A legend honoured as house closes

Sjanna SandalovaGreat Southern Herald

Katanning Hospital officially said goodbye to the Lois Beasy House on Tuesday, September 26.

The Lois Beasy House was the office for Aboriginal and mental health for Katanning, Kojonup, Gnowangerup and Tambellup districts.

The farewell comes as Katanning Health Service welcomes the new $35 million extension, that will replace the Lois Beasy House for Aboriginal and mental health services, along with other outpatient services including child health, podiatry, dietetics, vaccination clinics, emergency and radiology.

The symbolism of the building dates back to 2008, where hospital, mental and Aboriginal health staff all agreed that the building be named after Lois Beasy — to acknowledge her contribution to the Noongar community.

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Kayleen Pickett from the Aboriginal Health Department said Lois touched the lives of those she met.

“The Noongar’s are grateful that Lois could be a part of their community, and she helped out when she could. They felt like they had been looked after,” she said.

During a nostalgic speech, Lois reminisced on the history and memories bound by the building, before humbly accepting a memento to remind her of the role model she was and still is.

“They were some of the happiest times of my life,” she said. “It was difficult work but the Aboriginals helped me a lot, and I am very grateful for the time I spent working in Aboriginal health.”

Katanning Health Service manager, Robyn Millar, said she was thrilled with the turnout, and is now looking forward to the future of Katanning health services.

“It was very reflective and nice to see everyone sharing their memories and actually remembering their past through the building,” she said.

The Katanning Health Service redevelopment is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

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