Anne Daly (Mother M. Berchmans)

Anne Daly (Mother M. Berchmans) (1860 – 1924) founder of hospitals
In 1892 Sister Berchmans was appointed superior of the Sisters of Charity in Melbourne and was responsible not only for St Patrick’s but for four other primary schools established by the sisters between 1891 and 1897. She established the first St Vincent’s Hospital in a ‘low roofed, old-fashioned boarding house’ at 3 Albert Terrace, East Melbourne.

In December 1888 Sister Berchmans was appointed to the first foundation of her Order in Melbourne. Next year, on 21 January, she took charge of St Patrick’s School in Victoria Parade. Under her guidance the school made rapid progress and the number of pupils trebled.

In 1892 she was appointed superior of the Sisters of Charity in Melbourne and was responsible not only for St Patrick’s but for four other primary schools established by the sisters between 1891 and 1897.

Meanwhile, on her visits to the sick poor in the inner city area, she had become convinced of the need for a hospital administered by the sisters, similar to St Vincent’s, Sydney. She received practical encouragement and in 1893, as a temporary measure, she established the first St Vincent’s Hospital in a ‘low roofed, old-fashioned boarding house’ at 3 Albert Terrace.

As rectress, she helped to prepare the young trainee nurses for examinations and arranged their practical work. When the building fund raised £10,000, she planned the new hospital (opened in 1905) and the re-siting of what became known as the Catholic Ladies’ College.

The hospital had been granted its first government subsidy in 1903, and that year its training school for nurses was established and affiliated to the Royal Victorian Trained Nurses’ Association.

In 1910 Mother Berchmans successfully completed negotiations for the establishment of St Vincent’s Clinical School in association with the University of Melbourne. That year she visited Europe to study ways of increasing the hospital’s efficiency.

She arranged to buy equipment and furnishings for the outdoor department, the nurses’ home and a new private hospital. She continued to look for further land for expansion; Mount St Evin’s private hospital was opened in 1913 on the site of a disused church.

Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080220b.htm

Further tributes :
Mother Berchmans Daly, the second Australian Superior General succeeded Mother Francis McGuigan in 1920. Noted as the builder of hospitals and the friend of the poor, she soon won the respect and gratitude of all. As well as her talents in building and administration, she organised daily meals for two hundred people at the convent in Melbourne.

The memory of this great builder of Catholic hospitals is perpetuated in the Berchmans Daly Wing of St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. In the Entrance Hall a bronze bust commemorates her as Foundress of the Hospital in 1893 and of the Clinical School in 1910. It bears the inscription: “She hath opened her hand to the needy and stretched out her hand to the poor” (Prov.31:20).

Complete article : http://www.sistersofcharity.org.au/ministries/health.html
Sisters of Charity : http://www.sistersofcharity.org.au

St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne : http://www.svhm.org.au/infoabout/svh/svhm.htm

Image : St. Vincent’s Hospital – $160 million in-patient facility opened in 1995

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