19.06.2019 10:33 Age: 1 year

Southern Cross Hospital’s “first born” returns to celebrate a 50 year milestone

Raelene Blair (first person born in Southern Cross Hospital), cutting the celebratory cake with Diane Dixon – Health Service Manager.

Officially opening on 30 May 1969, Southern Cross Hospital has recently celebrated its half century milestone with Raelene Blair, the first baby born in the hospital, returning to partake in the anniversary celebrations.

Raelene was the first of 494 babies born in Southern Cross Hospital between 1969 and 2011 when obstetric services ceased.

“I received an official invitation in the mail asking me to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary and to cut the cake.

“I’m sentimental at heart and was really chuffed,” Ms Blair said.

“I enjoy having an excuse to head to Southern Cross and loved hearing the stories of times past at the celebrations,” she added.

Now 91, former Southern Cross Hospital GP Dr Stephen Dale also attended the birthday celebrations and relayed stories from his time when the facility first opened. He even re-met some of the local residents who he had help deliver almost 50 years before.

Approximately 50 people attended the celebrations and were invited on a tour of the hospital.

Diane Dixon, the WA Country Health Service Health Service Manager, Southern Cross said that the hospital had seen a number of changes over its 50 years.

“Carinaville Lodge, our aged care facility, became part of the hospital in 1998 and there are now six permanent residents living there,” Mrs Dixon said.

“Two years ago we received an upgraded emergency department including a new resuscitation bay and dedicated consultation rooms for outpatients.

“I work with a wonderful bunch of people, including one employee who has been employed by the hospital for nearly 30 years,” she added.