Rhyndarra when it was used as a Salvation Army 'home for wayward girls'
You may notice that the site is slowly evolving and expanding to include some other units. Most people who worked in the various units were posted to several of these over time. We were all colleagues -Brothers and Sisters working for the same cause. Paulatim! My aim is to gradually include all units associated with RAAMC/RAANC, beginning with Brisbane, South East Queensland and then beyond.
Chris Heinjus AKA Rusty
Back in 2009, I kicked off a Facebook Site for 1Mil Hospital and the Digger James Club - The Australian Army's version of 'Rosie's Bar' from the TV series, 'M*A*S*H'...Soon after this, I was asked if I would organise a reunion and it did happen, but it took some time...
From 2-5 Oct 2015, about 350 old mates got together for the Big Bash Reunion...
The Big Bash was not the first reunion we have had over the years, but one of the biggest. People who had been to previous reunions were dying to have another one. Believe me when I say that organising such an event is not a simple task. It takes a few people who are motivated , persistant and resilient enough to cope with the odd blow to the ego and some frustrations along the way. So if/when you ever attend a reunion, just know that a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it all. People from all Corps of the Army as well as other Services and Civillians were invited to this one-Anyone who had ever had anything at all to do with the place.
So the idea of this website is a continuation of a temporary one that we had in 2015.
I hope that you enjoy browsing and even contributing here and even more, I hope that the tradition of get togethers and catching up with old mates continues for many years to come...
Oh yes..."Why Paulatim?", you may ask... Paulatim as the RAAMC Motto, which is Latin for gradually, little by little or bit by bit, is pretty much how the Corps and even the site where Rhyndarra is located, came to be what it was...The same will go for this website. Little by little, I envisage that it will grow into a welcome hub for people to visit and to reminisce and reconnect.
I also wish to personally acknowledge all the other Corps and Services as well as civillians whom all joined together to form what was this wonderful establishment over so many years. That is, the RAANC, AACC, RACT, WRAAC, RAAOC and any who were though I may have neglected to mention. Now it will all hopefully live on in our memories and our hearts...
Rhyndarra - A brief history...
1st Military Hospital in the 1970's
The Victorian mansion, 'Rhyndarra' was originally built for wealthy farmer William Williams in 1888-1889.
Over the years, it changed hands and purposes a number of times. There are periods when it remained free of tenants - soon after the start of the first Great Depression of the 1800's occurred and William Williams came upon bad economic times and had to sell.
It was purchased by Salvation Army Founder William Booth in 1907 and it served for a time as a Salvation Army Home for Girls.
In 1942 Rhyndarra was taken over by the Australian Army and was initially known as Australian Army Medical Women's Service Training Establishment (Actually code for an STD Treatment Centre for Military women!)
In 1944 2nd Australian Womens' Hospital, was moved from Redbank to Rhyndarra, Yeronga.
2 AWH existed from 4 Mar 1943 to 23 Oct 1946 until it was renamed 1 Camp Hospital.
As 1 Camp Hospital grew to become a slightly larger and more complex Military Hospital, it was re-designated as 1st Military Hospital on 1st September 1967.
The 1st Military Hospital was decommissioned in June 1996,and shortly after, the site was cleared of all but two heritage buildings - Rhyndarra and one other - The old stables previously used as the Quartermasters' Store and it was developed into a prestige housing estate. Sadly for many, bulldozers made quick work of the rest.
In 1996, the 1st Military Hospital and the 2nd Field Hospital at Water Street Fortitude Valley Brisbane were amalgamated and became the Base and Field Elements of the 2nd Health Services Battalion at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, Brisbane.
The last portrait at Rhyndarra - The Officers' Mess -1st Military Hospital, Yeronga, Queensland