1928 - Bush Nursing Centre Formed
Early in 1928 a public meeting was organised by President of the Red Cross Branch, Mrs George Murray, with the view to establishing a Bush Nursing Centre in Lake Bolac.
Miss Gillies, Superintendent of the Bush Nursing Association of Victoria, attended the meeting and a Committee was formed to canvas support for a Centre. The area canvassed was from Wickliffe to Mininera.
By September 1928 a Centre had been formed with Mr Hugh O’Rorke, the first President. In 1933 a weatherboard ‘shack’ was rented for 2/6 per week. This ‘shack’ was located in Montgomery Street next to the present Bush Nursing Centre. The building had previously been used as a fruit shop. The building was later demolished.
1937 – Bush Nursing Centre Cottage Opens
In July 1937 tenders were called for construction of a new Bush Nursing Cottage on the Glenelg Highway. Mr F. Seiver, Mortlake was the successful tender.
Work commenced in August and the Cottage was built at a cost of £600. It was officially opened by the Secretary of the Victorian Bush Nursing Association, Sir James Barrett, on 20 December 1937. This now provided much improved accommodation for the Bush Nurse. Sister McIntyre was the first Bush Nurse in charge of the cottage.
During the 1930s, annual band recitals were held at the lake to raise funds for the Bush Nursing Centre.
This cottage is now a privately owned residence.
1957 – The Third Centre Opens
In 1957 the Premier of Victoria, Henry Bolte, opened a new Centre in Montgomery Street opposite our present Centre. It comprised of four rooms and a sunroom with accommodation for the Bush Nursing Sister incorporated. Landscape windows overlooked a fine view of the Grampians.
It was built at a cost of £6,000 of which £2,500 was raised locally.
President of the Centre at this time was Leo O’Rorke and the first nursing sister in the new Centre was Sister Barry.
This Centre remained in use until 1999 and is now a privately owned residence.
1999 – Our Present Centre Opens
The present Centre opened in 1999 built on donated land in Montgomery Street. It was built at a cost of $600,000 of which $100,000 was raised locally.
In 2009 a further addition was added which included a large exercise and fitness room and an expanded kitchen area.
Today’s modern and functional Bush Nursing Centre is a stark contrast to its ‘humble’ beginnings almost 100 years ago.