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If the walls could talk

More than 120 years old, the Armidale Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) has a long history. It has educated thousands of young women and has changed names from the New England Ladies College, to The Hilton School, and finally the PLC.
If the walls could talk

More than 120 years old, the Armidale Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) has a long history.

It has educated thousands of young women and has changed names from the New England Ladies College, to The Hilton School, and finally the PLC.

In 1943, the Brown Street site was constructed as an extension of the PLC, where it remained as the main school building until 1963 when it was remodelled to become an aged care facility.

Bupa Armidale is now home to more than 50 elderly residents, including former PLC student, Betty McEachern, who often has a giggle when she reminisces about her school days.

“We used to call the headmistress ‘bin’ because she was shaped like a garbage bin,” Ms McEachern smiles. “We would say ‘look out, here comes bin’,” she laughs.

Ms McEachern loved school and in her final year, was awarded Dux of her year. She enjoyed her school years so much, she then went on to become a teacher at the college.

“I taught English, Latin, ancient history and music,” she says. “Some students were more studious than others, but I loved teaching them all.”

At 88 years old, Ms McEachern now happily resides in the same building where she spent her younger days teaching dozens of young women.

“The building is quite different to what it used to be,” she says. “It’s much nicer and more comfortable now!”

Maintaining the historic connection with the Brown Street building, students from PLC are regular visitors to Bupa Armidale, including 16 year old Isabella Leaney, who is doing a week of ‘prac work’ at the home as part of a health services course.

“It feels like the boarding house with all the people around,” Isabella says. “I have seen lots of photos of the old PLC and it makes me wonder what it was like to be at the school back then.”

Bupa Care Services Australia (BCSA) became the country’s largest private aged care provider following its acquisition of Innovative Care’s aged care operations this year, growing its portfolio to 60 homes comprising more than 5,600 beds. 

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