Nurse L M Lloyd, previously in charge of the Portland District Hospital accepted Matron elect in Penrith via correspondence, subsequently appointed as Matron of the Nepean Cottage Hospital in 1917, where she officially entered her duties on 21st November, taking over from Acting Matron McLachlan.
At the outset, Matron Lloyd was an enthusiast for gardening and established a vegetable garden attended to by wardsmen. She oversaw the opening of a new wing completed on 13th December 1920, as well as a much sought after Children’s Ward. Aside from patient care, housekeeping, nurse training and supervision, duties also included monthly (and annual) reports supplying information on daily average number of patients, recoveries, deaths, operations performed, gifts and donations. Soon after her arrival, the President of the Nepean Cottage Hospital Committee of Management had explained to the Matron of “the desire to run the Hospital on the most economical lines possible with maintaining liberal and efficient administration and supervision.”1 Matron Lloyd not only concurred and proved such capabilities that was deemed commendable. Over the coming years Matron proved to be a “good manager and a very economical housekeeper – one who considered the Hospital finances, with every regard for the comfort and welfare of the patients.” 2
Matron Lloyd and several Nurses were advocates in supporting the Hospital by various attendances at functions such as the “Peace Ball” at Temperance Hall to promote goodwill and peace during the ‘ascetic days of war’, and after a lapse of five years, The Hospital Ball of 1919 was deemed a ‘brilliant success.’3 She also participated in fundraising events such as Hospital Fetes, fancy dress Ball and a member of a Ladies’ Committee who organised a Juvenile Ball of some 350 attendees.
Outside the Hospital Matron Lloyd was a keen tennis player, in various competitions particularly in Ladies Doubles. Matron also formally opened the new courts on the grounds of St Stephen’s Church in 1923, and over the years as a member of the St Stephen’s Tennis Club contributed to the upkeep of the courts.
In 1925 Miss L M Lloyd was appointed Matron Bulli Hospital in succession to Matron Cox. However the Secretary received a message from Matron Lloyd stating that she could not accept the appointment “as the committee of the Nepean institution had prevailed upon her to remain” 4 Consequently Sister Aynsley, who had bee trained under Matron Lloyd was offered the position.
The name of the Hospital changed to Nepean District Hospital in 1926 and Matron Lloyd was elected as one of two vice presidents in 1927 of a Comforts’ Club to assist the Nepean District Hospital. In 1928 the Committee questioned Matron about her suspension of two Sisters (Horstman and O’Malley) in reference to lack of discipline and etiquette, but was quickly supported by The President, Messrs. Fitch and Cable as well as Drs Higgins and Day in her role as Matron in being the head of the Hospital. 5 After such unexpected publicity, and various letters to the Editor, an overwhelming majority of the Committee of Nepean District Hospital rejected the Matron’s request for an inquiry to be held, however a vote of confidence in Medical Staff was carried unanimously.
Matron Lloyd, who had been in charge of the Hospital for twelve and a half years, tendered her resignation in December 1929 under somewhat controversial circumstances. Matron’s letter was brief, merely stating that she ‘begged to resign her position’ and there was a recommendation from the Executive that the resignation be accepted. After some heated discussions, the Committee accepted her resignation and appointed Matron Boland, a trainee from the Coast Hospital. Matron Lloyd was farewelled by lady friends at a social afternoon at Yodalla in the home of Mr & Mrs N. Hunter of Emu Plains who presented her with a handsome handbag and roll of notes” 6