Visiting Dignitaries

Right from the start, there have been influences from Melbourne Lord Mayors, Governor Generals, Dukes, Dames, Earls, a Countess, a Princess, Knights and Ladies and other similar high ranking officials. There is no doubt that the driving force behind all visiting dignitaries and philanthropic involvement was the improvement in the health of women and children of Victoria. We honour each and every person who has supported Tweddle’s growth and sustainability. Some of our visiting dignitaries were:

The Countess of Stradbroke – The Argus 1923 – 1924

The Countess of Stradbroke yesterday inspected the new Training Home and School of Mothercraft at Footscray. On November 17, 1923, Dr Truby King accompanied the Countess of Stradbroke on an official visit to the training school, baby hospital and school of mothercraft at Footscray, conducted by the Society for the Health of Women and Children of Victoria (Plunket system).

The Tweddle Hospital was officially opened by the Countess of Stradbroke on the 11th of March 1924.

Lady Johanna Cussen The Age Melbourne August 1924

Yesterday afternoon members of the Society for the Health of Women and Children of Victoria and a number of visitors met at the Tweddle Hospital and School of Mothercraft at Footscray when certificates of competency in mothercraft and infant welfare were presented to the first seven nurses who trained under the Plunket system. The presentations were made by Lady Cussen, wife of Sir Leo Cussen, a Supreme Court Justice.

Her Excellency Lady Stonehaven THE ARGUS MELBOURNE – NOV 1925:

Her Excellency Lady Stonehaven paid a visit of inspection to the Tweddle hospital for babies, which is conducted in Footscray by the Society for Health of Women and Children of Victoria. She was presented with a bunch of flowers by a very small patient who was reared in the hospital on the Plunket system. Lady Stonehaven was the president of the Society for Health of Women and Children of Victoria and the wife of The Viscount Stonehaven, 8th Governor-General of Australia in Office from 8 October 1925 – 21 January 1931.

Visit by Lady Somers The Argus Melbourne September 1928 

The Argus reported that Lady Somers visited the Tweddle Baby Hospital and School of Mothercraft, West Footscray, yesterday morning. She was welcomed by Matron Moreland, Dr Springthorpe, Mr J.H Cooke and  Mrs Tweddle. The mayor and mayoress (Councillor and Mrs Mullins), Councillor D. and Mrs O’Toole, Mrs D.McCormack, representatives of the Auxiliary Committees and other societies, Drs V Griffiths (Footscray Health Officer) and Ward, were among those invited by the hospital authorities to accompany Lady Somers in an inspection of the establishment and to see a demonstration of the work of caring for the babies. Great interest was taken by the visitors in the infant welfare work of the hospital. Lady Somers expressed herself as very favourably impressed with the methods of caring for the infants in the hospital, and with all its activities. Lady Finola Somers was the wife of Lord Somers, Governor of Victoria. Reference was made to a gift by Mr William Angliss M.L.C of a sunny veranda.

Lady Irvine – The Age June 25 1930

The report stated: ‘In consequence for demands for accommodation, the Tweddle Baby Hospital and School of Mothercraft found it necessary to enlarge the hospital buildings at Footscray, and yesterday the new cottage for mothers, the additions to the nurses home and a summer house were opened by Lady Irvine. There is now room for nineteen babies and four mothers, while eighteen trainees, including those who are training to become Primrose nurses, can be accommodated. Lady Irvine was the wife of Sir William Irvine, former Premier and Lt. Governor of Victoria.

Dame Jacobena Angliss DBE

Dame Jacobena Angliss DBE (23 May 1896 – 10 November 1980) aas born in Epping, Victoria, as Jacobena Victoria Alice Grutzner. She married butcher and meat exporter, William Charles Angliss (1865 – 1957) on 31 March 1919. Her husband William (Knighted in 1939),was a member of the Legislative Council in Victoria from 1912 to 1952.

As Lady Angliss, she was involved in several charities and had an ongoing interest in the activities at Tweddle. She was President of the Society of the Health of Women and Children of Victoria for over 40 years. On 1 January 1975, she was awarded a Dame Commander (DBE) of the Order of the British Empire for community and welfare services. She had previously been made a Commander of the Order (CBE) on 9 June 1949 for her work as President of the Child Welfare Association of Victoria.

Her Excellency Lady Slim – 1958

The publication ‘Footscray’s first 100 years 1859-1959’ also included an article with an image of Her Excellency Lady Slim at the opening ceremony with the following text, under the heading:
OPENING OF NEW BUILDING. There was a gay, festive air at the opening, debt-free, of the hospital’s new building by Lady Slim. A band played, the happy guard of honour of nurses, striking in their red and blue caps, and trails of fairy lights added to the pleasantness of the occasion. The guard of honour, headed by the matron (Miss Evelyn Graham) included two nurses from Singapore and another from Fiji who are studying for their infant welfare certificates at Tweddle. After opening the new wing Lady Slim unveiled a plaque. She also planted a tree to celebrate the city’s centenary.

Lady Aileen Slim, who later because Viscountess Slim, was the wife of Sir William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim,  a British military commander and the 13th Governor-General of Australia.

Princess Mikasa of Japan – 1971

Princess Mikasa of Japan, accompanying her Husband, Prince Takahito Mikasa, arrived in Canberra for a six-day visit (including to Canberra and Victoria).  In Japan, Princess Mikasa is president of the Boshi Aiikukai (the Welfare Association for Widowed Mothers with Children, and is honorary vice-president of the Japan Red Cross Society. With these interests in mind, tour organisers included a visit to the Tweddle babies Home at Footscray, Melbourne in the Princess’ schedule.