Link to past at Warrnambool's St John of God hospital's mental health centre reopening

Community relations mental health manager John Parkinson (left), Sister Dominica O’Reilly and St John of God Warrnambool Hospital chief executive officer Glen Power shared official duties at yesteday’s reopening of The Glenrye Centre.  Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Community relations mental health manager John Parkinson (left), Sister Dominica O’Reilly and St John of God Warrnambool Hospital chief executive officer Glen Power shared official duties at yesteday’s reopening of The Glenrye Centre. Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

THE remodelled St John of God Warrnambool Hospital’s community mental health service building was officially reopened yesterday.

The Glenrye Centre is a tribute to the hospital’s founders and Charles Heathcote, the great-great-grandson of the original owner, Gaddam McMahon, was there to celebrate.

“It’s nice to see the building being kept and reused, not just demolished,” Mr Heathcote said.

The centre hosts the hospital’s community mental health and perinatal mental health teams. It has been given a refreshed interior, remodelled entrance and new private reflection area.

An opening ceremony included prayers and the planting of a pomegranate tree.

St John of God chief executive officer Glen Power said the hospital was strengthening its social outreach services to young people and families.

Sixteen health professionals are employed in the mental health services, supporting people with anxiety, depression, stress and adjustment issues.

Sister Dominica O’Reilly helped plant the pomegranate tree.

The pomegranate was adopted by the Sisters of St John of God to reflect the order’s patron, St John of God, who ministered to the sick and poor in the Spanish town of Granada in the first half of the 16th century.

Celebrations will continue in October when the hospital marks the 75th anniversary of when the Sisters of St John of God began providing health care on the Botanic Road site.

An anniversary party is planned, along with the launch of a history book and a celebratory Eucharistic Mass at St Joseph’s Church.

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