Babies born at Epworth Freemasons during the last week of February were given special handcrafted gifts to celebrate the Victorian healthcare group’s centenary.
The Friends of Epworth auxiliary group donated their time to knit the keepsakes, which included a teddy bear, baby booties and a little hat.
Among the recipients were Bridie Shinners and David Gay, whose daughter Emmerson was born two days before the 100th anniversary of the opening of the first Epworth hospital in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond – 27 February, 1920.
They made a three-hour drive from Moama in southern New South Wales so Emmerson could be delivered at the same facility as were their other two children.
“Welcoming babies into the world is a wonderful part of our job, and for babies to share their birthday with Epworth, 100 years on, is extra special,” Epworth Freemasons’ Associate Director of Clinical and Maternity Services Maree Mendola said.
Epworth, the state’s largest not-for-profit private hospital group, acquired Freemasons Hospital in 2006. Located near the original Richmond site, it opened in 1937 and now delivers around 3,000 babies a year.
“Maternity care has evolved over the years, as has the care each new parent receives at Epworth. We are very fortunate to have choice and access to great healthcare,” Ms Mendola said.
“Epworth has been able to continue providing these services because of philanthropy, so having these beautifully crafted gifts from the Friends of Epworth is very fitting and we hope our families enjoy these unique keepsakes,” she added.