Broadhurst Convalescent Home

Photo Circa 1900. (Sandgate Museum)

The house which was to become the "Sandgate Home" was built in the late 1890's for a Brisbane businessman. In March 1944, the “Sandgate Home” was opened by the Maternal and Child Welfare Section of the Department of Health, as a home for the admission of children whose mothers have been taken seriously ill and for whose care no other suitable arrangements could be made. The opening of the Home represented an expansion of the work of the Section. It is also possible that the buildings were utilized for children as part of the scheme developed to assist "Bush Children". By the early 1990s, the Centre was considered to be outdated in terms of its use as a residential facility, and was closed in April 1994. A more detailed history of this property can be located on the Queensland Government Heritage Listings page.

During the short 6 weeks that my siblings and our neighbors children were at the home (for Google Earth users: 27 18'55.66S 153 04'11.47E), we attended Sandgate State School.

(Caption "The original wing of the Sandgate State School as it was when opened in 1874" - Sandgate Museum)

I have very few memories of this time, of Sandgate or the "Sandgate Home". But it has always been in my memory. To this day, the taste of honey reminds me of this place as everyday, we all had a small tablet to take. Since we wouldn't take it straight, the nurses gave us a teaspoon of honey to make it sweet. Gives meaning to the saying "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"

In 1998, the site was purchased and at the time, it looked like this. The original fence was replaced by a brick fence and the entire verandah had been fully enclosed in order add rooms for patients and guests of the home. At the very right of the photo is another building right up next to Broadhurst. This building was demolished and replaced.

Today, the current owners of Broadhurst are aware of it's history, and have restored the house to as close to it's original beauty that it had when it was built. The chimney is gone, but the heart of the house still exists.

In 2004, I went looking for the house. I knew the street it was on, but not the number. After consulting with the ladies at the Sandgate Museum, I found the house as well as a book on the history of the Sandgate State School from 1873 to 1998. On page 100, in the "past pupils", I found the names of my brother, sister and myself. I had tears when I found these names. We were only at that school for 6 weeks, and someone had kept a record of it and put it in the book. The price on the book was $10.00, I handed the lady a $20.00 and said "keep the change".

I do not know why I had to find this place. It was just something that I had to do, no matter what.

The house as of 28 November 2021.

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