Part two of the Griffith Genealogical and Historical Society's exploration of the region's hospitals.
On April 1, 1922, the WC& IC hospital which had been run for its employees and their dependants was leased to a community committee called The Griffith District Public Hospital Committee, to be used by all people as well as the WC& IC employees. The community continued to raise money towards a new hospital to be built on a 17-acre site and succeeded in building what is now known as The Griffith Base Hospital, but originally Griffith District Hospital.
At the official opening ceremony on 25 September 1931 the WC&IC was thanked for giving the Griffith District Hospital Committee the hospital in Banna Avenue at a "peppercorn" rental (April 1922) and also for the donation of the buildings from the Red Cross Farm at Beelbangera which closed in 1928 when some of the buildings were transferred to the hospital.
An early description says the "curative institution" had large buildings grouped on top of a rise. Hot water, steam and cold water were laid on from town water supply, with heating by a wood-fired steam boiler under the buildings. What it doesn't say is that the old buildings followed the contour of the land, which is why corridors are often sloping. The operating theatre with its large movable lights also was credited with having the most modern sterilising room in Australia.
In the early 60s, the secretary needed to increase the hospital's income, so all external doors were locked except for the front entrance during visiting hours, and visitors were charged 6 pence which was raised to a shilling. Government finances were going to be allocated firstly to teaching hospitals then base hospitals and thirdly to district hospitals, so the management applied for the Base Hospital status which was finally gained in 1969.