THE original building of the Bega Hospital had two wooden wards which, after ten or more years, were suffering from the ravages of white ants, so brick wards were to be built to meet the requirements of the hospital for many years to come.
In 1909 the second of the two brick wings was opened and a report of the opening was in the Bega Budget.
MR J J RITCHIE, president, opened the new wing in the presence of a large attendance of the public.
Mr William Manning was the contractor for the work, and it is almost supercilious to say that it was carried out in a faithful manner, as is the case with all this tradesman's jobs.
A short history of the original building and subsequent additions will be interesting at this stage.
The original building consisted of a centre brick position which still exists and two wings built of wood - a male and female ward. Five years ago the male ward on the western side of the building was pulled down and a handsome and commodious brick structure erected in its place, also a new operating theatre which was much needed.
The latest addition was to replace the remaining wooden wing (the female ward) on the eastern end of the building, and to provide private wards, and suitable accommodation for the growing staff.
It consists of: a main ward for women 36ft 6in by 22ft, overflow women's ward 22ft by 15ft, private ward 15ft by 15ft, private ward 15ft by 13ft, dining room 15ft by 15ft, night nurses' bedroom 15ft by 12ft, an office and bathrooms.
A feature of the new building is the magnificent verandah facing north, and 12ft wide, which, by hanging a substantial screen, can be utilised in case of an emergency as a ward capable of accommodating five patients.
The views from the verandahs are very beautiful.
The water supply provided with the additions is equal to 20,000 gallons. Acetylene gas and hot water supply are laid on throughout the building. The work will cost £1,500, and the necessary furniture £160.
The Government gave £600 towards the building fund.
Mr Ritchie said it gave him much pleasure to see so many present and to welcome them on this very important occasion.
They all had had an opportunity of seeing the addition to their fine institution, and he was sure they would agree with him that the money had been spent to the best possible advantage.
The new addition would have been seen to better advantage had the furniture arrived and been placed in position. It had been shipped but owing to the rough weather was 'still on the sea'.
He would ask them to bear with him while he gave a short history of the Bega District Hospital since its very inception.
The Looking back column features most Tuesdays and is aimed at showcasing historical events around the growth of Bega and the broader shire. For more from the Looking back series visit the community section of the BDN website.