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Highlighting Queensland’s links to the Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses

By JOL Admin | 6 September 2016

In her presentation ‘Something tangible to show our gratitude' – a history of Queensland’s Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses, Dr Madonna Grehan (John Oxley Library Fellow, 2015) presented highlights of her research to staff at the State Library. The Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses was established in Brisbane in 1948, as a tribute to the State’s nurses for their service in war and peace.

Prospective candidates enter the Centaur Memorial Fund’s inaugural Queen of the Nurses Quest, March 1948. Image by Anne Scheu, State Library of Queensland.

Within weeks of the sinking of 2/3 AHS Centaur on 14 May, 1943, two posters authorised by Prime Minister Curtin and commissioned by the War Publicity Office were distributed to every Australian workplace. Artist Bob (Arthur) Whitmore. Image of slide presentation.

Candidates in Queen of the Nurses Quest meet for morning tea at the Nurses Quarters, Repatriation General Hospital Greenslopes with Centaur Memorial Fund members, December 1948. Arrows point to Nurse Gympie - Marjorie Spiller and Nurse Maryborough - Beryl Crow. Image of slide presentation.

An image in the slide presentation point to Nurse Gympie - Marjorie Spiller and Nurse Maryborough - Beryl Crow. 

In 1949 Gladys Moncrieff was engaged for a Queensland concert tour, marketed as “Centaur Presents”. A core group of artists traveled with Miss Moncrieff and local musicians provided support acts. Image of slide presentation.

Followers of the John Oxley Library blog can read more about Madonna's research on the Centaur Memorial Fund.

...Sadie joined the Centaur Memorial Fund’s quest to establish a recreational and educational centre for the nursing profession. Sponsored by the Army in the “Queen of the Nurses’ Quest,” Sadie and her committee raised £4000 in ten months. This money went towards the purchase of Centaur House in Queen Street

Read the full story - The diggers' friend: Sadie Charlotte Macdonald (1875-1970).

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Dr. Madonna Grehan, State Library of Queensland, 2015.

Collections Engagement Coordinator Myles Sinnamon posted an article on the sinking of the Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur in 2013.

The Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses administrative records are held at the State Library of Queensland.

The images and collections used in Dr Grehan’s presentation can be accessed from the John Oxley Library.

Anne Scheu - Coordinator, Queensland Memory


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