Early in 1985, a public meeting was called in Burnie at the Anglican Church Hall to see if there was interest in forming a Hospice Association on the North West Coast.
About 70 people attended with Rev. Eric Cave chairing the meeting and Fr. Jim Smith and Anne Mulnuysen from Hobart Hospice being present. A steering committee was formed to look into the possibility.
On September 18, 1986, the inaugural meeting was held at the Adult education Building in Burnie attended by 51 interested people. Dr. Ed Simpson spoke on the aims and objectives of Hospice and progress reports describing activities to date of the steering committee were shared. The constitution, which had been drawn up by the committee was adopted at the meeting.
Officers elected were:
President - Mr Gerry Fulham
Senior Vice-President - Mrs Pat Cherry
Junior Vice President - Rev. Eric Cave
Secretary - Mrs Jenny Williams
Treasurer - Rev. Peter Astley-Bogg
Publicity Officer - Mrs Yvonne Fulham
Mrs Christine Guest, Mr Byron Cross, Mrs Norma Jamieson, Mrs Elizabeth Barron and Mr Carl Castellino.
During ensuing months, this committee met monthly and a grief training course was conducted by Rev. Eric Cave and Nada Franks. The committee struggled to find true direction and it was at this time the “I Can Cope” programme was facilitated and worked very successfully.
Publicity with talk-back radio programmes was arranged. Newsletters were published and some money raising functions were held. During this time, Dr. Frank J Reynolds replaced Rev. Eric Cave on the committee. With further resignations taking place, the committee began to struggle, with only 4-5 members still faithfully trying to make decisions on its direction. The then acting chairman, Pat Cherry, in talks with Hugh Hiscutt, called a meeting for July 1988 at the Hellyer College to try and re-waken interest in the Hospice objectives.
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