Ellen Dorothy LITTLEJOHN
Also known as: née SmallAdditional Information:
1926 - One of two nursing sisters of the Australian Inland Mission appointed to Adelaide House Hospital, Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
Lockwood, Douglas. Fair Dinkum: Beyond the Furthest Fences. pp. 133-134.
On June 24, 1926, the hospital was officially opened, to be described by Flynn as “a spot in the very heart of the bush, where all might come at times to forget that they are in the bush.”
“Our very love for the bush,” he wrote, “demands more retreats of this kind which breathe their benediction.”
The place rapidly became the centre of the town, and it was significant that the two men in the district who were most opposed to it were the first patients. Sisters Ellen Small and Ina Pope were the first two nursing sisters to be appointed. They had reason to believe they were in the country to do a much needed task. At Horseshoe bend they met a man seriously ill, so instead of continuing to Alice, Flynn about-turned and raced two hundred miles through rain, heavy at times, back to Oodnadatta, to get him on the fortnightly train to Port Augusta. They arrived with just two hours to spare. The Sisters did not forget that trip, nor did they forget their resumed journey. The car bogged repeatedly, and while they put planks and matting on the track, the Superintendent alternated between driving the car and wielding a shovel. Flies swarmed around them in myriads. Flynn contracted a bad hand infection and had the honour of being their first patient when they finally reached Alice Springs.
From the moment the hospital was opened, the work increased rapidly, the part played by the staff in community affairs broadened, and within a few years the outpost had settled itself so firmly within the basic structure of the town, it almost managed to erase the memory of the horror of the days before it was there. Sisters Small and Pope were the midwives attending Lottie Kerr when baby Ann was born.
Document - EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF ELLEN SMALL
from NPWHF Ellen Dorothy SMALL file
Ellen Dorothy SMALL
Document - NURSING SISTERS AT AIM HOSTEL (ADELAIDE HOUSE)
from NPWHF Isabella Elizabeth POPE file
John Flynn Memorial Church
ELLEN DOROTHY LITTLEJOHN (nee SMALL) NURSING SISTER OF THE AUSTRALIAN INLAND MISSION WHO JOINTLY WITH SISTER ELIZABETH McCOY (nee POPE) ESTABLISHED THE FIRST HOSPITAL IN ALICE SPRINGS IN THE ADELAIDE HOUSE 1926-28
Image - It Goes to Show How Old the AIM is
It Goes to Show How Old the AIM is Mrs Isabella McCoy (nee Pope) and Ellen Small were the first two Australian Inland Mission sisters in Alice Springs, arriving in 1926. The sisters had to cope in isolation with all medical emergencies, accidents and epidemics. There were no antibiotics or X-ray machines. When the sisters needed a doctor's advice, one sister would travel three kilometres by horseback or horse drawn vehicle to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The telegraphist would take down the message in morse code and send I [sic] to Adelaide.
ct for NPWHF