Tweddle Centenary Reunion Facebook Page Launches

Tweddle Centenary Reunion Facebook Page Launches

By Kerrie Gottliebsen

Tweddle is putting a call out to the thousands of nurses that trained at Tweddle and to medical and clinical staff, management, Board members, philanthropists and families to share stories and photos in the lead up to huge Centenary celebrations from October 2020.

Consider the bush telegraph officially sparked with the launch of a reunion Facebook Page @TweddleCentenary and later in 2020, a video and website that will tell the history of Tweddle through ten decades with thanks to funding support from The Public Records office of Victoria.

From its genesis in 1920 as The Society for the Health of Women and Children of Victoria, Tweddle flourished as Victoria’s first School of Mothercraft and Hospital for Babies.

The Tweddle Baby Hospital building stood proudly on the corner of Barkly Street and Gordon Street Footscray, over the road from Whitten Oval from 1924 until the relocation to Adelaide Street in 1996 where it continues today as Tweddle Child & Family Health Service. So iconic was this landmark that 20 years later, people still assume that Tweddle still operate there, rather than one street away at the original location of the nurses quarters.

Tweddle came into being through Sister Maude Primrose, a graduate in infant welfare and disciple of Dr. (later Sir) Truby King of New Zealand. Sister Primrose approached Mr J.T. Tweddle in the company of the Hon. J.Hume and Dr J.W.Springthorpe, a well-known lung, chest and heart specialist who was appalled at the infant mortality figures.

Infant welfare centres controlled by Plunket Sisters had been set up in Coburg and Footscray but there was no place to train further double certified sisters in the methods of baby care, proven so successful in New Zealand.

Miss Primrose and Dr. Springthorpe put the case to Mr Tweddle who had a property at Greensborough, but in 1920 Greensborough was virtually in the ‘wilds’ so that idea was scrapped. 99 years later, Tweddle has a Day Stay program 7kms from Greensborough in Mill Park.

On the eve of our Centenary in October 2020, we invite you to share your story. Whether they be stories about your nursing accommodation, graduation, wartime evacuations, Matrons, visiting dignitaries, lifelong friendships, achievements and where you are now in life, we’d love to hear.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all that came before us. We are privileged and thankful to still be caring for thousands of Victorian families every year.

If you are on Facebook, please follow the @TweddleCentenary page and watch the wonderful stories unfold. If you are not on facebook, you can email your stories to tweddle@tweddle.org.au


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