History of Public Utilities in Bowral 1
In 1829 the first district Post Office was opened at Bong Bong and from then on mail had been sent to the Berrima country firstly by horseback, then carts or coaches and then by rail.
On the 29th of July 1864 the Government Gazette announced a post office would be opened at Bowral with the first post-master being John Robinson who owned the inn and a store in the village. There was no official post office for many years with various buildings being used by the postal service. In 1884 complaints were made that the public had to write their telegrams in an "open comfortless veranda". The Government bought land for an official office in May 1884 at a cost of £5 per foot. In 1887 this building was built and opened on the 25th of May 1887. The first official postmaster was JD Sheriff who in September 1882 was appointed the position while the office was still in JG Morris' Mart. Sheriff was postmaster until 1905. The post office was extended to the street in 1908. In September 1882 a telegraphic office was established with telephonic communication with Burradoo being established on the 22nd of October 1891 and Sydney in December 1905. In 1909 the Municipal Council applied for a telephone exchange that was opened on the 21st of August that year.
A half-acre block of land was bought in August 1884 for £150 with a lock up and police station being completed and occupied on the 9th of April 1887. Alterations and additions were made to the station in 1931 at a cost of £1438/12/3.
The idea to establish a Court of Petty Sessions began in 1883 with one being set up by proclamation on the 20th of February 1890. On the 8th of April 1890 the court was officially opened in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. In March 1895 tenders for a courthouse were called for with the Hon. JA Gould opening the building on the 22nd of May 1896.
Bowral residents Dr BJ Newmarch and C Bennet, stationmaster, called a meeting with representatives from Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale and Berrima being present a committee was formed to establish a cottage hospital for the district. The Inspector of Charities inspected sites in the area in May 1886 and recommended Carter's land next to the Glebe in Bowral. Funds were raised to purchase the property and in March 1888 five and a half acres were bought for £362/10/-.
An architect from Sydney, HC Kent, was selected to draw up plans at a cost of no more than £800. On the 7th of September 1888 the plans were approved with JJ Campbell's tender being accepted and work beginning on the 5th of January 1889. Governor Lord Carrington laid the foundation stone on the 9th of February 1889 in front of 700 people. On the 4th of September 1889 the hospital opened with the first patient being Roger Maloney who was fifteen and entered the hospital on the 6th of September. The institutions officers were: President, Hon. J Lackey, MLC; Vice Presidents, WR Campbell and Wm. McCourt, MLA; Hon Secretary C Bennett; Hon. Treasurer, Gavin George; Trustees, PLC Shepherd, RP Richardson and Dr BJ Newmarch. The committee men were: HM Oxley, Dr AB Morgan, JG Morris, JL Holmes, HO Rotton, HS Strutchbury, HE Jones, JCE Murphy and JJ Campbell.
Miss Annie D Morgan was the first matron and commenced duties on the 1st of September 1889 with a salary of £52 per annum. In 1890 the weekly costs for running the hospital were: meat 10/-, bread 3/-, groceries 28/-, milk 5/-, fruit and vegetables 3/-, fuel 3/6, washing 4/6 and drugs 17/-.
The first annual reports dated from the 6th of September 1889 to the 10th of January 1890 reported that 9 males and 3 females were admitted, 6 of these were cured and discharged, and 2 were relieved and 4 died.
An operating theatre was added to the building in 1898 at a cost of £108. The female ward was extended to fit 8 beds in 1911 while increased accommodation was provided in the nursing quarters with other additions being made at a cost of £945. Lord Chelmsford opened the additions on the 25th of January 1911. The operating theatre became known as the Holt Memorial Theatre, after Mr HS Holt donated £1000 towards its cost. Governor Sir Dudley De Chair opened the theatre on the 3rd of March 1926. On the 8th of October 1928 isolation block was opened. On the 23rd of February 1935 a 64-bed hospital opened and cost £17,000.
On the 29th of August 1954 the Hon. MJ O'Sullivan, Minister for Health, opened the hospital called Tyler House after its greatest benefactress Miss Ella Lynd Tyler. A 3-storey nurse's home was built at a cost of £120,000 with £15,000 spent on furnishings.
The Pathology Department began operations in 1951. In 1955 Mrs IB White gave the Board £5000 in the memory of her late husband FJ White for an x-ray plant to be bought.
In March 1959 work began on the new block to include a laundry and boiler house and this cost £240,000. On the 12th of September 1959 the foundation stone was laid. The hospital had a total of 138 beds, which was made up of 30 maternity beds at the ground floor, 24 surgical beds on the 1st floor as well as a children's ward.
To mark the generosity of Mr and Mrs Anthony Hordern opening their garden to raise money for Bowral Women's Hospital Auxiliary the new block at the hospital became known as the Milton Park Wing.