Reunion celebrates milestone
OLD photos, record books and newspaper articles were dusted off for the 40th anniversary celebration of Blue Care Proserpine Community Care in the Whitsundays on Tuesday.
Former staff, committee members and families of clients attended the afternoon tea at the Blue Care centre in Proserpine to reminisce about the history of the service as well as catch up with old friends.
Not only has the centre changed names in its history from the Blue Nurses to Blue Care, but has seen a growth in staff and services for the community.
Proserpine pharmacist Graham Chandler and nursing sister Jean Russell identified a need for a home nursing service in the area and hosted a public meeting chaired by Peter Faust at the old Methodist Church Hall on February 21, 1972.
The first nursing visits were made on June 26 and by the end of the week they had 19 patients.
Forty years on, Blue Care Proserpine Community Care provides nursing care including wound care, post acute care, palliative care, assessment and education, personal care, respite care for carer's relief, packaged care and social support to assist clients.
Proserpine resident Rose Gough lives next door to Blue Care and her grandparents formerly owned the land the current building in Proserpine is located on.
"My grandfather gave the land to the Methodist Church before it combined with the Uniting Church who then gave the land to the Blue Nurses," she said.
Doreen Wesley started as the first holiday relief nurse for the Proserpine branch after working for the Blue Nurses in Brisbane.
She said the centre had very humble beginnings.
"We only had one car to do visits and gradually as demands increased funding avenues did also," she said.
Ms Wesley said the reunion was important because it made people more aware of the services Blue Care provided.