In 1954, in Rodwell Road in Fiji’s capital, Suva, the Bayly Clinic opened for six days a week. The people filled the waiting room and Doctors treated patients virtually non-stop. The standard charge for a consultation, at that time, was two shillings.
Along the passage, the Welfare section of the Clinic reviewed needy cases, dispensed food parcels and arranged jobs and housing whenever possible for many of Fiji’s less fortunate families. As the number continued to grow, operations of the Welfare section developed separately from that of the Clinic.
This is part of the legacy of the late John Percy Bayly and the late Dr. George Hemming who managed the Bayly Clinic from its opening in 1954, until his retirement and return to New Zealand in 1982.
Dr. Hemming and John Percy Bayly shared a common concern for the increasing numbers of poor and the less fortunate.
Dr. Hemming believed that there was little advantage in curing conditions such as anemia, venereal disease and malnutrition, three of the most common complaints amongst his patients without tackling the social and economic problems which caused them.
This philosophy shaped the early work of the Bayly Clinic, prompting the establishment of social welfare section to compliment the Clinic.
Welfare operation was extended to Lautoka in 1987 and Labasa in Vanua Levu, in 1997.
The assistance that the Trust was able to provide in the beginning was limited to geographically set boundaries (9 miles both sides from each Centre) due to budget constraints.
In 2020 the Trust is assisting a total of 454 permanent Welfare cases compared to 433 in 2019 and 363 in 2018.
The children of these families are also being assisted with their education costs being fully met. 352 children were being assisted in 2019 335 were assisted in 2018 and 228 in 2017.
The JP Bayly Trust also assists temporary cases whilst investigations are being carried out by the branch Managers.
In 2020, we are assisting 138 families in Suva, 118 families in Lautoka and 53 families in Labasa, but this fluctuates from month to month.
There are also ‘food for the day’ packages which are distributed from all 3 centres, for those who are in dire need of food assistance.
In a constant battle for survival of our youth, poverty sets the stage for the under achievement of large sections of our society.
The Board of Trustees of the JP Bayly Trust strongly believes that children who have access to a good education will be able to achieve academic excellence.
The Trustees realises the importance of starting the learning for our children from pre-school (kindergarten) level. Realising the importance of this, the JP Bayly Trust also sponsors 13 children at kindergarten level (11 in Suva, 2 in Lautoka and 1 in Labasa).
In April 2009, the JP Bayly Trust sent the Suva Education Officer to attend a conference on ‘International Early Childhood Education Care’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Children are the leaders of tomorrow and developing human capital begins with them. The Education Officer shared her knowledge and experience with both Lautoka and Labasa Education Centre on her return.