GERA supports the National Trust, RSL and the Glen Eira Historical Society in urging residents to contact Council/Councillors to request
- An independent heritage advisors assessment of the historical significance of a rare World War 1 Soldiers Rest Home located at 294 Kooyong Road, Caulfield, within the context of the City of Glen Eira. This Rest Home, built by public subscription and known as the Caulfield Rest Home (later Montgomery House), was formerly operated by the Red Cross and staffed by volunteer nurses. The building is not currently protected by a Heritage Overlay.
- Deferring the decision on Planning Permit Application (GE/PP-28748/2015), beyond 17th May, 2016, to allow for
- Preparation and assessment of an Independent Heritage Advisor’s Report on the historic significance/merits of the Caulfield Rest Home within the context of the City of Glen Eira, and
- Heritage Victoria to receive submission and assess the historic significance/merits of Montgomery House within the context of Victoria.
The above planning permit seeks to demolish the Caulfield Rest Home (in 2017) to provide an additional 30 beds within a planned new Aged Care/Dementia Facility, operated by an independent Christian charity (HammondCare) and located adjacent to the Caulfield Hospital.
Those advocating retention of the Caulfield Rest Home are not opposing the continuation of the site’s usage for the provision of aged and/or dementia care. Rather they are advocating that the development of the new facility should not be at the expense of heritage and that the Caulfield Rest Home could and should be integrated within the proposed development. Such integration would be in accordance with the heritage and planning objectives included in
- The Victorian the 1987 Planning and Environment Act and
- Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme
- Municipal Strategic Statement, and
- Heritage Clause 21.10, and
- Local Policies
While HammondCare is proposing a pictorial record, memorial pavilion and poppy garden instead of incorporating the Rest Home within the proposed new facilities this is seen as a poor substitute when the “real thing” could be retained rather than lost forever.
Recent media and internet articles referring to the historic significance of the Caulfield Rest Home are:
A summary of the above articles is as follows:
- The Caulfield Rest Home is the last intact building from Caulfield Hospital’s era as one of Australia’s biggest World War I repatriation hospitals. Built in 1916 entirely by funds and materials raised/donated by the local community, it was an outpatient home for World War 1 soldiers, providing support, comfort and friendship for recovering soldiers. Prior to the advent of purpose built rest homes, convalescing (from major/catastrophic injuries) soldiers were inappropriately housed in the verandahs and dinning rooms of military hospitals with little opportunity to socialize (with families or fellow patients) or to acquire new skills to aid their re-entry into the community.
- The Caulfield Rest Home continued to play an important part in Red Cross Services during and between two world wars. From 1958 it operated as a handicraft centre in the grounds of the then Southern Memorial Hospital, until the Red Cross’ lease expired in 1976. In 2000 it was renovated and re-opened in 2001 as Montgomery Nursing Home with 30 beds for dementia and aged care patients. In 2015 the site was leased by HammondCare.
- The Caulfield Rest Home is believed to be the only purpose-built rest home remaining in Victoria and one of the only surviving tangible links to a highly significant period of Caulfield’s history.
For readers wishing to contact Council/Councillors and object to this planning permit application, a proposed objection and Council/Councillor contact details are available on the Trust Advocate website.
Coming less than 12 months after the appalling loss of Frogmore, GERA urges readers ensure their views are made known to Council.