Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers was established by the Sydney Rescue Work Society in Camperdown. It was a lying-in hospital that had been part of the Home of Hope for Friendless and Fallen Women but became Bethesda when South Sydney Women's Hospital opened. This home was not related to Bethesda Maternity Hospital at Marrickville. Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers closed in 1976 when South Sydney Women's Hospital was demolished.
Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers was in Stanley Street in Newtown but the street was renamed and from the 1980s has been known as Gilpin Street, Camperdown.
In 1950 the Sydney Rescue Work Society reported that 57 pregnant women had stayed at the home that year. At that time the Matron was Olive Smith, a former Deaconess, and her assistant was Miss Jean Brown. The Christian mission of the home was clear - Miss A Simmonds attended weekly to play the organ at services and the Rescue Work Society reported on the success of ensuring one mother was married to the father of her child, and another intended to become a missionary. The Society remained silent about the futures of the other 55 women, or their babies.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Survey of Social Agencies', Australian Women's Weekly, 15 July 1933. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/48075198; Annual Report, Sydney Rescue Work Society, Surry Hills, 1950-1956, 24 pp; 'Stead House', in State Heritage Register, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 18 March 1999, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2030296; 'Apartment of the Week: 26/12 Leicester Street, Marrickville', Domain: Sydney Morning Herald, 25 August 2012; Integricare History, Integricare, Burwood, 2012, 4 pp; Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers [Image], Date: 1950; Sydney Rescue Work Society Annual Report, 1950 [Document]; 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, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf; Thornton, Bruce, George Edward Ardill and the Sydney Rescue Work Society (now Communicare Sydney) [also titled "Haste to the Rescue"], Baptist Historical Society of New South Wales, Sydney, 2008, 118 pp.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 22 March 2011, Last modified: 17 February 2014