History by category: Mater Private Hospital

Expansion on Mater Hill

On 15 August 1925, Archbishop of Brisbane James Duhig laid the Foundation Stone for the Mater chapel and convent building. The slightly easier financial climate of the 1920s enabled the Sisters to build a permanent chapel which was to be at the heart of the Mercy Mission at Mater. Highly regarded architectural firm, Hall and Dods, which designed the Mater Private Hospital building, was consulted, even though they had moved from Brisbane to Sydney. The following year, in December 1926, Mater Private Hospital chapel and convent building opened. The building was attached to the western end of Mater Private Hospital. 

Tags: Mater Convent, Mater Private Hospital

News by category: Mater Private Hospital

Reflecting on the history of Mater Children’s Hospital

Thursday, 7 August 2014

After providing public healthcare services for more than 83 years, Mater’s government-funded paediatric services will transition to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in late 2014.

In the lead up to this transition, we look back at the establishment of Mater Children’s Hospital.

Caring for children—the Sisters of Mercy extend their healthcare services

“I foresee a very great future for this hospital: I foresee it carrying out the most modern and scientific work; I foresee it as providing service of the best and the highest nature for the people, not only of Brisbane, but of the whole State.” His Excellency, Sir John Goodwin, Governor of Queensland, at the official opening of Mater Children’s Hospital.

By the mid-1920s, the Sisters of Mercy were providing healthcare services to adults via Mater Private Hospital and Mater Public Hospital.

However, Mother Patrick Potter was determined to build a children’s hospital to meet the healthcare needs of Brisbane’s growing population.

A contract to build the hospital for 50 000 pounds was signed with F.J Corbett and Sons. Hall and Prentice—the architectural firm who designed the original Mater Private Hospital—were again called upon for the children’s hospital, with a proviso by the Sisters that every effort be made to source building materials and equipment locally.

The dream of Mother Patrick Potter, after whom the hospital was eventually named, was to build an 80-bed modern public hospital, complete with medical and surgical beds, a nursery for ill babies and an operating theatre.

On 24 May 1926, Mother Patrick Potter watched the foundation stone being laid, before construction commenced the following year. Because of financial constraints, construction of the building was limited to one-half of what had been intended, with provision being allowed for completion at a future date.

Sadly, Mother Patrick Potter passed away in November 1927, and did not see Mater Children’s Hospital open.

On 10 May 1931, almost five years to the day after the foundation stone was laid, Mater Children’s Hospital officially opened, dedicated as a memorial to Mother Patrick Potter.

Tags: Mater Children’s Hospital, Mater Private Hospital, Mother Patrick Potter, Sisters of Mercy