The road and park naming process for the Prince Henry site was quite a science. Respect for the site’s heritage values and the need to recognise site history, including the significant and continuing Aboriginal association, were compulsory inclusions in the criteria underpinning the road naming strategy.
Medical names used for the roads at Prince Henry have significant association with medical activities at the hospital through the years. In the future, when the direct memory of Prince Henry as a hospital site has faded, the medical names will hopefully provide a tangible link to the site’s rich history.
The surviving roads at Prince Henry are primary evidence of the hospital site’s former layout. Their names are associated with features of the landscape and the site, and with medical personalities whose discoveries and contributions to the treatment and care of the sick have been significant.
The alphabetical naming of the road system is thought to have been introduced circa 1960s and has been used continuously since then. It is considered to be significant as evidence of a considered rationale and site plan.
Two road names that have been the source of many a discussion among Prince Henry residents, both while sober and maybe not so much, are Gubbuteh Road and Murra Murra Place.
It was decided that due to its location adjacent to the ochre deposit used for Aboriginal ceremonial activities, this new road would be named ‘Ochre Road’. Gubbuteh is the Aboriginal name for ochre.
It was location that determined that the name of this small road should be Sea Mullet Place. We understand that Murra is the aboriginal name for sea mullet, with Murra Murra being the Aboriginal way of expressing the plural, and so indicating more than one sea mullet. Murra Murra Place overlooks Little Bay, which early Aboriginals identified as a plentiful food source. Research indicated that mullet was the most prolific species in the waters this road overlooks.
The contribution of people underpinned the choice of names for Prince Henry public parks because their names evoke memories of the site’s history and embody aspects of the everyday life and interests of the community. It was important that the names of places where people congregate reflected the diverse history of Prince Henry, promoting and retaining tangible links with those whose names have long been associated with the site or who have walked, worked, played or rested here.
An early name recommendation for the park we know as Coast Hospital Memorial Park was Six Track Park. Little Bay was a place of Aboriginal significance where six tracks led down into the bay and along the coastline to sites for ceremonial, healing, hunting and camping. It was a gathering place where people met and told stories, a place for ceremony. The Aboriginal name for Six Track Park would have recalled the Aboriginal history of the site, inviting people to imagine the places the tracks once led to before the site was developed.
However, you may smile just a touch when you read that on reflection it was thought that this lovely park might earn the nickname Six-Pack Park. Given at that time Prince Henry was a popular destination for sitting in the sun enjoying one or two beverages, it was thought that the name Six Track Park might not be in the best interests of the development. As it transpired, the Prnce Henry Trained Nurses Association was keen to commemorate the Coast Hospital, and so was very pleased that this beautiful spot was named Coast Hospital Memorial Park.
|Created circa 1915 and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, English surgeon, 1783-1862, a highly respected diagnostician, who published major research on pathological and surgical observations on diseases of joints, recognised infection as the cause of childrens’ hip disorders, and pioneered surgery on varicose veins.
|COAST HOSPITAL ROAD
|At one time providing access to the Ambulance Corps, this road and the Coast Hospital Memorial Park are all that remain to denote the link with the name of the original hospital – Coast Hospital.
|Created circa 1915 and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after Pierre 1859-1906; and Marie 1867-1934, French physicists, who pioneered research on radioactivity which led to discovery of radioactive elements and their application to medical technology, including X-rays.
|Created circa 1915 and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after Sir Charles Darwin, British naturalist 1809-1892, revolutionised the science of biology with the theory of evolution through the process of natural selection.
|Created circa 1915 and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after James Ewing, American pathologist, 1866-1943, first Professor of Pathology at Cornell University, after whom Ewing’s sarcoma (primary tumour in the bone) is named, having identified the tumour to be distinct from lymphoma and other types of cancer, among the first to pioneer radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer.
|Created circa 1915 and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after Sir Alexander Fleming, English bacteriologist, 1881-1955, who discovered penicillin, the substance which is effective in halting the growth of bacteria.
|Named after Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey OM FRS (1898-1968), an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist. Florey shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the extraction of penicillin. Florey’s discoveries are estimated to have saved over 80 million lives worldwide and he is regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest scientists. Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, said that ‘in terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia’.
|It was decided that due to its location adjacent to the ochre deposit used for Aboriginal ceremonial activities, this new road would be named ‘Ochre Road’. Gubbuteh is the Aboriginal name for ochre.
|Created circa 1915, (later modified in 1937) and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after Sir William Withey Gull, English physician, 1816-1890, a noted clinical teacher and physician at Guy’s Hospital, London; physician to Queen Victoria; who contributed to study of adult cretinism, anorexia nervosa and kidney disease.
|Created circa 1915 and associated with the Flowers Ward precinct, the road is named after William Harvey, English physician, 1578-1657, who theorised and confirmed the way blood circulates in the human body, and the propulsion of the heart in moving blood.
|Named after Edward Jenner, English surgeon, 1749-1823, who developed a practical vaccine against smallpox following observations about the immunity of milkmaids to cowpox. Given the significance of Jenner’s discovery in relation to smallpox – the first infectious disease to be notified, leading to the establishment of the Coast Hospital in 1881, retention of his name is important. Jenner Street began as an early road associated with the construction of cottages for married staff circa 1888 and has had two subsequent re-alignments (1964 and 1976).
|Named circa 1910-1920 after Joseph Lister, English surgeon, 1827-1912, who was the first to use antiseptics to reduce infection after surgery, and advocated the use of carbolic acid on open wounds. Lister Avenue appears to have applied to the northern arm of Mayo Street as well as to extend all the way down in front of the Institute of Tropical Medicine building to Pine Avenue.
|Dr William Worrall Mayo, American physician, 1819-1911, developed co-operative non-profit medical practice and integrated health care, established world famous Mayo medical clinic and research facility. Mayo Street was originally located around former Ward 11/Neurophyschiatric Ward B-27 (now demolished) and is now reduced to a short section of road between the new road and the intersection with Pavilion Drive and Lister Avenue.
|Named after Jean McMaster who established the Nurses’ Training School at Prince Henry Hospital.
|Named after Mary Meyler, the first matron of Prince Henry Hospital.
|Named after Dr Reginald Millard, medical superintendent at The Coast Hospital
|MURRA MURRA PLACE
|It was location that determined that the name of this small road should be Sea Mullet Place. We understand that Murra is the aboriginal name for sea mullet, with Murra Murra being the Aboriginal way of expressing the plural, and so indicating more than one sea mullet. Murra Murra Place overlooks Little Bay, which early Aboriginals identified as a plentiful food source. Research indicated that mullet was the most prolific species in the waters this road overlooks.
|Created in 1937 as access for Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician, 1642-1727; who formulated the three laws of motion, the theories of gravity; founder of modern optics. Despite the fact that a new road has been created, the name has been retained as the road is in approximately the same location as the original street.
|Remnant of original loop road, circa 1920s, which provided access to original ‘pavilion wards’. Pavilion Drive now extends from near the intersection of Mayo Street and Lister Avenue through to Pine Avenue
|Established as the main track through the site in 1881, documented on a plan in 1883, re-aligned and planted with Norfolk Island pine trees in 1886 under the direction of Charles Moore, Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens. Marked on early photographs as Avenue, then Main Avenue and documented as Pine Avenue, variously Pine Drive and Pine Avenue and recorded on published hospital maps from late 1960s and in Sydney street directories as Pines Avenue.
|The most significant contribution to the modification of the original landscape on the Prince Henry site was made by the ‘bob-a-day’ men. ‘Bob-a-day’ men were inmates from the state hospitals at Lidcombe, Parramatta, Liverpool and George Street who were given labouring work in return for board and lodging and the payment of a small remuneration. At the Coast Hospital, their payment of a ‘bob’ (one shilling) a day, was double the normal rate of sixpence for hospital work.
|COAST HOSPITAL MEMORIAL PARK
|An early name recommendation for the park we know as Coast Hospital Memorial Park was Six Track Park. However, you may smile just a touch when you read that on reflection it was thought that the park might be nicknamed Six-Pack Park. Given at that time Prince Henry was a popular destination for sitting in the sun enjoying one or two beverages, it was thought that the name Six Track Park might not be in the best interests of the development. The Prince Henry Trained Nurses Association was keen to commemorate the Coast Hospital, and so was very pleased that this beautiful spot was named Coast Hospital Memorial Park.
|The association of sport with Prince Henry is significant. Many injured sportsmen and women arrived at Prince Henry Hospital in the rescue helicopter, landing on the oval now known as Macartney Oval, before being rushed to the accident and emergency unit nearby. Keith Kirkland, Australian Olympic swimmer trained and worked at Prince Henry; female pilot, Janine Shepherd recovered from horrific injuries to eventually resume flying; and Charlie Macartney, Australian cricketing legend, had a dual association with the site – as an employee and as the first curator of the original oval. The choice of a significant Australian sporting personality with direct links to the Prince Henry site as the name for the oval was considered appropriate. There is no previously recorded name for this site.
This piece has been a wonderful collaboration of discovery!
Much of the content has been drawn from Margaret Betteridge’s Prince Henry Site at Little Bay Road Naming Proposal, a fascinating and comprehensive report prepared at Landcom’s request, and from Wikipedia.
Photo of Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey OM FRS: Copyright © The Nobel Foundation
In addition, thanks to everyone on the following list − your help and interest is greatly appreciated:
Aishah Savva − Prince Henry resident
Anne McGregor − Prince Henry resident
Chris Davison − Prince Henry resident
James Adcock − Urban Growth NSW
Joe Ingegneri − Randwick City Council
Ken Barker − Prince Henry resident
Lyn Smith − Prince Henry Hospital Trained Nurses Association
Mark Pistilli − Prince Henry resident
Author − Susan Graham