1948-1979, English, Unpublished edition: Centaur House Records, Centaur House (Brisbane, Qld.)

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Centaur House Records
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/219723345
  • English

Edition details

  • Centaur House Records, 1948-1979.
  • Centaur House (Brisbane, Qld.)
  • Records of Centaur House.
  • Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses was established in Brisbane in 1948 in memory of the Nurses who had served in the World Wars and on the home front. The name Centaur was chosen in memory of the nurses who died when the Australian hospital ship 'Centaur' was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on 14 May 1943. The first steps taken to organise this fund took place on 6 January 1948 when several interested members of the public met with the directors from the "Telegraph" newspaper who were keen to sponsor the proposed memorial fund. On 13 February an inaugural meeting was held in the Lord Mayor's reception room at which 100 persons were present. At this meeting an executive committee was formed with Mr Hancock accepting the honorary position of president and chairman of the committee.
  • In order to raise money for the fund, activities were organised including social functions, art unions, concert parties and Rose Day which became an annual fund-raising event. The most important fund raising event however was the Queen of the Nurses Quest which was launched on 15 March. The Queen of the Nurses Quest became a regular fund raising activity for the memorial fund and the first Quest in 1948 succeeded in raising 44 000 pounds, which went towards paying for the purchase of Exton House, located at 337 Queen Street. Exton House, which became known as Centaur House, was converted into a hostel for all visiting nurses; it also included a library and a recreation centre. Not all of the building was used by the Fund; some rooms were leased to other organisations.
  • In September of 1950 Centaur Memorial Fund was officially established by Letters Patent; it was not until 1973 that the Fund was renamed Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses. A constitution was also drawn up stating the purpose of the Fund and outlining the powers of the executive committee and the Trustees. As mentioned before, the constitution was revised in 1973. The Fund's name was changed and clauses were added relating to the five sub-committees which had been formed over the years since the Fund's inception.
  • The sub-committees consisted of: the Ladies Social Committee, which was responsible for conducting card playing functions and musical luncheons; the Finance and Building Committee, which was formed to keep the Fund informed of the state of the finances of the organisation and examine all proposals for structural alterations to the building; the House and Furnishings Committee, which was responsible for the furnishings, decor and cleanliness of the building; the Younger Set Committee, which was established in 1974 to help find out the needs of members of the nursing profession and arrange functions necessary to meet those needs; and lastly the Fund-raising Committee, which existed to explore ways and means of raising finance for the Fund.
  • Another committee also existed in Townsville to oversee the Fund's work in this region of Queensland and to look after the Magnetic Island hostel which the Fund opened to all members of the nursing profession in November of 1953. The Magnetic Island hostel was sold in 1974 when the Fund began to experience financial difficulties.
  • In 1968 Centaur Memorial Fund shifted premises. Centaur House in Queen Street was sold and two properties on Wickham Terrace were bought. The new premises on Wickham Terrace were not officially opened until 1972 due to the amount of construction work that had been necessary to convert the existing buildings into a hostel and offices. For sometime the Fund remained in the Queen Street building, leasing space from the new owners. Following the opening of the new Centaur House, and over the next few years, the Fund experienced increasing financial difficulties mainly due to high running costs.
  • In 1975 an attempt was made to raise funds through the organisation of an investment scheme, but by 1978 the accommodation facilities were closed and negotiations had begun to sell the Fund's properties. In November of 1979 Centaur House was finally sold for one million dollars. After a number of years of vigorous investment which increased the Fund's assets, another property was purchased at 164 Leichhardt Street. In June 1987 these premises were sold with the Fund now wishing to use its money in Nurse Education rather than accommodation facilities.
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  • You are free to use for personal research and study. For other uses contact copyright@slq.qld.gov.au
  • English
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