THERE were ructions at the Bega District Hospital when the Board in 1889 appointed a trained nurse while it still had the untrained Ellen Clarke as matron. The Cobargo Chronicle detailed the problems that arose.
THE Cobargo Chronicle reported "no one denies that the matron has done good work for the institution and there is apparently no desire to part with her services. And a trained nurse is also an indispensable addition to a properly regulated hospital. Even if Nurse Rutter is goaded into resignation, there is no doubt another will be appointed into the position.
"We are strongly of the opinion that the government should insist on certificated nurses being attached to every hospital, for next to the medical attendant, the welfare of the patient is dependent on the care and skill of the nurse.
"The matron, the trained nurse and the kitchen maid are all necessary to the efficient management of the hospital and the sooner the Bega trio settle down to an amicable relationship the better for themselves, the committee and the public.
The sooner the Bega trio settle down to an amicable relationship the better for themselves, the committee and the public.Cobargo Chronicle, 1889
"If this is not done the only course will be to sack the most dangerous firebrand."
The Chronicle then went on to say that the Gazette "was wilfully misrepresenting incidents and distorting facts with the designed object of bringing the hospital committee into disrepute with the public and Nurse Rutter into contempt".
"We see no necessity for the hysterical antics of the Gazette and should advise its protegee, the Matron, to fall into line, instead of inciting her to rebel."
A month later things had become worse. A lengthy report in the Bega Gazette of October 18 gives an indication of what was going on but it must be noted that the editor of the Gazette, William Henry Braine, starts by laying the blame on those whom thinks responsible.
"Mischief may be done through ignorance or by design. In the cause of the Bega Hospital Committee some of the members are acting by design, others are led by a ring through the nose.
"As individual faddist like Mr Pell flits about in most public matters like a butterfly to find a new spot for egg-laying; his thorough ignorance of the internal works of the hospital cause a butterfly simile to be not quite appropriate; be it rather as a moth rushing to the light would be more useful if let alone.
"The great plot is to get rid of the Matron. Mr Atkinson tells about long ago when the late Robert Ritchie conceived a dislike for the Matron; so he said to Mr Atkinson: 'You go on the committee and get that woman kicked out'."