Rita Leddin (left), the first baby born at St John of God Hospital 72 years ago, meets Alexander Robertson — the last baby born there — and his proud mother Anne Robertson. BABY, what a big surprise – I’ve entered the record books!
Nanjing Night Net

Tiny bouncing boy Alexander Robertson has the honour of being St John of God Warrnambool hospital’s last-ever newborn, ending a long tradition of more than 70 years.

Born last week, Alexander joined Warrnambool’s Rita Leddin at a special function to reflect and reminisce about the hospital’s 73-year legacy of bringing south-west babies into the world.

Mrs Leddin was the first infant born at the hospital in 1940 and was joined by past and present midwives, doctors and hospital caregivers at the celebration to mark the end of the service.

St John of God chief executive Glyn Palmer said while it was disappointing that the delivery of babies had to stop, the hospital would continue to support mothers and babies by offering post-natal care.

He said the service for privately insured mothers would be available on site after delivery at the Warrnambool Base Hospital.

“It has been an important part of people’s lives. Thousands of babies have been born here and it will be nice to share some memories and stories,” Mr Palmer said.

The decision to end the delivery of babies was made because of a national shortage of obstetricians willing to practice privately in regional and rural areas.

Local obstetricians had previously announced they would stop practising obstetrics privately from February 2012.

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