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Bush Nurse Cottage, 1918 in north-western Victoria, Cowangie


Cowangie Bush Nurse Cottage

1918 – Bush Nurse Cottage built for the comfort of the Bush Nurse

On 13 March, 1916 the Victorian Bush Nursing Association inaugurated its 24th centre at Cowangie. Alec Pritchard of Danyo was elected President and honoury Sectretary ws Mr E. Best of Cowangie. Nurse Hunder was officially appointed on 12 March 1916. It is thought, but has not been confirmed by records, that Nurse Hunter had practiced for sometime in the district before the commencement of the Bush Nursing Centre.

In May 1916, it was reported in the Pinnaroo Border Times that the Danyo residents had discovered the benefits of the Bush Nurse who was giving every satisfaction and had been kept very busy. Nurse Hunter was farewelled on the 25 August 1916. During her time at Cowangie she had become very popular, she had a sweet and gentle disposition and was loved by all who were fortunate to make her acquaintance. She was known for her prompt manner for answering calls. Nurse Gollen replaced her.

A successful Euchre Party and dance was held in the Cowangie Hall on 1 June 1917 to raise funds for the Cowangie Bush Nursing Centre. A raffle of a pig donated by Mr D. J. McGrath was won by E. C. Clarkson was held, money went to the building fund. Mr Hecht who occupied the chair, explained that the committee had decided to raise funds for a house for the nurse. Mr Dayman had given over his rights to a township allotment. The following promises had been made towards the fund: Messrs F. E. Helyar, G. H. B. Harley, G. J. B. Harley, W. Davies, J. Williams and F. J. J. Schultz all promised £5 each.

During the following months discussions over the advisablity of erecting a two room stone cottage in Cowangie for use of the Bush Nurse took place. At a meeting on 31 August 1917 it was decided to proceed with building. Several working bees were held to clear the block and cart stone.

On November 1917 the following trustees were appointed: Messrs G. H. B. Harley Snr, Hecht, F. E. Helyard, J. Williams and H. Gorham. The annual meeting took place on 2 February 1918 with Mr Hecht President, Vice President G. H. B. Harley, Secretary V. Jonasson. Mr Hecht resigned on 28 February 1918 and Mr Dayman became President. Representatives from Cowangie, Danyo, Tyalla and Bunurouk were present, the balance sheet showed some overdraught on account of the building. The Nurse had been provided with a horse, gig, harness, rug and lamps. The nurse's rooms had been stared but were progressing slowly.

During the 1918, the Nurse attended 298 cases, necessitating 865 visits, which proved that the Association has doing good work in the district. Her service are included Kow Plains, Danyo, Boinka, Tutye, Duddo Wells. The Bush Nurse is thought to have operated from Kow Plains Homestead until the stone cottage was built.

Nurses at Cowangie were Sister M. Hunter, Sister Homewood, Nurse Gollen and Sister Rossbotham (1919-1922) Sister Rossbotham had her salary increased to ₤175 per annum in 1922 in recognition of her excellent care and heavy workload. In 1922 she made 93 house calls and treated 102 patients at the cottage.

The Bush Nurse Cottage at Cowangie has been restored and has been furnished and is maintained by the Cowangie CWA and the community.

Text source: Murrayville 1910-2007; A History of the Development of Murrayville & District. By Murrayville Liason Committee and Jocelyn Lindner

Use of cottage from 1923-1989

  • 1923- 1932 Gwen & Katie Wills cut hair and served teas.
  • 1932 -1936 The Sherrits served meals.
  • 1936-Dec 1944 The Bertalli family lived here and the three boys slept in a tent at the rear of the cottage,
  • 1944-1989 The Cottage was occupied by - Mrs Drendell, the Rook family, Edna Millikin & family, F, M & G. Conlin, Teakel family.

Preservation & Restoration

  • In August 1995 an application was made to the Historic Building Council to have the building placed on the State Register, this was unsuccessful.
  • 1998 The family of the late David Boseley offered to donate building and land to the Shire.
  • August 1999 verandah posts & roof & glass in windows replaced. Doors window frames & fence replaced.
  • 2002 The Management of the Bush Nurse Cottage was placed under the Kow Plains Committee of Management. The Cowangie CWA have furnished and maintain the cottage & garden.

Visit Cowangie | Kow Plains Homestead | Cowangie Bakery


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