Having just returned from Madang, Rotary Kiama’s Trevor Phillis is exhausted but elated by what their small group of workers were able to achieve at Madang Hospital in just a fortnight.
Anyone seeing the before photos of the Hospital kitchen will appreciate the extent of the improvements to what is still a basic facility.
Amongst other things, the team of four – Noel Edgell, Peter Maitland, Mike Thomas (Gerringong) and Trevor, with the help of local manpower, cleaned and painted the kitchen, repaired woodwork, installed benches and shelving, and got the rangehood and oven working again. They also installed old coolrooms from Kiama Hospital, which are now awaiting new refrigeration plant that is being provided by the local Rotary Club.
“We achieved everything we wanted to in the kitchen, and much more,” says Trevor.
This included fixing lighting and fans in the laundry, installing shelving throughout the hospital, setting up 14 donated hospital beds, fixing doors and doing general maintenance.
The container they had shipped there, with the remains of the old Kiama Hospital kitchen, also included much needed chairs, birthing kits organised by Bobbie East, and around 70 bags of hospital linen.
The men, all in their early to mid 70s, agree it was a very satisfying project to be involved with, not only for the physical, but the emotional, outcomes.
“The smile on the head chef’s face when she saw what we’d done to her kitchen brought us to tears,” says Trevor.
Having worked on a refurbishment of a local scout community hall in 2014, Trevor was pleased to see it had been well cared for.
“We kept using it as an example of the benefit of regular maintenance.
“It was a great way to get across a concept that is alien to their culture and values.”
A report in the Madang newspaper by a prominent citizen called the men, ‘Four saints from Australia’.
The Bugle would like to echo that sentiment.