HOBART HOMŒOPATHIC HOSPITAL
Hobart Homœopathic Hospital c1895
Originally the home of Hobart builder John Fisher,
and named "Wellington Grange"
The Hobart Homœopathic Hospital was opened on 26 September 1899 on Cascade Road South Hobart. It had 23 beds and was a training school for nurses.
The Cyclopedia of Tasmania of 1900 described the Hospital as follows:
"The Hobart Hospital has been begun in a house formerly used as a private dwelling. But had the committee chosen a site and erected a building themselves they could not have produced anything more suitable for the purpose than what they have got ready made at "Wellington Grange," as the mansion is called. Viewed from the Cascades Road, the house, which stands a little off the road in the midst of four and a half acres of land, is a solid square building of grey stone, showing eight windows to the north. The avenue leading to the house is from the Cascades Road (or Upper Macquarie Street), and the principal entrance to the building faces the east, on which side there are five windows. The property at present is being rented, and the house carries with it one acre of land; but there are in addition three and a half acres attached, a portion of which is let to a market gardener. Should, therefore, the property be at any time bought by the hospital committee they will have the abundant grounds necessary for a large hospital, and the confirmation of the building at present on the land will adapt itself to any mode of enlargement which might be adopted."
Hobart Homœopathic Hospital c.1905
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 1899-1932
Notable details are the vegetable gardens, and
the sinking foundations (to viewer's right).
© Photograph from “Tasmania in Photographs” -
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
The Women's Ward c.1905
"The hospital is within 300 yards of the city boundary, and is part of the real estate of the late Mr. John Fisher. The house is built of stone, with slate roof, and has been thoroughly overhauled at considerable cost, and is now in first-class order.
The drainage, ventilation, and all the adjuncts necessary for making it a perfect hospital, on a small scale, have been carried out under the supervision and to the satisfaction of the secretary and engineering inspector of the Central Board of Health. The work of repairing, renovating, and painting the building, inside and outside, was entrusted to Messrs. Stabb Bros., who were also employed by the hospital managers to do what was necessary for complying with the requirements of the Central Board of Health. The internal arrangements are in harmony with the exterior of the building. The rooms are large and lofty, well ventilated, and fitted with all necessary for the comfort of patients and those having care of them. The ground floor is occupied by the hospital staff, and the upper floor contains the wards for patients - one for men, one for women, and a third for children."
| St John's Hospital, Hobart (2014)
The original Homœopathic Hospital building
has been incorporated into the new hospital structure.
Photo courtesy of Peter Torokfalvy
"The first resident medical officer is Dr. Bernard Thomas, who has had seven years' experience in a similar institution at Liverpool, England. The matron is Miss Sly, who has graduated in the Hobart and Melbourne hospitals, and has also had experience in Western Australia, whence she had recently returned."
Later reports stated that the honorary staff were Dr H. Benjafield, Dr B. Thomas and Dr G.H. Gibson. Dr William Clark was the resident physician. The matron was Miss Emily Hardwood, who had worked at the Homœopathic Hospital in Melbourne. In 1904 Dr Gerard Smith became resident surgeon and continued his association with the Hospital up to the outbreak of the First World War.
Commemorative plaque in honour of Dr G.H.Gibson
By March 1930 the Hospital was having financial difficulties. It was taken over by the Anglican Church in 1932, re-named as St John’s Hospital, and it is no longer a homœopathic hospital.
It is now run by the Catholic Church.
See the full description of the opening ceremony for the Hobart Homœpathic Hospital appearing in The Mercury on Wednesday 27th of September 1899.
© Barbara Armstrong