LAUNCH DAY: Sr Berneice Loch, Institute Leader of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea was delighted to launch the book ‘For God and the Sick’.
LAUNCH DAY: Sr Berneice Loch, Institute Leader of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea was delighted to launch the book ‘For God and the Sick’. Contributed

Mater Hospital history book launched to celebrate centenary

NOVEL EVENT: Sisters Marie Duffy, Joanne Molloy and Desma Clarke enjoy catching up at the book launch. Contributed

THE historic Kenmore building, the very first Mater Hospital for Rockhampton, was the most fitting of venues to launch the Sisters of Mercy history book - For God and the Sick.

Fifty-five invited guests attended the launch of the book which traces the development of Mercy health care in Central Queensland from its earliest days in 1915 to the second decade of the 21st Century.

The launch coincided with the 2015 Mater Hospital's Centenary Celebrations, marking 100 years of providing quality health care to the people of Central Queensland, and to pay tribute to the enormous contribution of the Sisters of Mercy and staff, past and present.

In 1873, a small group of Sisters of Mercy arrived in Rockhampton in Central Queensland, a vast territory stretching some 2100km from the east coast of Queensland to the Northern Territory border in the west, and more than 620km from Bundaberg in the south to Mackay in the north.

Education, health care and social service dominated the mission of the Sisters of Mercy. As well as numerous schools and a home for children, the Sisters created and expanded five Mater Misericordiae hospitals - beginning with the Rockhampton Mater in 1915, housed in the Kenmore building, and comprehensive aged care services and community based health services.

The book was launched by Sr Berneice Loch, the Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea and guests included Bishop Michael McCarthy, Bishop of Rockhampton, 30 Sisters of Mercy, author Helen Gregory and husband Scott, Eric Anderson of City Printing Works, responsible for the production of the book, and members of the Board of Directors of Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland Limited.

The book focuses on the tenancity of the Sisters of Mercy and hospital staff, to create the Mater Hospitals of Central Queensland, and the evolution of Mercy Health and Aged Care.

Sister Berneice Loch paid tribute to Helen Gregory and Sister Joanne Molloy, the Archivist, and all who assisted in so ways to ensure historical accuracy, whilst portraying an account of the trials and tribulations the Sisters and staff faced back in the early 1900's.

Copies of the book 'For God and the Sick' are available in both hard and soft covers and can be purchased by contacting Sr Joanne Molloy on 4931 7472 or email: joanne.molloy@ismapng.org.au. The book is also on sale at the Arcade Newsagency, The Cathedral Bookstore and the Rockhampton Mater Hospital.



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