House debates

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Constituency Statements

McCartney, Mr Charles

4:00 pm

Photo of Nola MarinoNola Marino (Forrest, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm really pleased today to talk in this chamber about Margaret River resident Charles McCartney, who contacted my office around four months ago. As we all know, as members of parliament, sometimes you work so hard to help people with the issues they come to you with. Sometimes you can help them but there are other times when you cannot. In this instance I was able to help Charles and his family. Charles had a really unique request. He wanted to know what had happened to the many plaques that had adorned the walls of Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth. The Princess Margaret Hospital has recently closed down and the new children's hospital has taken its place.

Charles is 87 and he had a very special interest in the plaques, because one of those plaques had his daughter's name on it. Charles and his wife, Verna, who passed away around four years ago, had four sons and then a precious little girl they named Christine Jean. This was the little daughter they had always wanted. Unfortunately, on 16 June 1967 little Christine escaped from the yard in Dianella, ran out onto the road and was hit and killed by a truck. She was 2½ years old at the time.

The Save the Children group, of which Verna was a member, called and rallied around the family, as did many other locals. Collectively, they raised enough money to contribute to the building of the playground at Princess Margaret Hospital and also to get a brass plaque made to commemorate little Christine. The plaque hung on the wall at PMH until the new hospital opened in Perth.

I was keen to help Charles find an answer to his question. After many phone calls between my office and the WA state health minister's office, we found that all the plaques were in storage with no time frame as to when, or if, they could be put up in the new hospital. Charles decided that he would like to have his daughter's plaque returned to him—so we requested that this be done. We worked with the state health minister and we asked for the plaque to be sent to my office, where it was cleaned and polished. Vickie, in my office, did an extraordinary amount of work with Charles and worked very closely with him. This was very precious to him. With Vickie, I personally delivered the plaque, which weighs between eight and 10 kilos, to a very grateful and emotional Charles at his home. Seven of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present as well. Mr McCartney intends mounting the plaque on a wood backing and to position it under the verandah of his Margaret River home, where he has lived for 19 years. I am very pleased for Charles.