Runnymede Hospital

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Runnymede Private Hospital, Cnr. Queen and Fitzroy Streets, Grafton.

From CRHS Newsletter #30 - 26th March, 1996.


One of the best known private hospitals in Grafton was that of Runnymede. Owned by Dr. T. J. Henry, it was the birth place of many Grafton people who were born in the first half of this century. The following report in the Grafton “Argus” of the 19th January, 1910, contains some interesting facts about the hospital.

O F F I C I A L    O P E N I N G

For some months past Mr. John Strauss, of the firm of Messrs. Strauss Bros., Builders and contractors, has been busily engaged in altering the large tho-storied house owned by Dr. T. J. Henry, at the corner of Fitzroy and Queen Streets, Grafton, and in erecting and constructing additions to it with the view of turning the building into an imposing private hospital. The house was originally built some eight or nine years ago from plans prepared by Mr. F. W. C. Schaeffer, and Dr. Henry resided there till shortly before the new year, when, he and his family moved into his new villa, recently constructed nearby in Queen .Street. This new villa was originally intended to be the new private hospital but after its erection had been completed it was found hardly large enough for this purpose, and, on Mrs. Henry’s recommendation, the doctor decided to use it for his home and remodel his old residence for hospital purposes. For this remodelling the plans were prepared by Mr. John Strauss, and the work was completed last week, at a cost of £500.

On Monday afternoon the ceremony of formerly declaring the hospital open for patients was performed by Ald. S. See, in an excellent and lengthy speech, delivered in the presence of about 150 ladies and gentlemen, who had met there for afternoon tea, at the invitation of the Misses Coghlan. Dr. Henry also addressed the assemblage, explaining the necessity existing for so large an institution, and eulogising the abilities and character of Matron Coghlan.

Miss Henry read a list of apologies received for non-attendance and then with a pair of scissors, cut the bright-coloured ribbons fastened across the front door entrance, thus completing the opening ceremony . Afternoon tea and other refreshments were then served, and aftetwards the guests had leisure to inspect the institution.

The staff consist of the Matron, Miss M. A. Coghlan A.T.N.A.; her sister, Miss E. Coghlan (probationary assistant); Miss A. Hurley (head nurse); Misses R. Attwater, A. Burke, and R. Ainsworth (probationary assistants); Miss B. Tully (assistant nurse), and two night nurses engaged from outside as required.

The whole enterprise is up-to-date, beneficial, and ornamental to the city.

Runnymede Hospital building is still there to-day. Gone are the lattice-work and wrought iron railings. For many of the last years this fine old building has been used as a block of flats. For this purpose the building was clad in fibro from top to bottom but several weeks ago the fibro was covered up by metal cladding which has improved the appearance slightly but it is still unrecognisable for those who have some association with it, and who come to Grafton, but cannot identify it form what they used to remember it.


© Clarence River Historical Society Inc. PO Box 396, Grafton, NSW 2460

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