A message from Rev Dr Peter Armstrong
Director of Mission
BlueCare, formerly known as the Blue Nursing Service, holds a special place in the hearts of many people throughout Queensland who have been deeply impacted by those who fondly became known as the Angels in Blue.
As we celebrate 70 years of service, there is no better time to reflect on the ideas, stories, and people who have shaped BlueCare’s journey and legacy.
The Uniting Church in Australia has actively shared in the rich history of BlueCare, dating back to August 1953. This saw the establishment of the first Blue Nursing Service in Queensland by the then Superintendent Minister, Rev Arthur Preston of the West End Methodist Mission in South Brisbane, and the appointment of Sister Olive Crombie as the first Blue Nurse.
The legacy story of BlueCare has always been centred around local churches reaching out and caring for the older people within their local community. With few government welfare services available to the public, it was often left to the churches to provide much-needed support.
A deep compassion for those in need motivated Sister Olive Crombie to respond to this call to serve in this ministry as an expression of the mission of the Church. She began with no transport except trams and only three weeks’ pay guaranteed. By the end of 1953, one thousand patients had been visited and Blue Nursing had grown to a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service with additional part-time nurses assisting Olive. The years to follow saw the rapid establishment of Blue Nursing services throughout Queensland bringing comfort into the lives of those they faithfully served. Today BlueCare continues this vital work in living out our mission.
Blue was chosen by our people because of its association with acts of care and mercy – which our BlueCare team perform every day. And it has led us from humble beginnings to becoming one of Queensland’s most trusted services. It is the same spirit and commitment to acts of care and mercy that will shape an even brighter future for our next 70 years.
We will not rest in the comfort of what we have done in the past, yet we hope you can take a moment to celebrate our rich legacy story with us.