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Mount Alvernia Hospital was started by the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) Congregation in Singapore. A pioneer group of the FMDM sisters first arrived in Singapore in 1949, where they were posted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to care for people with tuberculosis. They also served a community of lepers housed in Woodbridge Hospital.
Plans to set up a new non-profit hospital to alleviate the rising demand for medical facilities in Singapore were mooted by the FMDM sisters in as early as 1952. Land was eventually purchased on “Thomson Hill” in 1956 through donations and the sisters’ income savings. The FMDM sisters continued to raise funds for the building of the hospital that was to be named “Mount Alvernia” — it refers to a “towering crag in the Umbrian Apennines of Italy, called La Verna, which was of special significance in the life of St. Francis of Assisi.” (Tisa Ng, “Mount Alvernia Hospital”, SNP Publishing, 2006, pg. 25.)
After close to ten years of planning and preparation, Mount Alvernia Hospital finally opened in 1961 with support from philanthropists Mr. Ee Peng Liang and Dato Lee Kong Chian. Extensions to the original building were made progressively over the years. One may still discern parts of the original facade of the first hospital block from the entrance driveway and the Braddell Road – Lornie Road flyover.
Till today, the hospital still runs as a non-profit charitable organization.
LOCATION SCOUTING IN “PRETTY POLLY”
(OR “A MATTER OF INNOCENCE”) :
Part 1 – Pretty Polly’s Ambulatory Gaze in a Former Colonial Town of Her Forebears’ Empire.
Part 2 – Pretty Polly’s Ambulatory Gaze in Singapore, 1967…. and Forty Six Years After.
Part 3 – Raffles Hotel: The Noel Coward and Pretty Polly Connection.
This is Part 4 – To Mount Alvernia Hospital.
Part 5 – An Obsession Over “Woodlands”.
Part 6 – Between Two Funerals – Jalan Sultan.
Part 7 – Between Two Funerals – Bidadari Cemetery.
Part 8 – ‘Round About Midnight, Bugis Street.