Kiewa Valley Historical Society, Mt Beauty
1. Early nurses uniform; 2. Hospital Opening Ceremony; 3-7. Nursing Staff; 8. Delivery Room; 9. Mens Ward; 10.Enclosed Veranda; 11. Main Ward; 12-13. Kitchen; 14. Opening Ceremony 1949; 15.Original Hospital at Tawonga; 16-18. Relocated Hospital at Mt Beauty; 19. Rear of hospital and Matron’s quarters; 20. Hospital and Kiewa Valley House; 21. Renovated Hospital in 2000
In the early stages of the Kiewa Hydro-Electric Scheme the State Electricity Commission took over the financial and construction responsibility of the Tawonga District General Hospital building at a cost of 27,000 pounds. This included the removal and re-erection of the ex-military Bonegilla ward from Wodonga while in addition they carried out all the necessary building works that allowed the hospital to operate as a functional unit. The work was completed and handed over to the Hospital Committee of Management on September 1, 1949. Local residents raised 3,400 pounds through fund raising. The balance was met by the SEC and the Hospital and Charities Commission. The initial project was to provide for a basic temporary hospital which was later to include an Operating Theatre, Offices, Store, Mortuary and a Nurse’s Home, until the establishment of a permanent medical premises. Following the opening, 455 patients were admitted to the Tawonga District General Hospital and 254 operations were performed in the first year.
The hospital relocated to Mount Beauty in the former SEC administration offices located in the town centre. Official opening of the 18 bed Tawonga District General Hospital on April 29 in 1961. Alpine Health CEO Mr Lyndon Seys oversaw the opening of the new Mount Beauty Hospital in November 2001 alongside Board of Management President Mr Andrew Randell, other board members and politicians.
The Kiewa Hydro-Electric Scheme the State Electricity Commission played a pivotal part in the planning and initial funding of the Tawonga District General Hospital, with a view to providing medical support for its many workers on the Hydro scheme. Later, spouse and family members of workers were also able to access medical assistance The hospital was originally located in Tawonga away from the majority of the patients as the Hospital and Charities Board was not prepared to have it within the SEC controlled area. It was not until the gate at Tawonga South was taken down that the hospital was moved to the main centre of population at Mount Beauty.
Inscriptions & Markings
1.Tawonga District General Hospital Tawonga; 2. Kiewa construction engineer Mr HHC Williams speaking at the opening of the hospital. Health Minister the Hon CP Gartside performed the official opening. L to R: TH Mitchell MLA; Manager of the hospital Mr RH Kronberg (obscured) Hon CP Gartside; CL McVilley; LT Knevitt; Matron AI Tarnish & W Sealey: 4. Dedicated Nursing Staff; 5. Nurse Campbell (nee Reid); 6. Sister Seager 1955 (nee Janice Burnett. First District Nurse; 7. L to R: Sister F Rosengrove; Sister J Griffiths; Matron AI Tarnish; Nurse D Satori; Nurse D Tregonning; Sister E Hill & Sister S O’Shannessy; 8. In the early years Tawonga District General Hospital had the second highest birth rate in Australia; 9. The men’s ward catered for men only in the early years of the hospitals operation; 10. The enclosed verandah at the original Tawonga District General Hospital allowed for an additional 10 beds; 11. Tawonga District General Hospital, Tawonga Main Ward. Ward ready and waiting for patients at Tawonga Hospital. Complete with lovely vases of flowers for every bed. Nice touch by the nurses; 12. Kitchen of Tawonga District General Hospital, Mt Beauty. The hospital kitchen provided meals for patients and a 3 course dinner for Meals on Wheels. In 1977, 11,795 meals were produced at an average cost of $2.60 per meal; 13. Tawonga District General Hospital, Tawonga. Kitchen. Kitchen staff employed in the old Tawonga District General Hospital 1949-1961; 14. The official opening ceremony of the Tawonga District General Hospital, 1949. The official ceremony was attended by a large number of residents and Tawonga District General Hospital was open for public inspection; 15. Original Tawonga District General Hospital transported form Bonegilla began operations in 1949; 16. In 1961, the Tawonga District General Hospital relocated to take a central position in the town of Mt Beauty in the former SEC Administration building; 19. The rear of the Tawonga District General Hospital and Matron’s house seen from Holland St, Mt Beauty during a snow storm in the mid 1960’s; 21. Tawonga District General Hospital & Kiewa Valley House, 2000.