St Aidan’s Mission Hospital

St Aidan’s hospital was first established as part of the Anglican Church mission, founded at 49 Cross Street in 1883 by Rev Dr Lancelot Parker Booth. He was appalled at conditions of hardship that prevailed among parts of the Indian community in Durban and acted on those concerns. The first Anglican Mission to Indians in Colonial Natal was founded with a focus on education and medical care. Rev Booth set up a simple dispensary and clinic in the back yard of his Mission House school in Cross Street. In 1887 Saint Aidan′s mission church was built across the road and the Mission Hospital was opened in 1897 with financial assistance from the Natal Indian Congress and Parsee Rustomjee. Rev Dr Booth operated St Aidan’s mission clinic on that site until he departed from Durban in 1906 when the work he pioneered was taken up by others. St Aidan’s Hospital was later moved to the current site at 33 Centenary Road (renamed M.L. Sultan Road), along with a mission church and separate schools for girls and boys, as well as St Aidan’s Girl’s Home. Through these institutions, St Aidan’s made it possible for the Indian poor to receive health care and basic education, regardless of their religious or caste background. A new hospital was officially opened on 4 July 1935, but under the Group Areas Act the hospital was noted as a “special zone” in 1960, in order to allow continued treatment of all races in a white residential area.

Location

Address: 49 Cross St
GPS Points: -29.85286, 31.02419
Site Contact Details: Steven Kotze
Durban Local History Museums
steven.kotze@durban.gov.za
031 311 2239

Image Gallery