News

Celebrating our Foundations 1920 to 1950

Every year St John of God Health Care celebrates the Foundation of the Sisters of St John of God. This year, as a part of our Foundation Day celebrations we look back at the period from 1920 to 1950 when the Sisters’ kept their hospitals running ‘by the grace of God and a safety pin’.

St John of God Health Care Foundation Day Subiaco 

The war periods and the Great Depression as well as advances in technology were key challenges during this time for all Australians including the Sisters of St John of God who in 1920 ran four hospitals, six primary schools and one high school.

St John of God Health Care Group Director of Mission Integration Marcelle Mogg said there were many similarities with the challenges faced by the Sisters from the 1920s to 1950 to those we are facing today.

“Our theme for this year’s Foundation Day is to respond faithfully in the midst of change,” she said.

“Looking back at how the Sisters’ dealt with new technologies and limited resources can inspire us to tackle our own challenges with enthusiasm while ensuring we stay true to our Mission to care for the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of all.”

Marcelle said the Sisters’ resilience in continuing to care for the sick and injured during this time saw their services expand to meet demand.

“Demand for care was high, however the Great Depression and the conscription of doctors and limitations on medical resources during World War II meant the Sisters had to work extremely hard just to remain operational,” she said.

“Yet the Sisters embraced new technologies and approaches to care, remaining open to new ways of serving others – a feature of St John of God Health Care today. During this period, the first pathology services were offered at St John of God Subiaco Hospital in 1933.

"While these were difficult times, the Sisters laid the foundations for many of the services we still provide to this day.”

Developments from 1920 to 1950

From 1920 to 1950 the following new foundations were opened and run by the Sisters of St John of God:

  • 1927 – St John of God Bunbury Hospital
  • 1934 – St John of God Hospital, Belmont (which later closed to enable St John God Murdoch Hospital to open)
  • 1935 – St John of God Geraldton Hospital
  • 1937 – Mon Repose Convalescent Home, Mosman Park
  • 1939 – St John of God Warrnambool Hospital
  • 1948 - St John of God Hospital, Northam (closed in 1973)
  • 1949 – St John of God Hospital, Brighton (closed in 1999)

Cytoscopy theatre at St John of God Subiaco Hospital

St John of God Health Care Foundation Day Subiaco

 Children's Ward

St John of God Health Care Foundation Day

 Theatre at St John of God Subiaco Hospital

St John of God Health Care Foundation Day Subiaco