The Building of a Hospital by its Community for its Community
Hospital Wishing Pool
The first land grants were made in Manly in 1810. Henry Gilbert Smith saw Manly as a holiday resort and organised the first Ferry Service in 1854. He also cleared a street which he named the Corso in 1856. The village of Manly with its four and a half square acres grew steadily and by 1891 had a population of 3,236.
As a result of enthusiastic fundraising and a government subsidy, the Cottage Hospital (known after 1929 as the Manly District Hospital) was established in 1896 on the corner of Raglan Street and Quinton Road.
The Hospital was originally founded for the gratuitous treatment of the “sick poor”. Wealthier citizens were expected to seek care from private physicians in their own homes. However, with improvements in nursing and hospital care, many preferred public hospitals to home nursing.
In 1922, the government agreed to subsidise the hospital on a pound for pound basis and building began in 1927. Manly Peace Memorial Hospital was officially opened on 24 October 1931. The upper wards were not opened until April 1934. One ward was fully furnished by the Manly District Hospital Women’s Auxiliary.
The kiosk at the gate of the hospital was built by volunteers of the Manly Branch of the Master Builders’ Association and was opened in October 1931 to be used by the Women’s Auxiliary as a shop to raise revenue for the hospital. As more married women entered the paid work force, there were fewer volunteers to take on the work. On 1 December 1967, after nearly 36 years, the Hospital took over management of the kiosk from the Auxiliary.
In 1933 the Manly District Hospital Wishing Pool was officially opened. The user would spin a coin on the dome at the top and the money would fall through into the moneybox below. The Wishing Pool is now de-commissioned but still stands on West Esplanade