In July 1950 a public meeting was called to consider the provision of 'Homes for the Old Folk of Stawell and District.' At a second meeting in October 1950, a decision was made to construct some 'Homes for the Aged'
A retirement village or a 'home for the aged' in Stawell had been considered as far back as 1897 when it was reported in the 'Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle' that a meeting of those interested in the erection of cottages in a 'Retirement Village for the Aged' lapsed because of poor attendance at the meeting.
Newspaper reports again started to appear in the 'Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle' in 1942 when it was recommended that a home for the aged be established.
Further reports appeared in the local papers from 1947 to 1952, all recommending that investigations should commence into the establishment of a retirement village.
Two sites amongst the many considered for the construction of the village were at North Park where the current sporting complex is, or in the 502 State School Building, should the building, under construction at the time, be relocated .
After much consideration the most favoured site was on a five-acre allotment of vacant land bounded by Patrick Street, William Street, Hastings Street and O'Regan Street.
It was felt that this area would best suit the requirements of retired and elderly people as it was far enough away from any main road noises and not too far from the shopping precinct.
Plans for the project continued until 1953 when it a decision was made to commence the construction of the first cottage.
Construction began in 1954, with the official opening on August 17th 1955.
Local builder, Mr. Mick Rutter, was one of the volunteers who helped construct the unit in the corner of a 'big paddock' as Mick stated at the time.
A further two cottages were completed and occupied by 1956.
Digging up the Past
Construction of the first stage of the central administrative block, function hall and kitchen began in early 1964 and it was completed by October that year.
It was officially opened on October 23rd 1964 by the Governor of Victoria Sir Rohan Delacombe.
Sir Rohan called the central block 'the heart of the complex' and it had been made available by a wonderful bequest of £30,000 from the misses Mary and Eleanor Urquhart and with the aid of the Hospitals and Charities Commission.
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"This will give the people living in the complex a focal point for their community life," said Sir Rohan.
This central block was later named 'Urquhart House'.
The first home supervisor was Miss Edna Gray.
Amongst other home supervisors have been Mrs Elsie Healy and Mrs Kath Newton.
The first President of the Committee was Mr. George Johnson and the first Secretary/Treasurer was Miss Jane Liddell.
The Eventide Homes Complex is now a thriving establishment and continues to provide the best aged care possible for the residents in the centre hostel and the many cottages and units that are now on site, whilst employing many local people.
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