Nursing, administrative and other staff will be moving into the new $72.8 million Parkes Hospital within the next two weeks.
But first of all, the general public will get a sneak preview when a special open day is held tomorrow, with all tour sessions virtually booked out.
For a group of local nurses and midwives, last Sunday proved a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane before the big move.
They gathered in the old Maternity section of the present (old) Parkes Hospital to have a cuppa, tell stories, laugh a lot.
They even sang Auld Lang Syne to accordion accompaniment as they strolled through the old ward to the delivery room!
There was a good turnout, although there were also many who were unable to come, including local doctors who were unavailable.
Kyla Brooke (originally from Lake Cargelligo) who had worked in Parkes is now an independent midwife who has her own practice. She spoke to the midwives during the afternoon.
The plaque outside the Maternity unit indicates the Gibbons Ward was opened in 1956.
It underwent a refurbishment in 1987 and coincidentally, the first baby born after that big project was Alice Stokes (13 January 1987), the daughter of Barbara (who was present for the farewell last Sunday) and Geoff Stokes.
Among those present last Sunday (midwives, nurses) were:
Jan Freeman (since 1958), Lee Ramsay (since 1959), Ann Goodie (1965), Barbara Stokes (1972), Sue Strahorn (1971), Louise Berkeley (1971), Barbara Donnelly (1973), Pam Moule (1960), Thelma Kiley (1974), Irene Ross (1972), Merran Cannon (1986), Kris Smith (1992), Cath Ryan (2000), Jacki Hicks (1973), Sharon James (2008), Hannah Dixon (2011), Jo Burke (1978), Talicia Norrie (graduate), Julianne Ball, Jennifer McClelland and Kyla Brooke (midwife 2008).
They are all now anxiously awaiting the very first arrival in the maternity unit of the new Parkes Hospital.
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