A precious piece of Maitland Hospital history that almost made it into a skip bin during a renovation about 25 years ago, has been resurrected.
Geoff Boyle, son of late, great Maitland historian Harry Boyle, watched workers walk over what looked like a smashed frame that had fallen on the floor in the hospital's administration wing.
What appeared to be a type of parchment piqued his curiosity and on closer inspection found it was the framed list of the hospital's board of directors, honorary medical officers and dental surgeons dated November 7, 1942 marking the hospital's centenary.
It contained about 25 names including dietician Miss E Christie, radiographer Dr JB Armstrong, dispenser RD Armstrong and dental surgeon SWG Armstrong.
"The glass was all smashed but what was inside the frame was intact, in pretty good condition and could be trimmed and reframed," Mr Boyle said. "Lucky I saw it otherwise it would have been ruined."
He worked at the hospital for 30 years from 1977 doing stores work.
Mr Boyle took the document home and forgot about it until he spotted it about six months ago.
After reading last week about the hospital's Collected Memory Project - a collection of Maitland Hospital memorabilia and artefacts - Mr Boyle, of Hinton, contacted The Mercury to see if the project's consultants would like his find.
"I brought it home about 25 years ago when the old board room, nurses' dining room and pharmacy were being renovated," Mr Boyle said. "It was in a hallway and workers were walking over it."
"I saw a lot of hospital items were being thrown out in the bin. I was kicking myself - dad always said why didn't I save some of the items. "There were a couple of old wooden crates full of glass photographs of Maitland Hospital," Mr Boyle said. "I brushed the dust off one and it was a picture of a nurse who died from Typhoid Fever when she was in the nurses home.
"I went on holidays and told dad and he said to grab them, but when I went back to work they had been thrown out. When I told dad about it he was devastated."
But Mr Boyle now cherishes the board of directors list which includes some renowned Maitland family names including RF Heads, FG McMullen, JM Proctor, A Beattie, IV Davies, TM Woodlands. Board Chairman was AG Addison, there is an Addison Ward at the hospital, and Vice Chairman was T McCarthy.
The Collected Memory Project is an initiative of NSW Health Infrastructure, Hunter New England Health and Maitland Council. It emerged from a Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Health Infrastructure, Hunter New England Health and Maitland Council.