Bethesda Maternity Hospital was a Salvation Army maternity home, rescue home and hospital located at Victoria Road and Lester Street, Marrickville. The Bethesda Hospital was a new building, erected on the same grounds as the Hopeleigh Maternity Hospital (which had also been referred to as 'Bethesda' since the 1920s). This Bethesda Hospital in Marrickville was not related to Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers at Camperdown.
The Hopeleigh Maternity Hospital had been commonly referred to as Bethesda since it was extensively renovated in 1926, but the official name change appears to have occurred in March 1957, when a purpose-built maternity hospital was erected next to Hopeleigh.
The new building was named Bethesda Maternity Hospital and became the main building for the site. The Hopeleigh Hospital building was converted to nurse accommodation and a laundry. The site as a whole was known as Bethesda Maternity Hospital.
Bethesda Maternity Hospital served the same purposes as Hopeleigh: housing homeless women and girls, unmarried pregnant women without support, and some infants.
When Bethesda Maternity Hospital closed in 1973 the site was renamed Stead House and converted to a hostel for unmarried mothers, low income people and students. In 2007 the Salvation Army closed Stead House and sold the site to the developer. The Hopeleigh building and the Bethesda Maternity Hospital building were bought by developers and converted to apartments in 2011-2012.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Salvation Army Hospital. Opening of new wing.', 13 April 1926, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16285713; 'Stead House', in Wikipedia, 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stead_House; The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory, 'Submission 46: EASTERN TERRITORY SOCIAL CENTRES: A list of openings, closings, and function', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care - Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, June 2003, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://insideblog.nma.gov.au/2011/02/11/connecting-kin/.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 9 March 2011, Last modified: 7 December 2015