The Mooroopna Hospital stands on the banks of the Goulburn River and it is a monument to the charity of the early pioneers. It was the first institution of its kind in the Goulburn Valley. Originally starting as a small weathered timber hut on the river bank, it eventually grew to meet the needs of the community. They treated the injuries and accidents that occurred due to the harsh pioneering conditions. The nearest resident doctor was based in Rushworth. The first patient, as it was told, was an aboriginal with a broken leg. The first local medical practitioner to arrive was ???
22 nurses from the hospital were remembered on ANZAC Day, (Date). They were honoured at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton. A display was compiled, and a presentation made at a commemorative afternoon tea to honour the past nurses of the Mooroopna Hospital. Descendants of the nurses shared the stories. Elsie Jones was among those honoured.
Beth Stewart is the daughter-in-law of one of the WW1 nurses, and also trained at Mooroopna Base Hospital, as did her daughter Faye. Helene Sutherland’s great-aunts Deb and Mary were among the 22 nurses. Ms Sutherland recalled asking to see her great-aunt’s graduation certificate. “My great-aunt told me the certificate had been burnt as no-one would be interested in it. How wrong she was,” Ms Sutherland said. GV Health Foundation director Carmel Johnson said the event was an acknowledgement of the contributions of local nurses to the war effort.
DESTRUCTION BY FIRE
On January 9th, 2011 fire gutted the historic, old Mooroopna Hospital. About 100 firefighters fought the blaze, which broke out at about 5.15am on the Sunday morning. The North West side of the building was completely engulfed with flames when crews arrived and the cause was being treated as suspicious. The application from Mooroopna Hospital Developments proposed to demolish the laundry and main entry. The applicant had an engineering assessment which determined repairing the damage was ‘‘probably not feasible’’. The heritage adviser opposed demolishing the hospital because of its ‘‘historic, social, aesthetic and architectural significance’’. Engineers determined that 70 per cent of the building was undamaged and heritage elements could be included in any development.