Former staff catch up on good times at Lauriston reunion

Reunion of former Lauriston Aged Care nurses. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Reunion of former Lauriston Aged Care nurses. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

YOU can take the girls out of Lauriston, but you can't take Lauriston out of the girls.

The second reunion of former staff of the Ipswich aged care centre was another success, attracting a rowdy bunch of about 40 women.

Members of what they call the "Lauriston Family" caught up on the good old days as they shared morning tea and a good chat at the St Mary's Catholic Church Hall.

Opened in 1959, the Lauriston aged care centre at Eastern Heights was responsible for looking after a high percentage of the Ipswich's elderly during its 54 years.

Its eventual closure in 2013 brought great sadness to many of those who reunited yesterday.

Jill Soppa, who worked at Lauriston from 1976 to 2002, said it was the bonds shared by co-workers that made the centre such a great place to work.

"People don't bond at work like they used to," she said.

"Lauriston was so good to me - I lived just around the corner from it - it was good for my family."

Loyalty to the workplace was a common theme among the former staff - some of who had multiple generations earning a living there at the same time.

Mother and daughter June Logan and Diana Webster (nee Logan) and Michelle and Anne Vine all worked at Lauriston at the same time.

Mrs Logan said workmates considered themselves as family.

"It has been a long time since we were there but look at us now - we are all still close," she said.

"Once you were at Lauriston, you stayed there."

Much of the family atmosphere that was created at Lauriston was credited to Olive McAllister - known to many as The Matron - who was in charge for many years and took many a young staffer under her wing.

A plaque remains at the former Lauriston site to commemorate the opening of the aged-care centre in 1959.

The reunion of former nursing home workers looks set to remain an annual event.

Organiser Anne Vine said that former staff members who had passed away would also be honoured at future events.

Topics:  reunion

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