Beaudesert Hospital past and present, some things you may not have known

REGISTRY: Birth records of people born before digital records were invented.
REGISTRY: Birth records of people born before digital records were invented.

They say people living in small country towns know everything about everyone, but Beaudesert Hospital has a few little secrets local residents may find surprising.

Celebrating 120 years, Beaudesert Hospital is sharing tidbits of information you might not have known, as staff mark more than a century caring for local families.

Birth records

Beaudesert Hospital has Birth Register books for babies born from January 1951 until June 2002 (when the electronic patient record was introduced). The names and birth details of many locals are handwritten in the book.

ED SHEERAN: The alpaca is part of the staff at Beauy hospital, seen here with medical student Siobhan Dillon. Photos: Larraine Sathicq

ED SHEERAN: The alpaca is part of the staff at Beauy hospital, seen here with medical student Siobhan Dillon. Photos: Larraine Sathicq

Furry friends

Pet therapy animals including alpacas and dogs visit Beaudesert Hospital to bring the joy of animal

companionship to those who need it most.

Alpaca visits were a Queensland-first and even made the news. Interestingly, the alpacas preferred the hallway carpet - not the new vinyl flooring.

A plaque in memory of George Macdonald who used to supply ice cream for sick children.

A plaque in memory of George Macdonald who used to supply ice cream for sick children.

The ice cream man

The hospital canteen is dedicated to George Macdonald. George was a hospital volunteer who bought tubs of ice cream and delivered bowls of ice cream to children at the hospital every night.

Beaudesert Hospital, 1906

Beaudesert Hospital, 1906

Cottage care

Land for the hospital was purchased for £40 (forty pounds), which was later donated back to the hospital. The original hospital was a cottage with four rooms and could accommodate eight patients.

It opened in June 1900. The Beaudesert Hospital building as it stands now was completed in 1999. The wards moved into the new hospital, and a party was held to farewell the 'old' hospital.

The old Beaudesert Hospital maternity ward is now at Jimboomba.

The old Beaudesert Hospital maternity ward is now at Jimboomba.

Caddies shack

In 1999, the 'old' maternity ward building was donated when the new building was completed.

The building was transported to Jimboomba - where it is now known as 'Caddies Community Centre.'

Dr Chandrasena Tennakoon was flown in by helicopter during Cyclone Debbie.

Dr Chandrasena Tennakoon was flown in by helicopter during Cyclone Debbie.

Flooded in

During the 2017 floods, several staff were 'flooded in' and stayed at the hospital for four days. The staff working around the clock to keep the Emergency Department and inpatient departments open, doing what they could - helping with porterage, providing care for patients, making sandwiches in the kitchen for staff.

After several days straight, Dr Chandrasena Tennakoon was flown in from Brisbane by helicopter to provide some reprieve. Dr Chandra's nickname is now "Maverick".

FAMILY AFFAIR: Wendy Norris' parents worked at Beaudesert Hospital, where she was born. Her first job was in the hospital laundry and now is Supervisor of Environmental Services.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Wendy Norris' parents worked at Beaudesert Hospital, where she was born. Her first job was in the hospital laundry and now is Supervisor of Environmental Services.

Dedicated staff

Beaudesert Hospital is a much-loved place to work, with many staff saying they can't imagine working anywhere else.

The hospital is also a family affair. Some locals have had five generations of their family born at the hospital.

Like Wendy Norris, who was born and bred at the hospital. Wendy's parents both worked at Beaudesert Hospital - which is where they met in the 1950's.

In 1979, Wendy finished school and started working in the hospital laundry. She remembers washing and starching uniforms in 46-degree heat.

Forty-two years later, Wendy still works at the hospital as the Supervisor of Environmental Services. Wendy also had her daughter at Beaudesert Hospital in 2000 with midwife Ann - who still works at Beaudesert Maternity today.

Vivienne Todd and Pat Burnett show the gift made by Gloria Perry from the Beaudesert Hospital Auxilliary for the birth of the 100th baby since the return of maternity services.

Vivienne Todd and Pat Burnett show the gift made by Gloria Perry from the Beaudesert Hospital Auxilliary for the birth of the 100th baby since the return of maternity services.

Auxiliary action

The Beaudesert Hospital Auxiliary has done outstanding work for the hospital since it was formed in 1962.

Their fundraising efforts have funded patient televisions, hospital equipment and facilities for patients and staff.

The Auxiliary operates the hospital canteen, which is known for its fresh sandwiches, baby blankets and hanging hand towels.

TRAINEES: High school students from Emmaus College are getting a jump start on a career in health care.

TRAINEES: High school students from Emmaus College are getting a jump start on a career in health care.

Taking on trainees

This year, for the first time ever, Beaudesert Hospital welcomed two nursing school-based trainees who began their 12-month traineeship in July.

Amy and Jeremiah, both Year 11 students at Emmaus College, work one day a week in the medical ward as an introduction to a career in healthcare.

The program is an opportunity for young people in the local community to experience first-hand how fulfilling working in the health sector is, as well as to leave high school with a qualification in hand, opening up opportunities for their career and for further studies.