In late 1866, the mining boom hit Redgate, (as Alexandra was then known) and with the consequential population explosion, the need for medical and hospital care became an issue.
In 1870, the Local Council purchased two buildings for two pounds. They went on to spend a further 50 pounds, converting part of an old hotel into a courthouse and the other section into a hospital. From these humble beginnings sprang the Alexandra District Hospital.
The grand opening ball of the Hospital on the present site was Friday 20th September 1871. Its official incorporation and registration as a public hospital was on the 11th of December 1871, the official opening date.
The then new Hospital had a bed capacity of five and the first matron was Mrs Margaret Milroy. In 1888, the size of the Hospital was doubled to ten beds with the reconstruction from wood to brick and the addition of the Jubilee Wing.
A disastrous fire in 1957, destroying not only the major part of the Hospital but also all the archive records prior to that point, makes the development of this institution very difficult to recount. Suffice to say, a total reconstruction was undertaken.
Between 1969 and 1977, further development increased the services to a total of 30 beds including the only nursing home beds in the area.
The mid 1980s to the present day saw the most rapid expansion in services and development of the Hospital. The Hospital now provides specialist medical services in nine clinical disciplines, as well as a local doctor service of seven general practitioners, supporting radiology, pathology, physiotherapy, district nursing and many other services. The equipment and facilities are state of the art and every effort will be made continue to ensure that this is the case.
It is however, more than worthy of repeating an excerpt from the local newspaper at the turn of the century-
"During the first two decades of this century, the Hospital was greatly supported by the people of the surrounding area. Donations of goods were greatly appreciated and acknowledged in monthly Hospital reports which were published in the local paper."
The unstinting and perpetual support from this community is what will always ensure the vitality and perpetuity of this Hospital.
Please contact Sally if you have any old photos or stories about our history - (03) 5772 0900