Matron Elfreida DoepkePrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Tania Harris

The plaque commemorates Elfreida Doepke who was matron of the Tumby Bay Hospital for twenty four years. Matron Doepke died in 1945.

Matron Doepke served in Belgium, France and England during World War One. She was initially a reliveing matron at Port Lincoln Hospital before accepting the position of Matron at Tumby Bay Hospital which she held for 24 years. She retired from the hospital due to faiing health in 1944 and was given a public farewll in the Tumby Bay Institute.

On Sunday afternoon a bronze plaque was unveiled at the entrance to the Tumby Bay Hospital by Dr. B. W. Wibberley, in memory of Matron Elfrieda E. M. Doepke, who successfully conducted the Tumby Bay Hospital for 24 years. Alongside the plaque, which was on a wooden pedestal, was a photograph of the late matron in the uniform of a sister of World War I. There was a representative gathering of local and district folk. The plaque bears the following inscription : —

 "In Memory of ELFRIEDA E. M. DOEPKE, and in grateful recognition of her services as Matron of this Hospital, 1920-1944."

The chairman of the Hospital Board (Mr. J. K. Schramm) said that the name of Sister Doepke was well known and highly respected throughout the district. She had been the right hand pillar of the Board, and had given untiring service to the community. It was fitting that her memory be immortalised in the form of a plaque. The reason for holding the ceremony in the open was to save the staff cleaning mud from the premises which would have been inevitable ; however, the plaque would be placed on the wall of the entrance hall. It gave him great pleasure to introduce Dr. Wibberley and request him to unveil the memorial.

Dr. Wibberley expressed pleasure at being asked to take part in the ceremony. He said that during her 24 years' service, Sister Doepke saw the hospital grow from a small cottage-like building to the present modern 20-bed hospital, and during that period approximately 2,000 babies were born in the institution. Sister Doepke was able to do work which amazed the younger generation — she could cook, do the washing and cleaning, and was outstanding in her profession as a nurse, her life's work. It was to be regretted that after her retirement she had indifferent health. In appreciation of her long service it gave him much pleasure to unveil the plaque. After the singing of the National Anthem, the public were invited to inspect the plaque.
Port Lincoln Times (SA), 8 June 1950.



Address:8 Esplanade , Tumby Bay Hospital, Tumby Bay , 5605
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.372634
Long: 136.104464
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1920
Approx. Event End Date:1944


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 4th June, 1950
Front Inscription

In memory of Elfreida E. M. Doepke.

And in grateful recognition of her services as Matron of this Hospital

1920 - 1944

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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