Celebrating 25 years of St Vincent’s Care Services Gympie
18 December 2018
Residents, staff, volunteers and friends of St Vincent’s Care Services Gympie gathered for a celebratory Mass and morning tea on 18 December 2018, to mark the facility’s 25th anniversary.
The aged care facility first opened its doors in 1993, as St Patrick’s Villa, welcoming residents to a close-knit and caring community within a historic setting.
St Vincent’s Care Services Chief Executive Officer Lincoln Hopper, and Director of Mission Esme Strydom joined the Gympie community for the celebration, with the congregation hearing a recount of the facility’s foundation, and reflecting on its history.
St Vincent’s Care Services Gympie has provided countless residents and their families with compassionate care and support, and is a recognisable landmark in the town.
Built in 1927, the facility was originally the convent home for the Sisters of Mercy, who ministered in the adjacent St Patrick’s School and St Patrick’s Church.
In response to Queensland’s increasingly ageing population, the Archdiocese of Brisbane began planning for the provision of residential aged care facilities in the 1980s, Gympie included.
Longstanding Gympie Parish Priest, Doctor Kenny, had a special interest in the elderly, especially for those who were frail or sick. The parish set up an Aged Care Steering Committee to work with the Archdiocesan Aged Care Plan to develop a frail aged facility.
Following their departure from St Patrick’s Convent, the Sisters transitioned the building to the Brisbane Archdiocesan Aged Care Plan, and a new 30 bed hostel, plus two new wings, was created. Each house had its own separate living environment, and blended well into a unified community.
On 18 December 1993, St Patrick’s Villa was blessed by the Archbishop of Brisbane.
By 2000, the Archdiocesan Aged Care Facilities were incorporated into the aged care service founded by the Sisters of Charity in Brisbane. This included St Patrick’s Villa – which became St Vincent’s Care Services Gympie in 2012.