Dedicated volunteers of the Wide Bay Hospitals Museum Society including Marilyn Jensen (left) and Dell York will open the doors for their 25th anniversary celebrations.   Photo Boni Holmes / Maryborough Herald
Dedicated volunteers of the Wide Bay Hospitals Museum Society including Marilyn Jensen (left) and Dell York will open the doors for their 25th anniversary celebrations. Photo Boni Holmes / Maryborough Herald Boni Holmes

Celebrating 25 years of Maryborough Hospital

CUSTODIANS of the oldest Maryborough Hospital records have good reason to celebrate a quarter of a century since inception.

The Wide Bay Hospitals Museum Society members will open their doors inviting the public to view artefacts members have been preserving for 25 years.

Hospital historian Marilyn Jensen said it was quite a milestone.

The WBHMS was formed after the disbandment of the then hospital boards in 1991 when it was decided to try to preserve the history from it beginnings in the late 1850s.

"The first hospital to be built outside of Brisbane was here, and the original hospital serviced the whole of the Wide Bay," Marilyn said.

"When the previous hospital boards were dismantled, some of the folk in the hospital thought it was time to preserve some of the early artefacts that were here because there was a potential for them to be lost.

"Since then, the members over the years have been working hard to preserve the history of Maryborough's hospital which includes the general hospital as well as the maternity hospital we had at the time."

Marilyn said there was more than instruments and old equipment to look at.

"The really precious items are the early paperwork - the very first minutes from 1856 when the town had only been in existence a short time," she said.

"They are a precious resource for Maryborough

"We have got lots of original minutes and some other documentation from the early 1880s right through.

"We are really custodians of that and very proud."

The name of the Wide Bay Hospitals Museum came about after the board disbandment and it then became regional.

The museum started off in 1991 in the original operating room of the original hospital of 1887.

It has always remained in the hospital grounds and is one of very few hospital museums in the nation to do so.

Because of needs and growth the museum had moved around different areas of the hospital but members established a tenancy in the 1928 surgeon's residence about three years ago.

There has been a major concentration on Maryborough hospitals in the museum but members were expanding more.

"The vision is to bring in a lot more of the region's hospitals," Marilyn said.

"There is a lot of history here.

"A lot of work was done earlier-on to copy these so we have duplicates.

"The vision for the future is conservation and preservation. We are learning a lot more about that.

"Grants have been got over the years to help with the preservation of original photos and things, so the precious originals can be stored away.

"Our future now is to start really working with how to keep them preserved."

The museum holds the original plans of the building of the hospital from 1885.

There is also an old register of patients from 1881 - it gives a history of common diseases of the time.

"If it wasn't for the early members this place wouldn't even existed - they kept it going all these years," newest society member Colleen said.

"We will be the ones who benefit of it."

"We are taking the mantle on now to try and keep it going a little bit longer," Marilyn added.

"The museum needs to be here - its part of our history - an integral part of Maryborough."

To help celebrate the Wide Bay Hospitals Museum's 25th anniversary of opening, society members' have invited some of the earlier members who have contributed to the early days.

The museum will hold the celebrations on Wednesday, May 18 from 10am-2pm.

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