Reported in the News Letter on April 11, 1957: Diamond mine cash builds recreation hall for Ards nurses

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A new £20,000 recreation hall for the nurses at the Ards Hospital was formally opened and named the McWhinney Memorial Hall yesterday.

It was named by Miss Mary I McWhinney, of Ballywalter, in memory of her brother, the late James McWhinney, a Ballywalter blacksmith, who went to South Africa more than half-a-century ago and made a considerable fortune in the diamond mines.

At yesterday’s function, Mr A Adair (chairman of the Ards Hospital Committee), who presided, explained that Miss McWhinney at one time had treatment in the Ards Hospital and she told her brother about the kindness and good attention she received there. Her brother never forgot that, added Mr Adair, for he bequeathed almost £20,000 to the hospital.

Mr W McKinney (chairman of the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority) complimented the hospital group and staff on having procured such a fine hall.

Miss McWhinney was presented with a bouquet by Nurse V Gregg and with a souvenir key by the architect (Mr H Lynn) and Mr S Sloan (representing the contractors).