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Hospital steeped in history to be acknowledged at museum event

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A private hospital that helped women of Eumundi and surrounds give birth safely will be recognised at a special function later this month.

A 100-year celebration of the Sunny Brae Private Hospital will be held on July 20, when community members will tour the space, share their stories and revisit the facility’s unique history. 

The building is now a clubhouse at the Eumundi Showgrounds and Sports Complex.

But it held a special purpose for decades.

From 1924 to 1958, local resident Emily Luke, known simply as ‘Nurse’, ran the facility.

She oversaw the delivery of a generation of babies, minor surgery and the treatment of injuries.

Nurse Emily at the Sunny Brae Private Hospital. Picture: Picture Sunshine Coast

While visiting her family home in Sunny Brae in 1923, nurse Emily was approached by a local doctor who asked her to establish the nursing home.

Emily’s parents donated the Queenslander to be used for this purpose.

When it opened in 1924, the nursing home focused on supporting soldiers returning from the Great War.

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But in the years following, Sunny Brae catered more for maternity patients and eventually it became a maternity hospital.

Sunshine Coast councillor David Law said the hospital was a key facility.

“Sunny Brae has such a unique history in our township of Eumundi,” he said.

“And what a time to celebrate its century of achievements at the 100-year celebration to be held in July.

“If you want to learn more about Sunny Brae’s history, or history of more parts of the Sunshine Coast, be sure to explore the Heritage Library, located in Nambour.”

Sunshine Coast Libraries has conserved, rehoused, indexed and partially digitised the Sunny Brae Private Hospital Collection, made possible thanks to a donation by the family of Fay Miller (nee Peachey), niece of nurse Emily.

More than 1500 images, documents, patient logs, maternity case records and more are in the collection.

The library provides answers about people, places, parks and road names, house histories and more, and can be explored upstairs at the library. For more information visit the Heritage Library.

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