Queensland hospitals on the pandemic frontline – Kingaroy

Our second installation of Queensland’s hospital history explores the town of Kingaroy, located around two and a half hours’ drive north-west of Brisbane. Kingaroy is known as the peanut capital of Australia, but the region has also seen growth in in the wine industry, with wineries becoming popular attractions.

The South Burnett region attracted a lot of Scandinavian and German immigrants during the assisted immigration scheme of the late 1800s. While the residents of Kingaroy were transported to Gympie, Maryborough, or Brisbane if they needed medical care it appears that a private hospital, St. Aubyn’s, pre-dated a public hospital in Kingaroy. St. Aubyn’s was in existence in 1910; I haven’t yet found a source to verify when it opened.

Outside St Aubyn's Hospital in Kingaroy, Queensland. (John Oxley Library Collection)

Tenders were accepted for Kingaroy’s first general hospital in early 1914 and the hospital was opened on the 19th of November, 1914 (although some sources state November 18). The image below is of a “bazaar” to fundraise for the hospital, on the day of the opening.

Fundraising event at the Kingaroy Hospital, ca. 1914. (John Oxley Library Collection)

In 1919 an Infectious Ward and Nurses’ Quarters were added to the main building.

Clydebank Hospital appears to have been Kingaroy’s second private hospital, shown in the photo below in 1933. Clydebank later became a hostel for children.

Nurses in the operating theatre at Clydebank Hospital in Kingaroy, 1933. (John Oxley Library Collection)

Kingaroy’s new public hospital was opened on the 7th of October, 1939. The original building was retained initially in case it was needed during the war.

New Kingaroy Hospital, Queensland, June 1949. (John Oxley Library Collection)

Nurses outside the Kingaroy Hospital, Queensland, 1950. (John Oxley Library Collection)

In the years since, Kingaroy Hospital has seen the construction of extra buildings and extensions to existing infrastructure. It is currently undergoing redevelopment.

Stacey Larner - Librarian, State Library of Queensland


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