Sister Martins and Matron Clarke in 1940s outsdie Nanango hospital.
Sister Martins and Matron Clarke in 1940s outsdie Nanango hospital. Contributed

Remembering one of our finest medical professionals

NURSING during any era is a challenging profession, but assisting our sick and injured during times of war is beyond the limitations for most people.

Former Nanango hospital matron, Amy M Clarke was not one such person and she lead the nursing team during this tough time in history with confidence and professionalism.

Matron Clarke was a well respected and popular member of the Nanango hospital medical fraternity from 1928 to 1948.

Matron Clarke trained at the Toowoomba General hospital before coming to Nanango in 1928 where she was a dedicated medical professional who spent a lot of her time devoted to children.

When she retired in November 1948, the chairman of the Nanango Shire Council at the time, Cr Dave McAuley said he was proud just to know the long serving matron.

"It is refreshing to meet someone like her, who in troubled times, put service to the community before anything else,” he said.

"Her life has been an example which should show younger nurses that people do honour one who does as Matron Clarke has done, and value the work they do in our hospitals.”

Many years later, in 1981, as a way of acknowledging and immortalising the efforts of the late matron, a ward of the hospital was renamed the Amy Clarke Memorial Ward and over 40 former employees of the hospital attended the naming ceremony including the longest serving member of staff, Jim Ross and matron Clarke's sister, Miss Marion Clarke.

During the ceremony, the Chairman of the Nanango Shire Council, Reg McCallum paid tribute to her friendly and dedicated service especially during the war years.

In line with Nanango Hospital's 120 year anniversary celebrations on Saturday September 15, we remember one of their finest, Matron Amy M Clarke.