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Hibberd Family

Keith, Noel & Graeme Hibberd in service uniforms, 1943
Keith, Noel & Graeme Hibberd in service uniforms - 1943

Noel, Graeme, Keith, Agnes, William Hibberd in 1940
Noel, Graeme, Keith, Agnes, William Hibberd - 1940

11 Minore Street, Chermside: May, Carolyn, Lynette Arlott, Keith Hibberd in 1950
11 Minore Street, Chermside May, Carolyn, Lynette Arlott, Keith Hibberd - 1950

May Hibberd


May trained at the Brisbane General Hospital (now the Royal Brisbane) from 1943 to 1946, a three-year course. The nurses lived in the Lady Lamington Home, which is now the hospital museum.

Prince Charles Hospital was originally a Tuberculosis Hospital known as the Chermside Chest Hospital and was established in the early 1950s. At the time a concentrated effort was being made to eradicate the disease in Australia. People were expected to visit mobile X-ray units to be screened for signs of the disease. The campaign was successful and the disease is virtually unknown in Australia.

The hospital consisted of four wartime army huts prefabricated buildings. They were located near Wallace Street entrance, the present car park. The main brick block was built and opened in 1960. It was still a TB hospital and strict isolation of the patients was observed for their stay of from six to twelve months. Children could not come into the hospital but the patients could talk to their children from the veranda while the children would be on the lawn outside.

In about 1974 Prince Charles came to officially open the building and, presumably, to name it after himself.

After the main block was built in 1960 and was demolished when the new block was opened in about the end of 1999. The patients moved in from the prefabs, which were then occupied by handicapped children from Wilston and geriatric patients from Eventide. These children were aged from babies up to 10years. Many of them were virtually abandoned as the parents rarely or never came to visit them. Quadriplegics came from South Brisbane the Diamentina, now Princess Alexandria Hospital.

May started in 1960 looking after these children and in 1962 went into the main block. At that time the main block was occupied by TB patients on the Ground, first, third, fourth and fifth floors while the second floor catered for Thoracic and Cardiac patients.

In about 1967 the Matron, Miss Grigg, asked May to take charge of the proposed Outpatients Dpt which was to be established on the second floor of the main block. It was to give the Thoracic and Cardiac after hospitalisation care such as regular check ups. The discharged TB patients had to go into Brisbane for their check ups at the Chest Clinic. A new Outpatients block was built in

Keith Arthur Kyle Hibberd


Born 18th February 1925 at home
Alderley Avenue, Alderley, Brisbane, Qld

My birth certificate named me Arthur Kyle Hibberd. My father disliked nicknames and to avoid being called Artie, he squeezed the name Keith in front of Arthur. I was the only son of three who was landed with three names. My father told me that on the day I was born it was so hot that the bullocks were jumping into the water troughs to try to get cool.

When I was born, my brothers, Graeme Wyborn Hibberd was 2 years of age, Noel William Hibberd was 1 year old. My mother was 23 years of age and my father 22 years of age.

Age 2 years 1927

My father was stationed at Woondum. I got a poisoned foot and I remember well my father wrapping me in a blanket and carrying me down the steps, and along the path to the front gate. A goods or cattle train's guard's carriage was pulled up in front of the gate. I was lifted up into the guard's arms. From Gympie station, I was conveyed to the hospital. I remember screaming the place down when they cut my foot. My parents gave me a tiny pressed metal train set to settle me down.

Aged 10 years 1935

I was admitted to the Children's Hospital with Diptheria, conveyed by ambulance. There was a 21 day minimum stay. I had to feed the other kids (bread and milk out of a big white enamel jug - wiped their noses first). And I got into trouble with a big fat nurse because I had some bad luck using 'the bottle'.

Times, for most people, were tough. A depression, followed by another World War. Our rent went from 12 shillings and six pence ($1.25) to 15 shillings ($1.50) per week. - a serious matter then.

Practically no one had a car, motor cycle, bike or even a horse - always walk, cycle, bus or train. The Grange tram was about the same walking distance as the train (railway families use trains).

My mother would fill a medium size port with clothing and food to help extremely poor relations. Their mother was in Goodna Asylum with another sister (result of large families, and tough, uncaring husbands). She would walk from Main Avenue, Wilston, with a heavy bag, a mile mostly up hill, to Wilston Railway Station, change from 'steam train' at Mayne Junction (now gone) for Nundah Station. Then walk another mile to their humble home. Later, the same journey in reverse.

To collect the fortnightly railway pay, a trip by train to Central Station. The pay was collected at the top of Edward Street (near Central Station). She alway brought home a threepence or sixpence bag of chocolates.