I've been at Epworth for 60 years. I don't believe it myself, but that's what it is.

Photo: Margie is given a standing ovation by colleagues at the Epworth Length of Service awards.

Back in 1964, the Beatles took America by storm, Tokyo hosted the summer Olympics, Muhammad Ali became the heavyweight boxing champion of the world and Margaret (Margie) Sims started working at Epworth!

An amazing 60 years later, Margie was honoured for her very long service at an Epworth HealthCare Length of Service ceremony.

“I've been at Epworth for 60 years. I don't believe it myself, but that's what it is,” Margie said.

“I saw an advertisement in the paper in Tasmania for a mothercraft nurse in the new children's ward that they built here. “

Margie nursed for 40 years and has been the receptionist in 4 Gray Oncology for the past 20 years.

In the early days, the longest serving Epworth matron, Matron Marjorie Holding, was in charge. And, like other nurses, Margie lived onsite in the nurses’ home.

“The nurses’ home was where the Cato Wing is now. I lived there for about 15 years,” Margie said.

“It was a different set up altogether because you had to report in and out. You had to be in by 10pm or there was trouble!

“We had picture nights down in the hall, stalls, picnics and all sorts of things.”

When Margie arrived at Epworth, the hospital had about 100 beds. Now, as Epworth Richmond, the hospital grown to 700 beds.

“Many talented surgeons and physicians from Melbourne worked here. It was mostly surgical procedures but there was also some radiotherapy, physiotherapy, psychiatry, gynaecology and we had a midwifery ward.

“There's so many changes and the last 60 years has gone very quickly,” Margie added.

“I like to interact with patients. I like to go down and collect them from the front door and greet them. I think that's a good way of learning about each patient, their diet, and asking questions and things like that.

“I have very good memories of Edward Dunlop and all the famous doctors that practiced here many years ago. One of the current doctors at Epworth Richmond is an oncologist and I knew his father.

“It all has changed a lot, but I've experienced it all and I've loved it all and it's helped me as a person.”

The word Margie uses to sum up Epworth is “exemplary”.

Margie is among 598 Epworth staff who were recognised for an amazing 9,455 combined years of service!