JP Bayly Trust
|The reception area of
the Medical Clinic, Suva
The Bayly Clinic is an institution in Fiji. Each year, more than 25,000 people come from villages, outer city suburbs and communities, as well as central Suva, to receive assistance. The Clinic represents medicine with a heart, and fills a void in services to the poor and disadvataged.
George Hemming believed there was little advantage in curing conditions such as anaemia, venereal disease and malnutrition … three of the most common complaints among his patients … without tackling the social and economic problems that caused them. This philosophy shaped the early work of the Bayly Clinic, prompting the establishment of a social welfare section to complement the medical division.
The Clinic is named after its late benefactor, Fiji-born John Percy Bayly, who is regarded as one of Fiji's greatest philanthropists. Millionaire, recluse, rationalist and agriculturalist, Bayly owned vast tracts of land in Fiji, much of it in the fertile Sigatoka Valley. He had few personal ties and no family of his own.
In 1954, nine years before his death at the age of 81, John Bayly established the JP Bayly Trust which bought the land and financed the building for the Clinic. The Clinic is just one of the many causes which have benefited from his fortune.
Dr. Hemming and JP Bayly shared a common concern for the increasing numbers of poor. In the first months of its operation, more than 80 people a day visited the Clinic. Almost all of these qualified for the concession rates by virtue of earning less than four pounds a week.
|Food package for distribution|
As the number of the less fortunate receiving charity grew, operations of the welfare section developed separately from that of the Clinic. Early Almoners included Mary Chadwick, Shirley Hemming, and Sheila Jones. They were also active in raising funds to extend the scope of the welfare section. Much of the Welfare work has now become the responsibility of full-time Almoners on the JP Bayly Trust payroll. For almost 20 years all welfare funds were provided by the Society of St. Francis and St. Claire, with the JP Bayly Trust providing the building and meeting the costs for electricity, water, and telephone. The trust's first cash contribution from the JP Bayly Trust was $3000 in 1972. This has grown to over $24,000 per month today.
In about 1991 the Trustees resolved, that the Trust should be managed so as to produce the greatest possible income. That income, save for a prudent provision for inflation, would be used for Trust objectives.
The Trust's large landholding was in the rural areas and providing poor returns. This was further compounded by substantial rent arrears on the part of tenants. This has led to gradual sale of the Trust's land - which cost more to administer than it earned - and the investment of the proceeds on better income-generating projects. Some of the proceeds helped establish a clinic and welfare operation in Lautoka
Meanwhile the Suva operation outgrew the original small Clinic premises. The building was sold in 1986 and larger space purchased next door.
The Trust assists in the education of children of Welfare families on its Suva, Lautoka and Labasa registers. Today, through an annual budget of $50,000, the Bayly Education Fund looks after almost 500 students.
JP Bayly donated five hundred pounds to the Suva City Council Library for the establishment of a modern reference library on tropical agriculture and stock breeding. He also loved the English language. An annual school prize carrying his name was inaugurated in recent years, with $250 awarded to the student achieving the highest marks in English in the Fiji Sixth Form Examinations.
Another beneficiary of his will is the Pearce Home for the aged in Suva. It receives an
annual donation to assist it with its payment of City Rates.
The Founding Trustees were:
John Percy Bayly OBE (Chairman); George James Theodore Hansen, Rev. Dr. George Ratcliffe Hemming OF, OBE (Chairman); William Grainger Johnson MLC; and Leslie Redvers Martin.
Other Trustees over the years have been:
Donald M N McFarlane (Chairman); Ross G McDonald; Peter Smith; Laisenia Qarase; Parmesh Uma Raman CBE, QPM, FPM; Richard H Phillips (Chairman); Eric Jones; Thomas Copley; Raman Nair CBE, LVO; Nelson Delailomaloma; Gwyn Watkins; Ross G McDonald (2nd term); Tomasi Vuetilovoni; Abdul Jalal; Tamessar Bhim CBE, JP (Chairman); Layton (Tony) J Wilkinson JP; Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi; Mohammed Razak Akbar MBE, JP (Chairman); Joseph (Joe) S Singh JP; Philip G Arnfield OBE (Chairman); Thomas V Raju (Current Chairman); Malcolm J Paterson; Joel Sahai MF, JP; Albert Queet. This list does not include those who have served as attorneys for the Trustees.
Prominent Fiji personalities, including the former Prime Minister of Fiji, Hon Laisenia Qarase, have served on the Trust.