Community effort led to first hospital

From the Program for the opening of Wodonga Hospital, 16th January 1954.

On June 28th, 1934, a public meeting was held in Wodonga to discuss plans for a hospital in the district. It was felt by those present that a hospital was a necessity in the area. The Shire President, (Cr. R. Richardson) pointed out that Wodonga had been dependent on Albury for years and that it was time we had our own hospital. A committee was elected from this meeting to raise funds to build a Bush Nursing Hospital. Several donations were collected but nothing further was done in regard to a Bush Nursing Hospital. In those days we had a small private hospital in the district.

The scheme was again revived at a public meeting on February 18th 1946, in the Shire Hall, Wodonga presided over by Cr. C. F. Pollard (who was then Shire President). At this meeting Dr. Grant stressed the point that a Community Hospital was a definitely better idea than a Bush Nursing Hospital and the meeting decided to form a Committee and look for a suitable site to build the hospital.

In March, 1947, after a close investigation of several sites in the district, the present site was chosen. It comprises eight acres. The owner (the late Mr. Jim Lindsay) donated one acre, Messrs. C. C. Sheather, Robt. Hall and C. Ryan each donated one acre.

The first project work was carried out on the site on the 2nd January, 1953, by our Architects, Messrs. Robert S. Demaine and Associates, and now on the 16th January, 1954, the hospital is an established working unit of 51 beds, comprising 17 in the Obstetric Block 34 in Medial, Surgical, and Children’s sections, together with Casualty, Outpatients, and X-Ray departments, also double-storey brick quarters for nursing and domestic staffs.

Your President, Mr. O. G. Hartsmann, J.P., feels he would like to express his appreciation for the whole-hearted co-operation of the many organisations and individuals, and the Committees of the three “Queen Competitions”, who have presented funds for the building and equipping of this “Wodonga District Hospital”.