camden-Campbelltown Hospitals & Carrington Convalescent Hospital: A Mona Vale-Frenchs' Forest Hospitals Comparison With Pittwater History Links - by A J Guesdon, 2018.