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Nurse’s Darling Point unit left to St Vincent’s Hospital sells for $1.7m


A “time warp” apartment in Darling Point sold as part of a $6 million estate being given away to St Vincent’s Private hospital has sold under the hammer for $1.7 million.

The home was given away at the bequest of nurse Anne “Nan” Kearins who died in 2019 aged 101 and left the 1950s apartment to the hospital.

Ms Kearins also had a blue ribbon share portfolio which was the bulk of the $6 million bequest.

Five buyers registered to bid for the two-bedroom apartment on Yarranabe Rd with selling agent Walter Burfitt-Williams of Ray White Taylor and Partners.

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The buyer was understood to be an expat based in London. The other registered parties were young professionals.

Mr Burfitt-Williams told News Corp during the sales campaign that the home was in a similar condition to how Ms Kearins would have bought it in 1959. She purchased the home when it was brand new.

“It’s a real time warp – particularly the kitchen and bathroom,” he said.

Ms Kearins had a long history with St Vincent’s, enrolling at the training school in 1936 at the age of 18.

She spent the next 70 years as a nurse, educator and volunteer, including time in Europe in the 1950s where she studied chest surgery and tuberculosis treatments.

She was reported to be popular with patients back at St Vincent’s, being showered with diamond rings, ruby earrings and Rolex watches from grateful patients – gifts were permitted at the time.

A lot of Kearins’ wealth came from financial advice from one patient in particular: businessman Jack Chown, who credited her with saving his life in 1955.

Jack Chown arranged lawyers to check the contract when Kearins bought the Darling Point apartment in 1959 and he continued to manage her financial affairs.

Ms Kearins, who died in 2019 at St Vincent’s aged care in Bronte, never married. She lived at the apartment until her late 90s.

Throughout her lifetime she was an advocate for nurse education. In 2014 she made a gift of $200,000 to St Vincent’s Private for that cause.

Mr Burfitt-Williams said he would donate his commission on the sale back to St Vincent’s.

To honour her service and generosity, the St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney plans to establish a range of programs to train and nurture nurses.

These include a Nurse Call System with improved technology for nurse communications, the ‘Nan Kearins Nurse Education Facility’ to support ongoing training, and an endowed fund to provide nursing scholarships in perpetuity.

There will also be funding for new positions, including a dedicated prostate cancer nurse to support patients through their journey and provide a central point of contact and co-ordination between patients, specialists, support services and treatment regimes.

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