From the time of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887, it was generally accepted that the city needed a Launceston Children's Hospital separate from the Launceston General Hospital.
Nothing much was done about it though until a fundraising committee was formed in 1907.
The committee was nearly exclusively women. Through their efforts the proposal gained substance and was rapidly brought to fruition. The secretary of the committee was "born organiser" Miss Annie Miller.
They began with £760, raised over the previous 20 years. From there the committee raised another £1374 and gained a government grant of £500, making a total of £2634. This was enough to commence building.
Just a year after forming the committee, on June 10, 1908 the foundation stone was laid by Attorney-General Propsting.
The building was located at the north end of the LGH and completed in less than 12 months.
It boasted 24 cots and six bassinets in three wards - the schools ward, the Alexandra and the Victoria. Stretchers were also placed on the verandahs.
One of the many modern features was the wall ventilators for winter, through which air passed over hot water pipes.
In fact the hospital was one of the most modern in Australia, constructed of concrete, with all interior corners rounded for better and more hygienic cleaning.
The interior lacked any ornate features and perhaps to make up for this, the roof boasted bright red tiles and a mock Tudor gable, while the verandah showed off decorative timber trims.
It was opened by Lt-Governor Sir John Dodds on May 26, 1909 before an immense throng, including several hundred school children and all the city aldermen. He praised the efforts of the fundraising committee.
"How has all this splendid work been accomplished?" asked Sir John.
"As usual, principally by women."
In particular he noted their secretary Miss Miller as the driving force, with her "earnestness of purpose, persistent effort and unfailing courage."
He also commended LGH surgeon-superintendent Dr Ramsay, the philanthropy of Launcestonians and the fundraising efforts of schoolchildren.
By the 1920s it was evident the facility had outgrown its building and after a new fundraising effort raised £5000, construction of an extension began with the laying of a foundation stone on December 3, 1927. Another £1300 was raised during construction.
The extension was opened by Governor Sir James O'Grady on October 9, 1928.
He noted that hospital care in Tasmania was 75 per cent covered by the government and 25 per cent by patient contributions - far more than in other states.
Later plans for a completely new building were never pursued, as the construction of a new general hospital over 1941-42 included dedicated children's wards.
The Children's Hospital became the LGH Pathology Department for some years.
When the current LGH was built in 1981-82, the children's ward became ward 4K, which has recently been refurbished.
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