A leg­end hon­oured as house closes

Great Southern Herald - - News - Sjanna San­dalova

Katan­ning Hospi­tal of­fi­cially said good­bye to the Lois Beasy House on Tues­day, Septem­ber 26.

The Lois Beasy House was the of­fice for Abo­rig­i­nal and men­tal health for Katan­ning, Ko­jonup, Gnowangerup and Tam­bellup dis­tricts.

The farewell comes as Katan­ning Health Ser­vice wel­comes the new $35 mil­lion ex­ten­sion, that will re­place the Lois Beasy house for Abo­rig­i­nal and men­tal health ser­vices, along with other out­pa­tient ser­vices in­clud­ing child health, po­di­a­try, di­etet­ics, vac­ci­na­tion clin­ics, emer­gency and ra­di­ol­ogy.

The sym­bol­ism of the build­ing dates back to 2008, where hospi­tal, men­tal and Abo­rig­i­nal health staff all agreed that the build­ing be named after Lois Beasy — to ac­knowl­edge her con­tri­bu­tion to the Noon­gar com­mu­nity.

Kayleen Pick­ett from the Abo­rig­i­nal health de­part­ment said Lois touched the lives of those she met.

“The Noon­gar’s are grate­ful that Lois could be a part of their com­mu­nity, and she helped out when she could. They felt like they had been looked after,” she said.

Dur­ing a nos­tal­gic speech, Lois rem­i­nisced on the his­tory and mem­o­ries bound by the build­ing, be­fore humbly ac­cept­ing a me­mento to re­mind her of the role model she was and still is.

“They were some of the hap­pi­est times of my life,” she said. “It was dif­fi­cult work but the Abo­rig­i­nals helped me a lot, and I am very grate­ful for the time I spent work­ing in Abo­rig­i­nal health.”

Katan­ning Health Ser­vice man­ager, Robyn Mil­lar, said she was thrilled with the turnout, and is now look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture of Katan­ning health ser­vices.

“It was very re­flec­tive and nice to see every­one shar­ing their mem­o­ries and ac­tu­ally re­mem­ber­ing their past through the build­ing,” she said.

The Katan­ning Health Ser­vice re­de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to be com­pleted in mid-2018.

Robyn Mil­lar, Chris Penny, Kayleen Pick­ett, Lois Beasy, Di­a­han Ri­ley and Iris Woods.

Thelma Law­ton, Sue Thomp­son, Liz Borth­wick and Deb Julius gath­ered to rem­i­nisce and cel­e­brate Lois Beasy’s work in the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity.

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