It’s that time again, when me and some lovable buds share 10 photos of the month in our neck of the woods. I’d love to share some more photos of the farm with you but IT’S TOO BLOODY FREEZING outside!! I swear those icy winds are fresh from Antarctica, or something like that. So I thought I’d show you some pics I took when I was in my training week at work. This is as close to a museum our small town has and I was absolutely blown away. Better still, I now know enough to take people on tours too. So come along with me for a little history lesson in Lake Grace, Western Australia…
It was a shady day when I went for the tour so a photo of the pamphlet is where it’s at 😉 Isn’t she a beauty! It would make the prettiest house. But on with the tour. So the Australian Inland Mission hospital was known as “the bush department”. A reverend named John Flynn was rather concerned by the vast distances, lack of medical facilities and the lonely bush graves of the Australian Outback. His mission was to see hospital and nursing facilities were provided within Australia where woman and children reside. What a man!
In 1912, 15 AIM nursing homes in remote locations were built. The State government agreed to build and staff the building in Lake Grace in 1925, with the understanding the Lake Grace District would repay the loan and take control of the facility. In April 1926 it was opened and the two story building housed the patients on the ground floor, with the nursing quarters upstairs. The loan was repaid in July 1934 after years of fundraising. The hospital served a radius of almost 16 000km in WA’s south east.
Meet Creepy Cathryn! Something tells me you wouldn’t want to mess with her. She looks after the mens ward. Back in those days, the men filled the inside rooms and the women were outside on the verandah – say whaaaaaaat?!! The verandah was enclosed with half weatherboard walls and flywire but let me tell ya, it gets COLD as ice out this way and hot as hell, so women sure had a bad deal. Can you imagine that going down these days?! Not likely!
This little contraption was an incubator for prem babies. It looks like a microwave?!
The baby scales!
How gorgeous is this pram? You’d feel proud as punch going into town with your little bundle of joy. Not like the collapsable modern contraptions we use today.
Looks like the Mummy blues has set in with this poor lady. It was common practice to keep new mothers for a few weeks on bed rest. No birthing drugs in those days. But she does look lovely in her jim jammies and lippy. Although this might freak you out. Cotton wool, gauze and old linen were used for pads after the women had given birth. The linen was washed and boiled but blow flies were bad and it was known for some ladies to get fly blown! I CAN’T EVEN!! However, after talking to my gorgeous volunteer the other day, she was a nurse at the hospital all that time ago, she rolled her eyes and said “What a load of rubbish! I don’t know why they tell that story! I never saw or heard of it” Well let’s hope so!! EEEEK!
Here’s the dear little kitchen they had. I’m told there was two big pots. One for boiling water for constant cup of teas and cleaning. The other was for the meals. There’s a few recipes on the wall that was most interesting to read… sheep head stew anyone?!! Talking to another sweet volunteer she started to tell me how she made it!! Crikey!! I had to cut her off mid sentence and remind her I was still a city girl at heart. Blerk!!
This bed was upstairs in the nursing quarters. There was two beds and a common room and bathroom. The view outside was glorious, it overlooked the lake but I’m guessing there was no time gazing out the window, too much work to do. Did you notice the bed frame looks familiar? These types of beds are all the fashion now. How about that!
In 1938 a separate ward was built to accommodate the maternity patients. This would of been wonderful as the original birthing room was on the verandah by the front door! Holy smokes!!
I asked my lovely volunteer, the one that was once a nurse, did she have any stories from when she worked there. She told me that Doctor Margaret Clark, (the longest serving doctor) was very strict and worked long hours. She only had Sundays off even though she was truly on call 24/7. Back in those days the men played football on a Sunday and they would try their best for no injuries as Dr Clark became very cranky if she had to come in on her day off. She kept a strong eye on the nurses too, no galavanting off on her watch!
By the 1940s the hospital was continuously overcrowded. The operating theatre and staff facilities were inadequate. In 1952 the hospital was closed and replaced by the Lake Grace Memorial Hospital – that’s the one we have now. The old hospital was used for nursing and school teachers quarters up until the early 70’s. I would LOOOOOVE to know what wild parties went on back then, or tales of romance between the nurses and patients.
In 1983 the building was vacant and in complete disrepair. The State Government decided to demolish it but the Lake Grace Lions Club held up demolition at the eleventh hour. With assistance from a conservation architect, the Shire Council voted to save the building and restore it as a museum. With enthusiastic volunteers, hard work, and fundraising the Lake Grace Australian Inland Mission Hospital Museum was open in October 1992.
Pretty awesome huh! I was so blown away by this that I sat up late in bed, telling Farmer all about it. It’s funny, I’ve driven past this place for the last nine years and it’s only now I’ve stopped to learn and appreciate all it’s history. I was even more surprised to learn my father in-law was born there too.
So there you go! I hope you enjoyed my little history lesson and somewhat guided tour. If you’d like a real tour then you’ll have to visit me 🙂 just like our French friend Cathy (from our photography group) is doing in a few months! Exciting! It’s funny how I eye rolled at the thought of history when I was in school, now I’m thirsty for more. It’s that or I’m getting old enough to have my own in the old days stories. Haha!
Now don’t forget to follow our photography circle, next up we have my bloggy friend Ellen from Potential Psychology. You’ll love her pictures. I’ll be catching up with her in a few months too. CANNOT.WAIT!! Continue to follow the links in each post til you’re back to me. Enjoy the stroll through all the photos.
ps. This little tour is just part of my new job that I started 3 weeks ago. If you wanted to read all about my new job I’m loving check out last weeks post here 🙂