St Vincent’s celebration of 100 years

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Home > Media > News > St Vincent’s celebration of 100 years
St Vincent’s celebration of 100 years

A liturgy was held recently to celebrate 100 years of health care at the site of St Vincent’s Hospital in Launceston.
Fr Allan Hartcher ofm blessed the newly planted Mary Potter rose and commemorative plaque. Students from Sacred Heart Catholic School led the singing for the liturgy in the charming hospital chapel.

Also participating in the celebration were Sr Val Becker, CEOMr Grant Musgrave, volunteers, past Auxiliary members and staff and community members.

The hospital is currently part of Calvary HealthCare and has had an interesting history.

Distinguished Launceston surgeon, Dr John Ramsay, built his own private hospital on the site in 1912. It was named St Margaret’s Hospital after his mother and one of the patron saints of Scotland.  The hospital was soon recognised as one of the foremost private hospitals of Australia with Dr Ramsay being the first surgeon in Australia to be knighted.  It has been recorded that Dr Ramsay conducted a cardiac massage on one of his patients, only the second to be recorded in the world medical literature as proving successful long term. According to Grant Musgrave the CEO of Calvary Healthcare, Tasmania, Launceston “Dr Ramsay had the eye of a hawk, the heart of a lion and the hand of a lady.”

The architect of St Margaret’s Hospital was the notable Alexander North, who designed many important buildings in Launceston, including the sanctuary of the Church of Apostles, the two great red brick Anglican Churches St John’s and Holy Trinity and the former Post Office.

In 1930 St Margaret’s Hospital was taken over by a group of Launceston doctors which included Dr Ramsay.

In 1944 the Sisters of Charity acquired the hospital assisted through bequests from the late William Coogan as well the late Thomas Bourke.  The Sisters re-christened their hospital St Vincent’s, as was usual for the order in honour of St Vincent de Paul.

The Sisters of Charity ran the hospital successfully from 1944 until 2005 when it was acquired by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. The site continues to provide excellent care and facilities to this day as part of Calvary Health Care.