Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Brighton Health Campus - History: Your Stories

Evolution of the Eventide Nursing Home and Brighton Health Campus

Community Stories Project

We thank those who shared their personal stories and historical memories in community consultation meetings in Brighton during 2017.

Do you have a personal story to share about the Eventide Nursing Home, or Brighton Health Campus? Please contact the Librarian for further information.


Marie Fitzgibbon (local resident since 1960)

“I can remember hearing the story of the American plane that landed where Decker Park now is, during the war.”

“I remember the pleasant village atmosphere of Eventide during the 1960s and 1970s. It had lovely gardens and was busy with people. As kids we rode bikes through or walked along the seawall.”

“My friend’s dad, Clayton Harris, worked at Eventide as a wardsman during the 1970s. He and his wife Dennise ran the Sandgate Children’s Theatre and I was a member. We put on shows in the Eventide Hall for residents and staff.”

“When Eventide was winding up my father bought up a big lot of the old metal bedside cupboards and beds in an auction. He and my mother had for many years run Fields Furniture in Sandgate, trading in second hand furniture, but by then had retired. My mother cursed those cupboards for the many years they were stored under our house before their eventual trip to the tip.”

“I am extremely grateful that Eventide remains a place of respect and care for the aged. A place accessible to all.”

Former Staffers - 50 Anniversary 24 March 1990. by Brighton Health Campus. (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Denise Mary Herbert (Brighton Steering Committee chair and community representative)

“An American bomber on its way to Amberley (perhaps it tried to land at Strathpine airstrip) was stuck in mud at Eventide. Police and service personnel guarded the scene – people were not allowed near but there are hundreds of photos taken by local residents.”

Eventide visit by HRH Princess Alexandra, Sept 1959. by Brighton Health Campus. (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Don Kelly (Wardsman/male attendant 1978-1998)

 “They were the best 20 years of my life”

“This place saved my life. After my brother died, I lost it. I was a mining engineer. My father-in-law brought me down here and I became a wardsman”

“I think the residents felt young again with us. The laughter, the laughter, the laughter!”

“I fell in love with this place”


Josie Court née Phips (female attendant)

“We had to sweep the floors with a straw broom.”

“We could smell the freesias around the bowling green every evening as we lived across the road.”

“I remember the old post office, the beautiful gardens and the morgue”

“We used to wash the dishes in the wards by hand.”

“I have seen many changes over time”

“The staff had to pick up the bread from the jail every day”

“The patients saw ham and chicken only at Easter and Christmas but the ?? had bacon and eggs every day I think”

“The canteen and the old Theatre”

“Seven of my family worked here.”

“I’m not certain but I thought the fire in Hut 7 was before 1957”

“Airforce air raid shelters in West Ave”

50 Anniversary 24 March 1990. by Brighton Health Campus. (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Mary Wylie (former Eventide nurse 1964-1966)

“Matrons Gordon and Burns used to tell us the three most important things we could give the residents were tender loving care, three meals a day and a dry bed at night – with no pressure areas.”


Mike Bredhauer (Eventide Administration Manager 1990-1996)

“I used to say that the winds of Dunwich swept through the halls of Eventide. By that I mean that the culture that existed amongst the staff and residents of Dunwich was transferred to Eventide.”


Helen Reynolds, née Yorkston (former Eventide nurse 1964-2005)

 “They were hard times, but good, with happy memories”

“We didn’t want time off as we really enjoyed it”

“We fought for conditions”

“Good memories, we made lots of friends”

“The buildings were draughty and the beds heavy”

 “The residents were loved, they looked on us as family”

Dancing residents ca.1970. by Brighton Health Campus. (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Mavis Adams (former Eventide nurse from 1959-1994)

“Matron Axelsen was a fairy on the tennis court!”

“Matron Axelsen hired me in 1959. She asked me if I had any experience. I was 18 and off the farm and I said no. She said, ‘Oh good, we like to train you our way!’”

Hut 7 Nurses Quarters destroyed by fire in 1958 (approx). “I remember BBQs had come into fashion and were very popular. They said, ‘Boy, Hut 7 had a good BBQ – they cooked everything up!’”

“Bryan (Bryan Adams, husband and Eventide recreation officer) used to organise for the vintage cars in the Ipswich to Brighton rally to stop at Eventide for a couple of hours. The residents used to love coming to look at the cars”

“Bryan used to take busloads of residents to the Mouse Trap Theatre. On one occasion there was a lady actress up on stage, with a male actor pretending to belt her. One of the residents was so upset she jumped out of her seat and ran up on stage with her walking stick and attacked the actor, shouting ‘you leave her alone!’”


Ann Cherry (Attendant 1973-1986)

“I loved my time at Eventide. The work was interesting but it was the enduring friendships I made that have been really special. I still meet up regularly with friends I made in my time.”

“One night, a huge spider as big as a dinner plate found its way into the hut. It didn’t run, but jumped across the floor and under the beds - plop, plop, plop. It made such a noise! I was afraid it would bite the residents, but I didn’t know what to do. I turned on the lights, woke everyone up and jumped on a table. Finally someone came and took care of it.”

“It was the early hours of the morning and I was down on the waterfront. All of a sudden there was a thing in the sky. It made a terrible noise but was the most beautiful light. I didn’t think much of it but just looked. The next night I saw it again. I was with my colleague, who just ran! “It’s a UFO!” she said. This got me scared, so I ran too. We used to see a lot of unusual activity out over the water at night. These bright lights would fly straight down into the water then after a short time fly straight back up again. They were different to the planes that would fly across the sky.”

© The State of Queensland (Queensland Health) 1996-2018