The celebrations at Summerland House, Alstonville, honoured past and present members who have contributed to the health service in Lismore and improved the lives of countless patients over the last 100 years.
“Words cannot express how fortunate we are to have such a vibrant and hard-working Auxiliary serving the Lismore Base Hospital. Through their tireless efforts, we are able to continually improve the care we provide to patients in this region,” General Manager, Richmond Clarence Health Service Group, Lynne Weir, said.
“On behalf of all our staff and management, I wish to congratulate the Auxiliary on this wonderful achievement, and thank them for their commitment throughout the last 100 years.”
Throughout that time, the Lismore UHA has raised an estimated $1.5 Million for the hospital, purchasing items ranging from pianos to children’s toys, to vascular ultrasound machines, to pacemakers.
In the early years of the 20th century, an initial group of volunteers formed a sewing class to attend to mending and making hospital linen and night clothes for the Lismore hospital, and to raise funds through holding a tea tent at the agricultural show. The group soon formed into a Ladies’ Guild, with monthly meetings in members’ homes to organise fundraisers such as the tea tent, flower shows, sweets stalls and dances.
In 1934 the members attended the first Regional Conference in Grafton, and later that year were renamed as the Lismore District Base Hospital Women’s Auxiliary.
From the mid-1940s, Auxiliary members assisted with the preliminary nursing training school, supervising exams, giving prizes to the top students and providing floral arrangements for graduation ceremonies.
In 1982, “Women’s” was dropped from the Auxiliary’s name, in recognition of the many men who were joining with their wives.
The Auxiliary has continued to benefit patients in the Lismore region, through fundraising from raffles, the annual show tea tent and shop, street stalls in Lismore, charity days at Lismore Square and running the coffee shop in the foyer of the base hospital for many years.
With a permanent shop front in the foyer of Lismore Base Hospital, and a healthy membership of around 40, the Auxiliary is poised to continue this great work for many years into the future.