The Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital was established on 7th October 1932 by the South Australian Government, much to the relief of the overcrowded Infectious Diseases Block at the Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace. The hospital was designed to care for and accommodate patients with infectious diseases such as polio, scarlet fever, measles and diphtheria.
The new Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital was an autonomous organisation controlled by its own Board of Management and its finance was maintained solely by the contributions of local councils.
Joseph Mason served on the Board of Management at the time the new Infectious Diseases Hospital was established, elected as the Local Board of Health Representative for the municipalities of Hindmarsh, Thebarton, Glenelg and West Torrens (‘Group B’).
Joseph Mason was born on 20 November 1865 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, his father, Joseph, was 32 and his mother, Josephine, was 35.
BRIEF LIFE HISTORY
According to “The official civic record of South Australia : centenary year, 1936”, Mr Joseph Mason was born in Birmingham, England on the 20th November 1865, and received his education at that city.
On the 2nd June, 1911, he arrived in Australia, and entered the South Australian Public Service (from which he had retired in 1936). At the time of this publication, Joseph Mason was a Councillor of the Thebarton Corporation, and resided at 36, De Laine Avenue, Edwardstown.
He is reported to have worked as a Jeweller, auditor, and Councillor (Ancestry.com).
Joseph Mason grew up in Birmingham, England, but it is recorded that he lived for approximately 10 years in Newark Ward 10, Essex, New Jersey, in the United States (sourced from Ancestry.com, and the United States Federal Census).
He moved to South Australia with his family in 1911, and later resided at 36 Delaine Avenue Thebarton.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY DETAILS
Joseph Mason’s first daughter, Lillian Jane Mason (1889–1935) was born on the 22nd June 1889 in Newark, New Jersey, USA.
He married Jane Griffiths on 15 July 1889 in his hometown of Birmingham, England.
Their second daughter, Caroline Josephine Mason (1897–1978) was born on the 27th May 1897, also in Newark, New Jersey, USA.
Mason died in July 1954, aged 88. He was buried at St Marys Anglican Church Cemetery, St Marys, South Australia.
CORONERS REPORT INTO THE DEATH OF JOSEPH MASON
The City Coroner received a report on the 9th July, 1954 into the death of Joseph Mason, late of 36 Delaine Avenue, Edwardstown, after it was reported by a police sergeant that the 88 year old retired civil servant had been found lying dead on the floor of a gas-filled kitchen. The alarm was raised by the local milkman, who then contacted a family member (Edith Mildred Simpson, his grand-daughter, who lived close by at 44, De Laine Avenue, Edwardstown).
The report stated that there were no suspicious circumstances, and it appeared that he was overcome by gas fumes, had collapsed and died. He had a heavy cold at the time of his death and also a loss of hearing (described in the report as a feeble old man), and the belief was that he would not have heard the gas jet that had inadvertently been turned on, nor would he have smelt the gas.
Written by Karyn Baker, CALHN Health Museum Volunteer