Some communities decided to honour those who served in the war with a building of practical use to serve the community. As memorials, these buildings have not always stood the test of time. The Great War Memorial Hospital in Perth has grown to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the town. The hospital opened in 1925 with 20 patient beds. Extensions were added in 1939, 1950 and 1982. It is now part of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital.
The denizens of Perth were so practical that they purchased a derelict building for $9,812.45 to repurpose for their hospital. Victoria Hall, built in 1858 as the home of Judge John Glass Malloch, had been vacant for almost 50 years.
The story goes that the judge had contracted with a local farmer to deliver stone for the building. The farmer asked to deliver it a week late and the judge agreed. But when the stone was delivered, Malloch refused to pay. The farmer had no legal recourse … any case would be decided by the judge. So the farmer put a curse on Malloch and his family until the building was put to the public good. The judge’s young daughter died that year. The rest of the family died within 25 years.
The original house is framed by an entrance gate naming the men in the area who died in WW1 and WW2. A dedication plaque is inside the main entrance, in the first extension. (I assume it was moved there from the original house, as the referenced “book of remembrance placed below” is not in evidence.) The 150 year old building is no longer suitable for 21st century hospital uses, but now houses offices, lounges and the resident Malloch ghosts.
You can scroll down the buildings page at perthremembered.com to see vintage photos of Victoria Hall as a residence and a hospital.